AND THEN THERE WERE TWO …
Two Eastside FC girls teams bring home Regional titles, Washington Youth Soccer teams excel
When the Virginia Mason Washington Youth Soccer Challenge Cup and Virginia Mason US Youth Soccer WA State Championships kicked off this spring, thousands of players on hundreds of teams across the state took to the field with dreams of winning a State Cup title, representing Washington Youth Soccer at Regionals, and maybe – just maybe – facing off against the best teams in the country at the US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup and US Youth Soccer National Championships.
For two Eastside FC girls teams, that dream is about to become a reality.
Eastside’s GU17 squad dominated the U17 age group at the Region IV Presidents Cup, capturing their first regional title with an unblemished record, and a remarkable 22 goals scored opposite just two against. Despite their prolific performance through bracket play and quarterfinals, however, Eastside was scoreless for nearly all of their semifinal and finals matches. After escaping from the semi against Idaho on the backs of a shutout by goalkeeper Emily Baril and a heroic performance on both ends in a penalty-kick shootout, the Eastside girls left it late once again in the final against Utah before Victoriya Vasina finally broke a 0-0 deadlock late in the game to life Eastside to the top of the podium. Their win earns the team a spot at next week’s US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup in Florida, where they’ll match up against fellow champions and select wildcards from the other regions of US Youth Soccer. A link to complete schedules and scores is to the right.
Barely a week later, Eastside FC had even more to celebrate. Led by a stellar defense that gave up just two goals in six games, Eastside FC 98 Red captured their first-ever Far West Regional crown to clinch a spot at the most prestigious youth soccer tournament in America – the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championships, July 22-28 in Overland Park, Kans. After netting two draws in group play, the Eastside girls turned up the intensity in the elimination rounds, defeating Colorado squads in the quarter- and semifinal rounds by scores of 1-0 and 2-1, respectively. In the final, though, Eastside found the offense to match its stalwart back five, tallying three goals (one each from Makaylie Moore, JoJo Harber and Laura Roberts) in a shutout win against Utah.
In all, 13 Washington teams competed at the Region IV Presidents Cup, with 11 advancing past the group stage and three – including the champion GU17 Eastside FC – going all the way to finals. It was a similar success story at Far West Regionals, where nine of the 19 teams entered reached elimination rounds, with two advancing to the championship match.
Congratulations to each of these outstanding teams on a great season! Use the links to the right to check out complete recaps and photos from both Regional tournaments, and to follow our Regional Champions at Nationals later this month!