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PHOENIX (Jan. 10, 2014) – After two days of play at the 2014 US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) Region IV Championships, Washington Youth Soccer Elite Player Development (EPD) teams are eyeing regional titles as six teams have advanced to the knockout rounds with one team still to finish group play. Three teams came up just short and will play in the consolation rounds. Boys and Girls state teams in the 1997-2001 age groups are playing for the ODP Regional title, and winners of the 1997 and 1998 age groups are also competing for the opportunity to advance to the US Youth Soccer ODP National Championships in March in Frisco, Texas.
Many Washington EPD teams faced crucial matchups on the second day that would decide who advanced in the competition. The 1999 Girls were one of those teams as they met California-North in the afternoon with both teams even in tiebreakers – meaning if a winner wasn’t decided in regulation the teams would have to go to a penalty shootout to decide who advanced.
Washington took an early 1-0 lead just five minutes into the match thanks to Olivia Van der Jagt, but Cal-North leveled the score just six minute later. Washington put the Californians on their heels for most of the game, but couldn’t find the net as regulation ended 1-1 and headed to PK’s. Washington scored their first three spot kicks from Rilee Castilla, Julia Mitchell and Van der Jagt and Cal-North scored their first two kicks before Washington keeper Dakota Barnes saved Cal-North’s third kick. Cameron Tingey scored the fourth kick for Washington to put the 99’s in good position, but Barnes had seen enough and snagged Cal’s fourth kick as well to win the game and move her team into the knockout rounds.
“I’ve taken many PK’s,” Barnes said about facing a penalty shootout. “I just tried to remember the techniques all of my coaches have taught me about how to position yourself, and just to get pumped up to do what you have to do to make a save.”.
It’s rare when a goalkeeper gets a chance to win a game for her team, but Barnes took her role in stride as the team forges ahead in their quest for the championship.
“It’s awesome! It’s just great, I’m excited to get it done and I hope we pull out another win.”
Washington EPD 99 Girls coach Malia Arrant cited this experience as one of the reasons playing in the EPD program is so beneficial for players.
“Going into the PK’s we just talked about being confident, telling yourself you’re going to make the shot before you go up there and we deserved the game. We outplayed them but couldn’t find the net, so go take it. Sometimes you have to dig deep and step out of your comfort zone to do what you can to win games. I saw that from a lot of players today so I hope that helps them grow and go back to their club teams with more confidence.
“I think the ODP Championships is one of my favorite events because it’s different than club tournaments that players go to all the time. They get a chance to play with different players, different coaches, and they get to represent Washington, which is a unique experience. They’re all together and even though they come from different clubs, they get to bond together and represent their state.”
Another highlight on the second day at the Region IV ODP Championships was a presentation by U.S. Soccer Development Director Jill Ellis. Ellis addressed the Region IV state technical directors regarding a new, innovative player identification model for the U.S. Soccer Youth National Teams. The idea behind the new model puts renewed emphasis on the ODP program based on several factors. Ellis stated that more than 50% of the Youth National Team players are currently coming out of US Youth Soccer’s Region IV, the western region, and specifically identified Washington and Idaho players that have come into the National Team training camps in recent years.
Ellis also pointed out Washington Youth Soccer Technical Director Timo Liekoski for his contributions in recent U.S. Soccer meetings, and that players are potentially being overlooked because of too much attention on what state or club a player comes from. More details on the new identification model will be released in the coming weeks.
The Washington Youth Soccer EPD program is designed to mimic the process of U.S. National Teams, where the top players from their clubs are brought together to train and compete, in order to help prepare players for the next level of play. In 2013, seven Washington Youth Soccer EPD players were invited into U.S. National Team training camps. U.S. Soccer National Team, US Youth Soccer Regional Team, professional and collegiate programs all have scouts in attendance this weekend in Phoenix.
Play will resume Saturday with final group games, knockout and consolation rounds. Follow Washington Youth Soccer on Twitter at @WAYouthSoccer for game updates, news and photos, and see the results and standings here. To learn more about Washington Youth Soccer EPD, visit WashingtonYouthSoccer.org/Programs/Elite_Player_Development
1997 Girls: Washington 1-0 Arizona
An opening day win set the stage for day two and the 97G pulled out a 1-0 victor over Arizona to move on to the semifinals. Samantha Martin scored the game winner for Washington in the 43rd minute as they look forward to a meeting with Cal-South in the semis.
1998 Girls: No game on day two
After two draws on day one, the 98G head to the consolation bracket.
1999 Girls: Washington 5-0 Alaska | Washington 1-1 Cal-North
Needing a win to rebound from an opening day loss, the 99G took care of business with a 5-0 victory over Alaska. Malia Pivec fed Jenna Killman for the opening goal and Olivia Van der Jagt added the second before Lauren Brown made it 3-0 at the break thanks to Sophie Butterfield’s assist. Out of the restart, Julia Mitchell extended the lead from Kendra Steele’s pass and Brown finished it off with her second of the game.
Both the 99G and Cal-North needed a win in order to stay alive in the tournament as both teams were even in all tiebreakers, so a draw would require a shootout to decide who advanced. Three minutes into the game Washington took the lead from Van der Jagt off a Cameron Tingey free kick, but Cal-North evened the score before halftime. The game stayed 1-1 at the end of regulation and needed penalties to break the deadlock. Rilee Castilla, Mitchell, Van der Jagt and Tingey each scored their spot kick, while keeper Dakota Barnes saved Cal-North’s third and fourth kicks to deliver the win and move into a play-in game toward the semifinals.
2000 Girls: Washington 0-1 Colorado
The 00G needed a victory in their third game of the weekend against Colorado, but dropped a 1-0 decision to fall out of contention. Needing a win, a second half Colorado goal sends Washington to the consolation bracket.
2001 Girls: Washington 8-0 Alaska | Washington 1-4 Colorado
After being idle on day one, the 01G team came storming out of the gate by taking a 5-0 halftime lead over Alaska en route to an 8-0 victory. Kaylee Coatney grabbed two goals and Malia Hanson added three assists in the win. Nikayla Copenhayer opened the scoring just five minutes in and Hailey Still made it 2-0 in the 11th. Two minutes later Tori Wheeler struck off a pass from Copenhayer. Peyton Fisher made it 4-0 in the 18th before Coatney added the fifth before the break. In the second half, Grace Nesbitt got the sixth with help from Olivia Boulet’s pass, while Coatney and Meredith Udovich, from Payton Neal’s assist, finished things off.
In their second game of the day, the 01 Girls ran out of steam after taking a 1-0 lead into halftime but fell 1-4 to Colorado. Still headed in a corner kick from Copenhaver for the lead, but four second half goals from Colorado derailed the momentum. Fortunately, goal differential helped Washington advance to the semis as the wildcard, where they will face Colorado once again.
1997 Boys: Washington 0-1 New Mexico
After a disappointing 1-0 loss in the first game, the 97B responded with a comeback win over Idaho and got the needed results in other games to move onto the semifinals. Idaho’s speedy forward stole a goal just three minutes into the match, but Washington kept their composure as they ground out three goals to stay alive. Ryan Clark leveled for WA in the 25th to go into halftime level, and Derek Kuhn struck the game winner in the 47th before Rio Alcorta sealed the game with a 60th minute goal. The 97’s will face New Mexico tomorrow in the semis.
1998 Boys: Washington 1-3 Colorado
The 98 Boys suffered a tough loss in their second game which knocked the team out of contention for the regional title, losing to Colorado 3-1. Colorado jumped out of the gate with a 4th minute goal on a penalty kick and doubled the deficit in the 39th. Washington gave up a second penalty in the 46th to fall behind 3-0, but immediately pulled the goal back as Yitagesu Dowty finished off a Ty Good pass. A man down due to a red card, that was all the Washington side could do as they face Cal-North and Oregon tomorrow in the consolation bracket.
1999 Boys: Washington 2-0 Alaska | Washington 2-2 Cal-North
Following up a win on day one, the 99B moved toward a critical matchup with Cal-North with a 2-0 win over Alaska. Blaise Beeachman put WA up 1-0 in the first half off a feed from Ibrahim Yusuf in the 15th minute and Miles Johnston struck on the other side of halftime with the help of Carter Mooring’s pass to deliver the win.
Coach Dan Pingrey’s 99B team went from elation to heartbreak in the matter of minutes in their game versus Cal-North, but stayed alive to advance to the semifinal play-in game tomorrow. The coaching staff made some adjustments in their approach to today’s game, which the players executed brilliantly, but eventually let a two goal lead slip away in a 2-2 draw. Charlie Ostrem gave Washington the first half lead when he collected a clearance and ripped a volley into the far net. Minutes later, Blaise Beeachmen flicked a throw-in to Alex Bradbury, who redirected the ball into the net for a 2-0 lead at the break. Cal-North threw everyone forward in the second half in need of at least a tie, and earned a penalty kick late in the game. Washington keeper would have none of it however as he snagged the shot to preserve the lead and seemingly gain momentum for WA. But with five minutes left Cal-North stormed forward and stole two goals for the tie to move into the semifinals while Washington is still alive in a play-in game versus Arizona to advance.
2000 Boys: Washington 3-0 Arizona
The 00B stayed perfect after their second game, downing Arizona 3-0. Jacob Bloomfeldt notched a brace to give him three goals in two games and a share of the division scoring lead. Bloomfeldt struck his first in the 27th minute from a Gus Diehl pass, and took the lead to two shortly after the restart. Justen Ho sealed the game for Washington with a 60th minute goal as the side looks to clinch first place in the group and a semifinal spot with a win tomorrow.
2001 Boys: Washington 3-0 Colorado
The youngsters are living up to expectations with their second straight win without conceding a goal in a dominating performance against Colorado and a 3-0 win. Just three minutes into the game, Washington assumed the lead on a Johnathan Guglielmetti goal on an assist by Naf Padilla. Davis Noblat doubled the score after the break thanks to a Mitchell Hutter pass, and Ethan O’Brien finished the scoring on an assist from Noblat. The 01B now face Arizona in the semifinals in their pursuit of a title chance.