Down on the turf fields of SportsQuest, the second day of Jefferson Cup action was extremely busy as top sides across several age groups competed for a chance to keep their hopes for a Sunday final appearance.
U-15: Loudoun Red 2, Manhattan SC Paris St. Germain 1
A bright first half for Loudoun against an athletic and strong attacking team in Manhattan SC, a first half goal had them well on their way. Manhattan, with quick forwards up front, played a number of long balls to test the Loudoun center backs. It eventually paid dividends when Manhattan tied the game in the second half. A dramatic fished would ensue, when Loudoun buried a free kick with just under five minutes left.
U-15: FC United Select 2, Lanco United 1
Two different clubs matched up on the turf, as an attack-oriented FC United took on a Lanco United side playing with three at the back. It didn’t take very long for FC United to score, when midfielder Kevin Goon found space from
“I thought the boys did well,” FC United’s head coach Brian Rigby said. “It’s difficult coming from the elements we’ve dealing with being inside. This is the first time we’ve been outside in about six weeks, I thought they settled in pretty well.”
After Lanco nabbed an equalizer a short time later off a free kick, Alex Underwood created FC United’s second, and eventual game winner. Underwood beat a defender to the edge after a long run on the wing, and crossed for teammate Sam Markin who buried his shot. Neither side added a tally after the break.
U-15: Prince William SI Courage 1, Triangle Futbol TFC 1
This Atlantic Soccer League matchup certainly had its share of fireworks. The midfield guile of Kendrick Brown and Evan Szklennik helped PSWI maintain possession. But Triangle Futbol scored first against the run of play.
PWSI answered back early after the break, when Josue Saravia cleaned up a ball after the Triangle goalie couldn’t hang on to a shot. That would be all the scoring the game would see, as the Courage would have Jacob Burke sent off for dissent.
U-15: Beach FC B 2, Carolina Elite SA CESA 2
Beach FC’s Austin McKenzie was the star of this back-and-forth ASL matchup. McKenzie scored a long range goal in the first half to open up the scoring despite Beach FC lacking a cutting edge in the final third. Carolina Elite was no push over, and Tyler Rider equalized before McKenzie’s second goal.
James Ellis missed a couple of chances to bury the game for Beach FC after they squandered the lead for a second time on the day.
Carolina’s goalie Eric Bykowsky deserved a lot of credit for the tie, preserving the save with a couple of solid second half saves, and doing well to take command of his back line through the entire match.
U-14: Arundel Black Hawks 4, Cobb FC Chiefs 1
After a tough opening match in the morning, the Arundel Black Hawks were able to bounce back in their afternoon clash with Cobb FC. In a strong and confident performance, the Black Hawks kept the ball and punished Cobb on the counter attack. Donald Benamma scored two goals in guiding his side to their first win of Saturday’s action.
“It was a hard fought game,” head coach Anthony Cropper said. “We keep possession well and scored on the counterattack.”
U-15: Jacksonville United 2, Manhattan SC Paris St. Germain 1
With the wind whipping around SportsQuest, Jacksonville United struggled to take the initiative against Manhattan SC. After Jacksonville had an early goal called offside, they ended up going down a goal after a poor goal kick handed Manhattan an easy chance which they buried.
But the second half was a much more improved performance, that included a game winner from Jacksonville’s No. 6. Manhattan managed to create plenty of chances for a late equalizer, but ultimately couldn’t find a way to score.
“We played a tough team from Manhattan,” Jacksonville United coach Ian Hardington said. “It was a game of two halves, the winds played a factor in the end. We had a lot of the possession and were unfortunate to concede a goal in the first half.”
U-15: Reading 3, Richmond Strikers 2
The most entertaining match of the day featured a young Strikers side battling a team from Pennsylvania. An early goal from Austin Diltz got Reading off to a fast start, and it wasn’t long before they extended the lead to two goals.
With the home crowd spurring them on, the Strikers fought back, scoring first when the Reading goalie didn’t communication properly with his defense, turning the ball over in a dangerous spot. After equalizing, the Strikers kept pressing for a winner only to get caught out and punished on a counter attack.
“I thought it was a good game.” Strikers coach Anthony Sherwood said. “We started slowly as can be the case with us. But as soon as we settled and passed the ball, do the things we asked the guys to do it got a lot better.”
“Our focus on guys this age is the quality of soccer as opposed to the win.”
U-16: NC Fusion Elite 2, FC Richmond 1
As far as results go, it wasn’t a great day for two Richmond teams playing simultaneously at SportsQuest, as FC Richmond dropped a tough match to the North Carolina Fusion. In what was a tight matched, Richmond seemed to lack ideas when in possession, going down a goal early in the second half.
That gave them a bit more impetus, and FCR found an equalizer, only to give up a second goal in the last ten minutes of the game. It would have been much worse if not for a few impressive saves from Richmond’s goalie.