National Championships Day 3 - Tuzos Win Group & Advance To Semifinals
DALLAS (Thursday, July 27, 2017) – In arguably the toughest match Tuzos Academy 02 Boys would face in the group stage at the US Youth Soccer National Championships Semifinals, they walked away with a 1-0 victory over St. Louis Scott Gallagher SC Elite (MO) to win their group with a perfect 3-0-0 record. Tuzos has advanced to the semifinals and will face BRYC 02 Elite (VA) on Saturday at 7:00 a.m. Arizona time. This match will not be live streamed. For updates, please follow the AYSA Twitter feed.
On the girl’s side, Scottsdale Blackhawks 00 Girls suffered their only loss at the National Championships to a common foe in Celtic FC (UT), which has eliminated them from competition. This was the second time these two teams faced each other this year as Blackhawks defeated Celtic FC 1-0 in the Desert Premier League on November 18, 2016.
Tuzos, only needing a draw or win to clinch the top spot in their group, once again played in the early game, which was a 5:00 a.m. Arizona kick off. It was so early that the lights were on. St. Louis came out the aggressor in the early minutes of the match and they had an early chance that hit the post. After 20 minutes of play, Tuzos started to settle down and a shot from Angel Ramirez from distance just missed the mark.
The lone goal came in the 50th minute when a cross from the right side sailed over a St. Louis defenders head. Jason Villalba, unmarked on the back post, trapped the ball and fired a shot into the net for his third goal in as many matches. St. Louis pushed for the equalizer, but Tuzos goalkeeper Carlos Sagaste Lopez came up with some key saves down the stretch for the victory.
The Blackhawks, needing a win or draw to advance, jumped out to a great start and had a few chances, but just couldn’t finish. Shot after shot came in, but each one was saved by the Celtic FC goalkeeper.
In the second half, the momentum went back and forth until the 73rd minute when Celtic FC scored the go-ahead goal. Blackhawks pushed for the equalizer and a great chance came with just five minutes left when Haley Willibey unleashed a crack from distance. The ball unfortunately hit the crossbar and was cleared out. Blackhawks continued to fight but just couldn’t crack the Celtic FC defense who held on for the victory.
This wraps up the season for Blackhawks who had an unforgettable season which saw them qualify for the National Championships by going 7-0-0 in group play in the National League. AYSA would like to congratulate the Blackhawks ladies and coaches on their successful season.