The Springfield SC 94/95 Boys, fresh from their State Championship at the Missouri Cup last Thursday, are enroute to Appleton WI today to compete in the Region 2 Tourney. Part of the USYSA National Championship series, their State title sends them to this regional round with the regional age group winners then advancing to the National Championships in Phoenix next month.
The second team in Springfield Soccer Club to win a State Championship (the 90/91 age group won as 16 and 17 year olds in 2007 and 2008), they will be exposed to the Regional tournament for the first time. The tournament runs June 24-29 and like Cup will include a Group stage followed by knockout rounds.
I stopped by the final practice Thursday prior to their departures and got a few shots (see below) and chatted briefly with Josh McCutcheon (Kickapoo) and Evan Garrad (Glendale), the team captains:
Sat Jun 25 – 10:00 AM – SC Waukesha Pumas (WI) vs Springfield SC (MO)
Sun Jun 26 – 4:00 PM – Springfield SC (MO) – IL Galaxy (MRL2)
Mon Jun 27 – 8:00 AM – Everest SC Black (OH-N) – Springfield SC (MO)
Tue Jun 28 – 10:00 AM – [TBD] 1 of Pool B vs [TBD] 1 of Pool D
Wed Jun 29 – 8:30 AM – [TBD] Winner of Semifinals 1 vs [TBD] Winner of Semifinals 2
The team is part of Group D and the draw has some good news and some bad news. The good news is the opening match is against a team much like SSC, a first time competitor that comes from a program building new traditions in a state where FC Milwaukee is the dominant program. Waukesha (Wah-ka-shaw) is a western suburb of Milwaukee and where the highway turns North to Appleton. The other portion of the good news is the top-ranked team in the pool is Everest SC Black, ranked 5th in Region 2, but a team that SSC won’t have to face until they’ve played two prior games. That gives them the opportunity to become familiar with the environment, gain confidence and have current scouting reports on what will be the most difficult game of the tournament.
To get out of the group generally requires avoiding a loss and the first game is the most important. A loss in the first game is the most difficult of hurdles and avoiding Everest in that first game was the first piece of good fortune the boys will need. As the interview above notes, there is a quiet confidence and this is a good team with pace, a strong defensive will and enough inventiveness to be dangerous on this larger stage.
Coached by Eric Sorlie and Michael Seabolt from Missouri State (pictured in the white hat), I hope to have regular updates on their results.
There are several other local players competing this weekend as well. Emily Cline (Drury/Glendale) and Shelby Hatz (Drury/Catholic) are playing for St Louis Scott Gallagher at the U18 age bracket while Molly Brewer (Glendale) is playing for SLSG at the U17 age bracket.
ESPNrise.com did a preview of the Girls bracket that includes the KCFC Alliance squad that includes six players from the State Champion Liberty Jays. Regional Champs at U13 and U15, this is likely the last time these girls will play together and like the State tournament, their goal is to win the trophy.