After four days of competition, the final teams are set to compete in the 2016 US Youth Soccer Region II (Midwest) Championships in Westfield, Ind. From the 216 teams that started, 14 will be crowned. Winners in the Under-13 through Under-19 Boys and Girls matches will win a Regional title, and earn a berth to the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships held July 26-31 at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas.
Of the teams competing in the finals, there are eight teams from Illinois, seven from Ohio South, four from Michigan, three from Ohio North, two each from Missouri and Nebraska as well as one each from Kansas and Wisconsin.
Four 2015 Region II champions are still in the running including Under-14 Girls PSG MI Gators 02 Orange (MI), Under-14 Boys Sporting J. B. Marine (MO), Under-16 Girls FCKC Pink Panthers Elite (MO) and Under-19 Boys Kansas Rush Academy Blue 96/97 (KS).
|7:30||U-14 Boys||Sporting JB Marine Mann||Raiders City (IL)||1-4 LOSS|
|9:00||U-16 Girls||FCKC Pink Panthers||CUP Gold||2-0 WIN|
Raiders City (IL) produced a 4-1 win against the defending Region II champions, Sporting J. B. Marine (MO). 30 minutes into the first half, Eduardo Melgoza put Raiders City on the board for the only goal of the half. Daniel Favela earned Raiders City a 2-0 lead, but Sporting J.B.’s Aaron Boulch gave the team a boost to get back into the match with a goal. Three minutes later, Angelo Oquendo increased Raiders City’s to 3-1. Six minutes after that, Favela added his second goal of the match, keeping Sporting J. B. out of reach from catching up.
FCKC Pink Panthers Elite (MO) earned two goals in each half against CUP Gold 99/00 (OH-S) to take home their second consecutive Regional Championship. While both teams battled in an even match, FCKC Pink Panthers’ Kassidy Newsom earned a goal in the 12th minute. In the second half, CUP Gold gained more offensive chances through free kicks and corner kicks, forcing FCKC Pink Panthers to stay on defense. However, Newsom secured the win and netted her second goal of the game in the 80th minute.
The final matches of the Under-15 through Under-19 Boys and Girls age groups will be broadcasted live. Viewers can find the online links to the streamed games here.
Finally, game reports for a pair of semifinal games today:
Sporting J. B. Marine (MO) and Minnesota Thunder Elite Academy (MN) fought in a close match, resulting in a 1-0 win for Sporting J. B. Halfway through the first period, Sporting J. B.’s Arthur DeCampos put the team on the board. After the goal, it was a battle between Sporting J. B.’s defense and Minnesota Thunder’s offense as Minnesota Thunder searched for the equalizer. In the first half, a Minnesota Thunder player had a close chance when he took a shot at the top of the 18-yard box, and the ball collided with the left goal post. During the second half, Minnesota Thunder continued to push forward, creating dangerous chances and earning numerous corner kicks to get closer to goal. However, Sporting J. B. Marine’s defense prevailed and held the lead for a 1-0 victory.
Toledo Celtics Black (OH-N) recorded a 3-2 win over LFSC Geerling (MO). Toledo Celtics’ Josh Kidder sent two balls into the back of the net within the first 16 minutes of the match. Aaron Swerlein then added a third goal in the second half. LFSC began to get the ball rolling halfway through the second period as Tristan Stotler and Joseph Ackfeld scored two goals for the team. However, Toledo Celtics maintained the lead for a spot in the finals.