U19s crash out of Far West Regionals in PKs

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Far West Regionals 2013
June 17-23  *  Honolulu, Hawaii
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     A trip to Hawaii sounds like a lot of fun, but the Idaho Rush boys U19 team will have its work cut out for it when they travel to the islands for the 2013 Far West Regional championships. The regional tournament will be a last shot at glory for the boys, who reached the quarterfinals in 2011 and have lost a number of heartbreakers over the years at the tournament. The roster features a number of longtime Rush players, including Michael Soderlund (projected to be the starting GK for the national champion Indiana Hoosiers next year), Garrett Jones, Bryson Pavel, Graham Reid (all of whom are currently playing for the PDL North Sound SeaWolves) and Eli Szuch. In all, 10 players from last year's roster -- all of whom played in college last year -- are back for another run. The roster also features a number of new players, including Keenan dePinna, an Oregon State freshman, and three teammates from Seattle Pacific University.

     Regardless of where the players come from, they will face three very tough matches in the group stage of the tournament:

  • Sereno '94 White: The boys start with probably the toughest match of the week. Sereno has won seven State Cup titles in Arizona, including the past five in a row, and was the Region IV champion in 2009 as U15s. That year, Sereno made it to the national championship game before falling. At last year's Far West Regionals, Sereno lost 1-0 in the semifinals to Players SC of Nevada. Sereno is led by Gatorade Player of the Year Mason Robertson, who tallied 33 goals and 14 assists last year for Pinnacle High. He also had a goal in Sereno's 2-0 State Cup final. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder will play for the University of Washington next year. Sereno also boasts two products of the U17 National Residency program, Riggs Lennon and Cole Nagy. Lennon had the other goal in the Arizona state championship game. Sereno is one of the most decorated clubs in the west, with one national championship, three national runners-up, and 12 Region IV championships. Sereno ended Idaho Rush's hopes of a Regional crown in 2011 when they met in the quarterfinals in Boise.
  • Honolulu Bulls '94 Ka'Ula: It doesn't get any easier on Tuesday when the boys face another semifinalist from the 2012 Far West Regionals. Honolulu Bulls lost on a penalty kick in the 90th minute to Westside Metros last year, and they are hoping to use the homefield advantage to gain a measure of revenge. Like Sereno, Honolulu Bulls have a storied past. A win at the U19 age group would be the club's second Far West Regional championship, repeating the trick of 2004. In fact, that year Bulls went on to win the national championship in that age group. 
  • Pateadores (Cal-South): The boys' draw didn't get any easier when national powerhouse Pateadores joined the group as a wild-card team. The club has dozens of regional and national championships to its credit and is one of the most storied clubs in Southern California. Pateadores reached the quarterfinals of the 2011 Far West Regional tournament in Boise and was a Cal-South State Cup runner-up this year. 

     We will update this tournament web page as the tournament rolls along, adding scores and updating schedules when the boys gain the semifinals and finals, as needed.

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Far West Regionals daily roundup
Day 1

     Hot weather and injuries took their toll on the boys as they fought for a 1-1 draw with Sereno of Arizona. It was a good start for a team that suffered widespread cramping from the hot, humid Hawaii weather. "It felt like a win," said head coach Jens Haustein. "It was a great achievement by the guys." The boys also suffered a pair of injuries, which dropped the list of available players to just 13 after 50 minutes. Nate Hunt left with a knee problem and Andres Idoeta went down with a bad calf. Andres should be available for Tuesday's game while Nate is questionable. Weather conditions are expected to be about the same for today's game, with temperatures forecast for the low 80s and humidity at about 55 percent at kickoff. Sereno got on the board first with a messy goal from a corner kick. Two Rush players tried to clear a bouncing ball in the box before a Sereno player finally put a deflected shot in the goal for the 1-0 lead after 15 minutes. Rush almost got on the board a few minutes later when Garrett Jones had his back-post effort swept off the line by a Sereno defender with the goalkeeper already beat. The equalizer came 10 minutes later when Ian Adams beat three defenders on the dribble to gain the byline. He pulled the ball back to Bryson Pavel, who slotted the ball home from inside the 6-yard box to level the match. From there it was a war of attrition as multiple players limped around the field with cramps.

NOTES:

  • Idaho Rush will get reinforcements today as Erick Kennedy arrives in Honolulu. He brings the number of available players to 15, including Nate Hunt who is questionable.
  • Rush faces Honolulu Bulls in Tuesday's match. Bulls lost 1-0 to Pateadores (Cal-South) in their opener, but boasts a number of players from Cal-Poly on the roster.
  • The draw with Sereno likely means every goal scored or allowed in the final two games will be critical. Two teams out of the four-team pool will advance to the semifinals, and if Rush and Sereno end up tied for second place, the team with the best goal differential will advance.

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DAY 2 

     The boys fell 1-0 to hometown side Honolulu Bulls on Tuesday, but an ideal result in the other match of the pool kept their hopes of advancing to the semifinals alive. In the other match, Pateadores and Sereno drew 1-1, leaving Pats on top of the table with four points, Bulls in second with three points, Sereno in third with two points, and Idaho Rush in fourth with one point. Sereno and Bulls play on Wednesday, which means Idaho Rush has a single route to advancing in their final game: Beat Pateadores. If they do that, they should finish no worse than a tie for second place with four points. But they would have the tie-breaker with Pateadores, meaning they would advance. Tuesday's game was one of missed opportunities, as Rush missed five clear scoring chances in the first half alone. Bulls even did their part by having a man sent off in the first half. But Rush still couldn't take advantage, and when Bulls scored on a counterattack with 30 minutes left to play, it was enough for the win. "In the second half we couldn't get anything going," said head coach Jens Haustein. "Basically, we lost the game in the first half. As long as you don't put the ball in the net, it's tough to win. You can't expect the other guys to put the ball in the net for you."

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Day 3

     The boys earned a remarkable win in their final group stage game on Wednesday, but they will have to wait until a shootout at high noon on Friday to learn whether the win will pay dividends. Because of an extraordinary set of scores, Rush ended in a three-way tie for first-place in their group, with all three teams on four points and all three teams even on goal differential. Honolulu Bulls advances as the group winner because they conceded fewer goals than Rush or Pateadores, but the remaining two teams will have to stage a penalty kick shootout Friday to determine which team will advance to the semifinals. Rush has every chance of winning the shootout with Micheal Soderlund between the pipes as goalkeeper. Soderlund is expected to be the starting GK for the defending national champion Indiana Hoosiers. The unusual circumstance was set up by a dramatic, come-from-behind win over Pateadores 2-1 on Wednesday. The two teams played an even, scoreless match through the first half before the fireworks started after the break. Pateadores took advantage of a defensive error in the back to stake themselves to a 1-0 lead after 60 minutes. Rush responded with a controversial goal just five minutes later when Bryson Pavel and the Pats goalkeeper collided on a cross served into the box. With the goalkeeper still sprawled on the ground, Eli Szuch slotted the ball home to level at 1-1. Pateadores argued the decision but the goal stood. Rush got the game-winner with 10 minutes on the clock when Pavel headed home a goal served from nearly the midfield line. It was a strong finish for a team that is playing with only 13 men in the heat and humidity. "The guys showed good character and played through it," said head coach Jens Haustein, whose team will benefit from a rest day on Thursday. "We're thinking about taking them for a hike," he joked.

NOTES 

  • If Rush wins the shootout on Friday, they will become the first Idaho Rush team to reach the semifinals at Far West Regionals. They would face Pumas Premier Academy (Cal-South) Friday afternoon at 2 p.m., following the PK shootout.
  • Only three teams from Idaho have ever played in a championship match at Far West Regionals.
  • Three teams from Idaho have reached the quarterfinals at this year's tournament. (The U19 age group does not have quarterfinals, moving straight to semifinals instead.)
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Day 4

     The U19 boys won the battle but lost the war at Far West Regionals, beating Pateadores 2-1 in their 90-minute match, but losing 4-1 in a tie-breaking penalty kick shootout. The loss kept the boys from advancing to the semifinals and ended their run through the tournament. Pateadores connected on all four of the kicks they took, while Rush missed the opener, was good on the second, and missed the third. Pateadores went on to win the Far West Regional championship and advances to the national championship next month. 


Far West Regional schedule
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Monday, June 17
Time Rush team Opponent Field Result
4 p.m. Boys U19 Sereno 94 White (Ariz.) Waipio 16  1-1
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Tuesday, June 18
4 p.m. Boys U19 Honolulu SC Bulls (Hawaii) Waipio 18  0-1
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Wednesday, June 19
4 p.m. Boys U19 Pateadores (Cal-South) Waipio 14  2-1
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Friday, June 21
Noon

PKs

Boys U19 Pateadores (Cal-South) Waipio 6  1-4
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