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USYS NCS Day 2

What a difference a day can make.

Yesterday, the situation for both Loudoun teams looked bleak after the days results. Today, that was all turned on its head as both the 98 Boys and Girls won their games to grab a vital three points. Both teams sit in second place (out of four) in their group, with the top two heading to the semifinals on Saturday.

The day started hot, both off and on the pitch. The girls got things started in the morning with a very physical game against the Pride Predators from Colorado. The Pride struck first in the 40', right before the half time whistle. The Lady Foxes defense was caught out, and the Pride made no mistake in finishing the chance. 1-0 at halftime.

Despite being down, the girls were not out. They came roaring back after halftime and tied the game six minutes into the second half. Madeline Kelsey latched onto the end of a fantastic cross over the goal mouth by Emma Kerns to even the score. That was just the beginning.

With new energy, the Lady Foxes attacked relentlessly until, when in the 72' a Pride foul led to a golden opportunity for Loudoun outside the 18 yard box. Allyson Brown curled an absolute beauty into the top left corner of the goal, anchoring the Pride keeper to her spot. 2-1 Loudoun.

Eight minutes later as the game went into added time McKayla Beal struck again, this time punishing the goalie who was caught out of her goal. A dagger into the back of the net, and that sealed a 3-1 victory for Loudoun. Three vital points in the bag.

Coach Randy May said after the game, "We are very proud, very proud, of these girls. They showed great heart and courage to not give up after going down early. It was great to spread the goalscoring a little bit, which will make the other teams realize we don't just rely on one or two players. Now, it's all to play for tomorrow."

Four hours later, under the blistering sun and limited shade of Field 7, the 98 Boys Red took the field in a crucial match for their hopes of progressing to the semifinals. It didn't take long for them to find their way.

In the tenth minute, Dorion Dixon found space down the left side and fired a cross into the box. Michael Scully got on the end of it and put it in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead! The relief was palpable but short lived as the game continued. The first half carried on much in the way of Loudoun's favor, as the boys pushed offensively into the Michigan Wolves territory.

In the 36', however, a lucky break for Wolves found Loudoun with a tied game. A series of corners led to a scramble in the box, and a gentle Wolves kick rolled in ever so slowly off the fingertips of Colin Shutler for the goal. All tied at halftime.

Just like the ladies earlier, the lads came out of halftime firing on all cylinders. The pressure got to the Wolves players and the game became heated, with the referee sometimes struggling to keep control of the game. In the 51', Gio Vasquez was pulled down in the box but no call was given. A yellow was issued to a Wolves player in the 54'.

Then in the 74', Loudoun's Ryan Pyszka was given a straight red for a bad tackle near the Wolves bench. Down to ten men with little time left, Loudoun regrouped and again continued to find offensive space on the flanks. Oddly enough, the boys almost looked better with ten men than they did with eleven! In the 76' Dixon crossed the ball into the box looking for a Loudoun head. The Wolves keeper punched it away poorly, but fortunately for him no Loudoun players were anywhere nearby and the ball was cleared.

The end of the game drew near, and in added time Scully forced a Loudoun corner as a result of continued offensive presence. The ball was lobbed into the box and buried by Jacob Labovitz to give Loudoun the 2-1 victory and a massive three points!

Both teams continue play tomorrow as they look to seal their spot in the semifinals on Saturday. Points will be needed by both teams in order to do so. The girls play at 8 AM on Field 6 while the boys play at 2 PM on Field 4. Come out and join us! Admission is free!

USYS NCS Day 1



Day 1 of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series ended on a bit of a low for Loudoun Soccer.

Despite solid performances from both the 98 Girls Red and the 98 Boys Red, neither team could overcome two goal deficits in their respective games.

The first match took place bright and early at 8 AM on Field 5 to cool weather, cloud cover, and the threat of rain. For the spectator and player, it was a rather pleasant atmosphere. Still, tension was in the air for the 98 Girls Red as they took the field. The opposition was a late addition to the group, who three days prior had no idea they were even going to participate in the tournament. The original opposition, Tophat from Georgia, were ruled uneligible for unspecified reasons and forced out. Jacksonville FC took their place.

Nerves clung to faces as the opening whistle blew, yet Loudoun started off the match with a golden chance to put one in the net. The keeper from JFC had to come out strong to force the ball away off a clumsy back pass. Loudoun latched onto the ball and took a shot, but it was saved. The first ten minutes continued in this fashion, all Loudoun, but Jacksonville slowly grew into the match after that. On 17', a Jacksonville cross into the box found its (woman) for the simple finish into the back of the net.

Shortly thereafter, a Jacksonville corner was cleared by Loudoun to the top of the box. Jacksonville settled the ball, shot it, and the score became 2-0 in the 24'.

Thirty minutes in Loudoun was fouled just outside the eighteen yard box, which set up a good free kick opportunity. The kick was taken and sailed just over the crossbar. The effort was inches away, and that would be the last solid effort on goal for Loudoun until the second half.

After halftime, the 98's started the second period much as they did in the first, applying good pressure and creating chances. In the 68', Loudoun was brought down in the box for a penalty. With a chance to get back into the game, the subsequent spot kick was saved. Solid pressure by Loudoun continued, with no breakthrough. The match ended 2-0 to Jacksonville.

Loudoun 98 Boys Red went up against the toughest opponent in their group today as well - Pateadores from San Diego. There was definite home crowd advantage for boys in white as the Loudoun Soccer family came out in spectacular numbers to support the team.

Both teams started strong right from the whistle, but it was Pateadores who got on the score sheet first. After creating space down their right (our left), the ball was crossed into the box to the feet of a wide open Pats player who made the easy finish for the lead in the 12'.

Set pieces were a strong advantage for Loudoun, but luck was not on our side today. In the 22', a half bicycle kick missed the top right corner by inches. A wide open header in the 23' by our boys in white sailed over. In the 36', a beautiful curling effort from outside the box was barely saved by the Pats keeper. The half ended 1-0 in favor of the team from San Diego.

After the half, the boys came out strong - connecting passes, finding space, and creating chances as they were bolstered by the crowd. This continued for the entire second half, but it couldn't stop Pateadores from getting onto the scoresheet once again in the 69' to make it 2-0. Changes were made to bring on fresh legs, and they added energy to the side. Loudoun took control of the game and began to push forward with gusto.

With minutes left in the match, Loudoun scored a beautiful goal as Emin Karic nailed one into the top corner to cut the deficit in half. The team continued to charge but couldn't find the desired goal and the match ended 2-1 to Pateadores.

We would like to extend a special thank you to all those who joined us at both matches today. Your presence was felt and created a special atmosphere.

Games continue tomorrow as Day 2 gets underway with the girls playing the Pride Predators from Colorado on Field 9 at 8 AM. The boys face the Michigan Wolves on Field 7 at 2 PM.

National Championship Series Schedule

REP THE RED!




Both the Loudoun 98 Girls and Boys Red will represent Loudoun Soccer at the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series. We want YOU - the Loudoun Soccer family - to join us in supporting our teams at the National Championships. For the official Press Release, go HERE.

SCHEDULE
98 Girls Red

 7/22/14 - 8 AM
Tophat 17 Gold (GA)
Field 5
7/23/14 - 8 AM
Pride Predators 99 (CO)
Field 9
7/24/14 - 8 AM
Futura Academy Forte (MO)
Field 6

98 Boys Red

7/22/14 - 2 PM
Pateadores San Diego (CA)
Field 12
7/23/14 - 2 PM
Michigan Wolves 99 (MI)
Field 7
7/24/14 - 2 PM
99 Lobos Rush Premier (TN)
Field 4

Tournament is located at:

Maryland SoccerPlex & Discovery Sports Center

18031 Central Park Cir
Boyds, MD 20841

Make it a home team atmosphere! Wear your Loudoun Soccer gear, or red and black, and come out and support our teams! Admission is FREE. Bleacher seating is limited and chairs are allowed in designated areas.

Social Media: Follow along during the matches on Twitter for live, real time match updates. Scores and half time updates will be posted on Facebook. Match photos will be posted on all our social media avenues (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram). To join in the action, use the hashtag #RepTheRed and send us your good luck wishes, photos, and more!

See you there!!

Note: All matches will be live streamed on http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org for free.