CAL SOUTH CAPTURES TWO TITLES AT THE 2012 US YOUTH SOCCER ODP CHAMPIONSHIPS
March 12, 2012
Cal South Captures Two Titles at the 2012 US Youth Soccer ODP Championships
1996 Girls Champion - Cal South
March 11, 2012 (FRISCO, Texas) - The 2012 US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) champions were crowned today at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.
State-level US Youth Soccer ODP 1996 and 1995 Boys and Girls teams earned their way to the 2012 US Youth Soccer ODP Championships by winning their US Youth Soccer ODP Regional Championships. These teams represent the best in the country from their age group and region.
"To improve at any level you need to play against the best and coming here to play competition like this is playing the best," said Steve Lyons, head coach of Florida 96 Boys.
Brief recaps from the championship final and consolation matches are below:
The 1996 Girls final pitted Cal South against Virginia. After offensive strikes and defensive stops at both ends of the field, Cal South's Pilar Torres broke the stalemate with a decisive goal in the 75th minute. Torres found the ball in the middle of the 6-yard-box off a corner kick and punched it home for the game winner.
A hat trick by Jessie Scarpa led Florida to a 5-1 victory over Michigan for third place. Melanie Monteagudo and Deborah Hahn added goals for Florida, while Zoe Morse notched the lone Michigan goal.
The 1996 boys from Florida followed up a 3-0 victory in the semis with a 3-0 win over Michigan in the championship game. The scoring opened in the 24th minute when Johnny Nartowicz won the ball in the midfield then started a string of passes that resulted in a goal by Morgan Shepard. Second half goals by Samuel Vinson and Mario Da Silva secured the title for Florida, the first ever ODP championship for the state.
Cal South claimed third place with a 3-0 victory over Virginia Sunday thanks to a pair of goals by Marcos Bueno and one by Rey Ortiz.
In a rematch of last year's final, Cal South 95 Girls avenged its 2011 championship day loss to New Jersey by earning a 2-0 victory Sunday. A pair of goals by Kayla Mills (recently awarded Player of the Year honors at the 2012 Cal South Awards Banquet - story here), one during the run of play and one from the penalty spot, made the difference and claimed a girl's title sweep on the day for Cal South.
Ohio South beat Georgia 4-1 in the match for third place. Kaitlynn Kiehl netted a pair of goals to lead Ohio South, with Katie Murray and Alexis Kiehl also scoring. Kayla Puzas scored the lone Georgia goal just before the final whistle.
Michigan ended Virginia's quest to repeat as ODP champions with a 1-0 win in the 95 boys final. In the 52nd minute, Michigan's Dalton Amez collected the ball about 25 yards from goal, created space for a shot and blasted the game winner into the top of the net. With Virginia committing numbers forward to try and get an equalizer, Michigan kept a clean sheet on its way to the title.
Three goals by three different players secured third place for Cal South, who beat Tennessee 3-1. Jose Nuno, Joshua Goodman and Ricardo Ruiz found the net, while Tyler Long tallied the Tennessee goal.
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About US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) - US Youth Soccer ODP, established in 1977, is the original Olympic development program in the United States. Formed to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a National Team could be selected for international competition, selected players are exposed to the nation's top coaches from collegiate institutions, U.S. Soccer and the professional leagues. Programs exist in each state and with competitions such as the US Youth Soccer ODP National Championships, Interregional Training/Competition, Regional Camps and International play. US Youth Soccer ODP continues to lead the way in elite player identification and development. US Youth Soccer ODP is an approved program of the U.S. Soccer Federation.
About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer) - US Youth Soccer - "The Game for ALL Kids!?" is the largest youth sports organization in the country and largest member of the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body of soccer in the United States. US Youth Soccer registers more than 3 million players annually, ages 5 to 19, and over 900,000 administrators, coaches and volunteers in 55 member State Associations. US Youth Soccer programs provide a fun, safe and healthy environment for players at every level of the game. For more information, visit www.USYouthSoccer.org.