SCU/MP Capture Four State Championships


This past weekend nine SC United Mt. Pleasant teams traveled to Rock Hill, South Carolina to compete in the SCYSA Challenge State Cup and came away with more State Champions (4) than any other club in South Carolina.  The success marks the continued improvement in our player and team development model.  The nine teams attending was also a club record for the U15 through U18 age groups.  The 95 Girls Elite, 96 Girls Elite, 97 Girls Elite, and 97 Boys Elite will all advance to the Region 3 Championships in June as Champions of South Carolina.  The 94 Girls Elite and 95 Boys Elite finished as runners up in tightly contested matches.  The 97 Girls Palmetto took third place with a win in the consolation match on Sunday.  The 96 Boys Elite finished fourth place and 94 Boys Elite had their previously undefeated season come to an end in the semifinal match.  For more on the weekend follow the summaries below.
94 Girls Elite- Finalist
Coached by Jeff Hoerner and Hope Atkinson
The girls took on a challenging CESA 94 Premier team in the semifinal match and after 84 minutes neither team had managed to put in an opportunity.  In the 85th minute Kallie Peurifoy managed to drive inside from the left flank beating several opponents before hammering the ball into the top corner for the 1-0 win.  Strong defending by goalkeepers Logan Nelson and Anna Davis as well as the defensive unit in front of them Jenna Stoner, Alex Hayes, Baker Walls, Suzie Vallez, and Grace Gore earned the shutout and win. 
Player of the Match:  Kallie Peurifoy.
The girls played against a familiar opponent in SCUFC 94 Elite in the final, a team consisting of many former SCU/MP 94 Elite players.  The game played in the rain and through sluggish and difficult conditions was hard fought.  Neither team was able to find a goal in the first half.  Although SCUFC began to win the possession battle the SCU/MP 94 Elite struck first with Rachel Torlay heading home a Kallie Peurifoy corner kick in the 60th minute.  With just 8 minutes to play SCUFC answered with a fine header of their own to tie the score at 1-1.  Through both overtime periods each team had opportunities and half chances to score but the match would go to penalties to decide the winner.  SCUFC converted its first four and their keeper saved two for the win.
Player(s) of the Match:  Rachel Torlay, Baker Walls
Coach Jeff’s Final Thoughts:  The SCUMP 94 Elite Team had a very successful season and run through the State Cup advancing to the final. It what was the final club game for 16 of the 17 players - the girls should be very proud of the way they played and represented the club. The entire club wishes all of the girls best of luck with their high school season and in the future college endeavors. We would also like to thank each girl and their families for their dedication and commitment to the SCUMP club over the years!
95 Girls Elite- Champions
Coached by Julie Schendel and Anna Merriman
The girls came out hard against this Columbia Elite team. We managed the game really well and were able to capitalize on our chances. The first goal came from a corner kick followed by a scramble in the box. The second goal was scored by Rachel Barrack. SCUFC scored their first goal with about 5 minutes left to play, and shortly afterward, scored again to tie. The teams played two full 10 minute overtime periods without a goal from either team forcing a penalty kick shootout to determine the winner.  Goalkeeper Casey Murakami came up huge with two saves and Ali Winglosky, Caroline Cashion, Alexis Friedrichs, and Tinslee Dilday all finished their opportunities to earn their place in the Championship match.  Player of the match:  Casey Murakami, saved 2 PKs
Perhaps a bit battle weary and bruised from the intense semifinal match up against the Columbia Elite team the girls were put to the test giving away two goals in the second half of the final.  However, the team continued to play quality attacking soccer.  They were rewarded for their efforts as Rachel Barrack was put through their center defense and beat the keeper to cut the lead to one.  Shortly after the second goal came as Caroline Cashion hit a free kick 40 yards out.  Unfortunately with about 20 minutes to go the team went down to 10 players. The team, resilient all weekend, kept their composure and the momentum creating many chances to score.  Play remained scoreless through the two overtime periods and the team was put kicks from the mark once again.  Goalkeeper Casey Murakami wasn’t called to action as Columbia missed two and Ali Winglosky, Amy Paparozzi, Tinslee Dilday, and Alexis Friedrichs converted their chances.  Player of the match: Tinslee Dilday, played smart and managed our defense despite being down a player.
                Coach Julie’s Final Thoughts:  The girls played hard and never gave up this weekend. They truly earned the top prize and I couldn’t be more proud of them. We have worked very hard this year, and we are excited to move on to the regional tournament this summer.
96 Girls Elite- Champions
Coached by Kian Brownlee and Lindsey Landgrebe
 The 96 Girls Elite looked to take home their fourth State Championship in a row this year and were made to work as hard as possible to get it done.  In the semifinal match a mistake at the back put Furman United ahead in the game in the third minute.  With the Furman team already set up to play on the counterattack and defend ferociously around their goal the task of winning the match became unbelievably difficult.  The team was forced to make adjustments to their typical style of play and was finally able to get a goal to knot the score at 1-1 after a flurry of chances went begging with a Bri Carney goal.  Continuing to press in the second half with Furman content on keeping the contest close they were unable to find a goal with the Furman keeper pulling off save after save and aiding her the goalposts were friendly.  The goal however finally did come in the overtime period and the team would advance to their fourth final.   Player (s) of the Match:  Raymara Barreto, Miranda Weslake, Bri Carney 
For the fourth time in their fourth state championship game the girls took on SCUFC 96 Elite.  Having never lost to SCUFC in league or cup play and each contest becoming tighter and tighter the pressure on the girls was immense.  Both teams had chances in the first half but went in at 0-0.  The girls came out with a bit more sharpness and creativity in the second half but still the contest remained scoreless till the 70th minute when Erin Moriarty took an entry pass from Xavia Lemott dribbled two defenders and slotted a goal with the outside of her foot to put her team up 1-0.  SCUFC continued to battle and with 5 minutes to play tied the game with a high strike from outside the 18.  In the end, Miranda Weslake was able to slot home a final break through for the 2-1 win! Player of the Match:  Grace Bishop 
                Coach Kian’s Final Thoughts:  It has been a privilege to coach these girls to an incredible four state championships in a row and as the games have become tougher so have our girls.  I am proud to have had the opportunity to share in these experiences with them and I look forward to seeing them continue to progress through our club.  The quality of soccer they play represents our club image and should be aspired to by all our younger teams and players.  However, the quality of persons that these young ladies are and the determination, grit, spunk, enthusiasm, friendship, and love that they have displayed during their State Championship runs is the ultimate reason for their success.
97 Girls Elite-Champions
Coached by Collin Phillips and Meagan Cannon 
Playing Carolina FC 97 their consolation game opponent from the spring 2012 State Cup the 97 Elite was able to dominate possession in the first half and opened the scoring with Alexis Polcyn and Lyndi Boardman for the 2-0 halftime lead.  Cassidy Posma snagged a third goal in the second half before Alexis Polcyn finished her second of the day. The final match was a rematch of the semifinal last spring.  While having a strong share of the possession in the game both teams created opportunities but the game would take extra time to determine a winner.  In the overtime period Ellen Hayes hit a thunderous strike into the lower right corner to put the team in the lead.  Allyn Wiggans then went up to finish a beautiful header from an Alexis Polcyn cross for the 2-0 win. Player (s) of the match:  Ellen Hayes, Allyn Wiggans 
Coach Collins final thoughts: The team worked extremely hard to regain the title of State Champions that they had won at U13 and lost at U14 after an injury prone season.  I am very proud of the girls and we are looking forward to the opportunity to compete at the Region 3 Championships.  We are especially proud to be state champions again and not having conceded any goals during the weekend.
97 Girls Palmetto- 3rd Place
Coached by Shannon Champ
Perhaps a bit shell shocked from playing in their first final four match the team gave away two early goals and were not able to recover.  The team answered 20 minutes in with a beautiful Kelly Duris strike.  While the momentum had swung a bit the SCUFC 97 Elite were able to knot one more strike just before the halftime interval.  The 97 Palmetto came out stronger in the second half and even began to win the possession battle but couldn’t create enough in the final third to get themselves into the final match.
Taking on Carolina FC in the consolation match, a team they had lost to 0-1 in regular season SCYSA play the girls came out with pride, intensity, and quality.  The teams battled back and forth and while the Palmetto were able to create opportunities in regulation play, none were finished, forcing extra time.  In the second overtime period Kelly Durris found Bailey Pope for the first and final goal as well as the third place win!
94 Boys Elite- Semifinalist
Coached by Kian Brownlee and Sachin Patel
The team took on a familiar opponent in SCUFC 94 Elite for their semifinal match up.  While the Columbia team was the reigning State Champion from 2011, the boys were confident heading into the game having beaten them 1-0 and 3-2 in their last two confrontations.  Columbia came out with much enthusiasm and drive forward dominating the first 15-20 minute interval.  With a few tactical adjustments defensively the boys were able to find their legs, begin to swing possession their way and then found a goal as Charlie Heffron headed in a free kick sent in from 40 yards out for the 1-0 lead.  Columbia countered only 5 minutes later to send the teams into halftime at 1-1.  The second half looked as if the team had found their edge as they dominated both possession and opportunities.  But the game proved it can be cruel as Columbia was able to put in one of their few second half chances for the 2-1 lead with only 10 minutes to play.  Searching for the tying goal and pressing forward the boys were left a little exposed at the back and a penalty was awarded for Columbia.  Down 3-1 the boys threw everything including the goalkeeper forwarded and allowed fourth goal with 10 seconds to go.  Player of the Match:  Lucio Vaccaro
                Coach Kian’s Final Thoughts:  I have had the privilege of coaching some of these young men since they were 11 years old, one even following me to Charleston from Augusta Georgia.  They were my first team here in Charleston!  The team won nearly every game they played this year including Atlanta Cup, our Shootout, and Norcross Nike Cup as well as going undefeated in league play.  While it was a fantastic season on the field and the team seemingly falling short in the semifinal match, they probably played their best soccer in the semifinal match.  The emotion they showed during the game and the grief displayed after the game speaks to how much these guys care about one another, how they have enjoyed the shared experience of battle on the field, success on and off the field, and the relationships they have built through this game.  I have never met a crazier bunch of guys with as much personality as these, but I will cherish the memories and the years I coached them.  I am proud of them and wish them continued success in college and beyond.  Love you guys!!
95 Boys Elite- Finalist
Coached by Shilo Tisdale and Mark Hladek
The players were really excited about the opportunity play SCUFC 95 Elite and get us to the state championship for the 2nd year in a row.  They came out really focused and stuck with the game plan.  They moved the ball around well and Nick Saunders scored off a John Glenn assist early to lessen the pressure a little.  Not much later John Glenn scored a great goal from a cross by John Merrihew showing his composure to put us two up at half.  In the second half the team conceded a penalty kick goal but responded quickly through Juan Bailey scoring from a John Glen driven ball to increase the lead to two again. Player of the match: John Glenn
The championship game was a rematch of last year’s final with the 95 Elite taking on the Region 3 Champions and National finalist CESA 95 Premier.  The tension and nerves showed in the first 15 minutes of the game and before the team settled down they were down 0-1.  The team regrouped mentally and settled in with better possession and more positive forward play fighting to get back in the game.  CESA soon went down to 10 players and the game momentum shifted even further our way.  The team continued to press and create but were unlucky not to capitalize on their attacking movement.  The score matched last year’s CESA’s 1-0 win. Player (s) of the match: Darby Martins/ Max Jaskowich
Coach Shilo’s Final Thoughts:  You have to stay mentally focused for every second against a quality opponent like CESA and capitalize on chances that should be put away.  However, "Champions keep playing until they get it right" and we have one more year to get it right.
96 Boys Elite- 4th Place
Coached by Collin Phillips
The 96 Boys Elite took to the field on Saturday’s semifinal action against the always dangerous Coast FA team as reigning State Champions.  Hoping to retain their crown and earn their second Region 3 Championship spot the team created numerous chances including a penalty kick but were not able to convert anything.  Coast FA was able to capitalize twice and earned the 2-0 win. Player of the match: Thomas Osborne
Starting a little sharper than in the semifinal match the Elite went at the CESA 96 Premier team with vigor and urgency but against the run of play and on the games first corner kick CESA scored to take the 1-0 lead. In the 32 minute Nick Nybo converted a penalty kick to bring the game back to 1-1.  Scoring again from a corner kick, CESA carried a 2-1 lead into halftime.  Pressing for a goal in the second half two more were given away as the team dropped 1-4.
Coach Collin’s Final Thoughts:  We had a very good fall season finishing seventh this season in the premier league, but fell short at the state cup competition this year. I am a very certain that we will do better next season and still very proud of the level of growth and discipline the boys displayed all season.
97 Boys Elite- Champions
Coached by Tyler Davis
The 97 Boys Elite played the SCUFC 97 Palmetto in a trap game and the game turned out to be as tough as possible with the Palmetto creating chances in the first half.  The 97 Elite defended well and as they began to get a better hold on the match Johnny Amon found his strike partner Sam Ross for the first goal.  Sam was again able to net with an assist from Daniel Lowell.  To round out the scoring dynamic playmaker Johnny Amon put in Daniel Lowell who calmly converted for the 3-0 win. Player of the match:  Daniel Lowell and Sam Ross
Competing in the final against last year’s runner up CESA 97 Premier the game would always be tightly contested with quality coaches on both sides organizing their teams for the chance to call themselves champions.  CESA came out strong and well organized defensively.  Perhaps against the run of play, danger man Sam Ross beat his man from 40 yards out, drove inside the box before slotting across to Johnny Amon inside the six for a scrambling goal.  CESA nearly answered as they were rewarded a penalty kick, but man of the match goalkeeper Gettys Moore saved to preserve the 1-0 win. Player of the match:  Gettys Moore
Coach Tyler’s Final Thoughts:  I am really proud of the team. All credit goes to them. We are looking forward to our trip to the Region 3 Championships.  Job well done boys!