Phoenix, AZ (1/8/2018)
Always facing a tough matchup the 01 girls tournament ended against Cal South. Despite playing well and only conceding 1 goal the vaunted 01 offense just couldn’t break through the Cal South defense and one moment of offense for them was enough.
Another matchup against Cal South and another heartbreak as the 02 girls fought back from a 2 goal deficit to tie the game on the back of goals from Josie Shepherd and Lily Haskins 4th of the tournament, tied for leading the age group, only to have Cal South score late on a free kick to win 3-2.
Close loses were the story of the morning semi-finals as the 04 girls much like the 01s played well but just couldn’t quite seem to score and one goal was it took from Cal North to knock them out of the tournament.
Finally a close game that went Utah’s way, the 05 girls continued their dramatic rise to the top with a 1-0 victory over Hawaii. Sadie Beadall scored her 6th of the tournament on a free kick to put Utah ahead and that was enough as they played outstanding defense and had several big saves from keeper Paiton Collins to preserve the clean sheet. Up next? A rematch against Cal South in the final at 10:00am.
One of the best endings to a game I have ever seen, the 01 boys bested Arizona 5-3 in overtime to advance to the final against Cal South. After scoring early through a Ryen Jiba goal, the boys found themselves trailing 3-1 with minutes left in the game when 2 back to back goals pushed the game to overtime. Once there it was Jiba’s time to shine. He scored twice in the overtime periods to complete his hattrick and secure the victory. Their final is tomorrow at 12:30pm.
Down goes Cal South. The bane of Utah’s existence most of the day, the 03 Boys made sure it wasn’t all sunshine for Cal South by knocking their 03B out of the tournament 1-0 on a goal from Ken Bellini. Now on to a final that feels like destiny. They will play Arizona in the final after tying in group play, and losing to them last year, after some tremendous sportsmanship, the boys will definitely be up and ready for their final at 11:20am.
Not the tournament the girls were hoping for, but definitely one of the happiest and most fun groups all weekend. The 03 girls played hard and tried to come back from a 2 goal deficit through a Lataya Brost goal but fell short and lost 2-1.
Unlucky to not be in the semifinals, it would have been easy to mail in the consolation game but the 02 boys did anything but and beat Colorado 3-1 behind two goals from Eli Nixon. Not how they wanted their tournament to go but clearly one of the best teams in the region, they will be a team to look out for next year.
Another group that would have wanted a different tournament, the 04 boys lost 1-0 to Hawaii in their consolation game. The talent is clearly there with this team and as they learn from this year they will only get better and everyone should look for big things from them next year.
After such a tough loss the night before the 05 boys started brightly against Washington in their consolation game but in the end it wasn’t enough and they fell 3-2. Such a fun team to watch they clearly enjoyed their time on and off the pitch here in Phoenix and were a joy for everyone involved.