Friday, July 7, 2017
The outstanding run of the state champion Spokane Sounders G01A ladies saw them advance from a difficult group at the Far West Regionals in Seattle, moving onto a semifinal finish at the Region IV championship event.
The Sounders kicked things off with against a highly-ranked side that was the defending champion of the event from last year. The ladies posted a 2-1 victory against USA Stars Academy of Cal-North. Megan Robertson found Olivia DeShazo 11 minutes in for the opening tally and with the score level in the second half, Chelse Le fed Kylie Keller for the game-winner in the 51st.
Keller and Le kept things going the next day with Le finding Keller 14 minute in for the opener and then connecting with Camryn Gardner 11 minutes later. LVPSA (Nevada), however, rallied with two before the break and nabbed the lone goal of the second half for a 3-2 victory.
The Sounders bounced back the next day with a wild 3-3 draw that snared a spot in the quarterfinals. Robertson scored 15 minutes in on a ball from Sarah Frahm and DeShazo scored her second of the event eight minutes later via Gardner for a two-goal lead. Arizona Arsenal did not give up, however, and scored one before halftime and two more after to jump into the lead in the 58th minute. Gardner tallied her second of the tournament, though, in the 69th on a ball from Chloe Gellhaus to knot things up and secure a spot in the knockout phase.
Facing Rebels Elite of Cal South in the first round of the playoff, the two sides were locked in a lengthy stalemate before a 67th minute penalty allowed Le to provide the only difference between the two sides, allowing the Sounders to move on to the semifinals.
In a rare semifinal round that featured all teams that finished second in their groups the Sounders nearly saw the match go the distance before Celtic Premier prevailed with a 108th minute score. The pair were scoreless for 67 minutes before the opposition got on the board, but Kendal Houston tied it up unassisted seven minutes later, ultimately sending the match to overtime. Celtic would go on to capture the championship in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw.
A few Sounders sides found some success recently at the 25th Annual Rainier Challenge hosted by Washington Premier. Two sides reached the finals of their brackets and a third advanced to the semifinals.
The B04A Sounders advanced to the championship game of the U14 Copa bracket with a 2-1-0 record in group play. After an 1-0 opening day loss to the host side, they rebounded with a 2-1 win over Crossfire Premier and a 7-0 romp against Seattle United, securing the top spot in the group.
In the semifinals they downed PacNW 2-1 to reach the championship, where they were defeated 2-0 by the unbeaten GS Surf.
Also reaching the final of their bracket was Sounders B07 City in the U11 Samba bracket. The boys downed host WPFC 3-1 in the opening game and rolled to an 8-2 win the following morning against FWFC. It was enough to finish second in the group behind unbeaten Maple Valley Premier, who took the final group game in a narrow 1-0 decision.
Spokane picked up a 2-1 win in the semifinals against Seattle United but came up short of the title in a 2-0 loss to PacNW in the championship.
Also advancing from group play on the weekend were the Sounders B06A Valley side. Despite having two games on the opening day, the boys posted a pair of wins, downing Washington Rush 1-0 and Whatcom FC Rangers 2-1.
They fell 3-1, however, the next day against the hosts, creating an odd scenario in which they had to play them again as a wild card in the semifinals on day three. The second meeting was a little tighter (the closes of the event for the hosts), but WPFC prevailed en route to a perfect tournament run that included a 4-0 championship win.