Va. State Cup: Under-18 Girls preview

Here’s the breakdown of the Under-18 Girls bracket of the Virginia State Cup semifinals and finals, set for this weekend at the River City Sportsplex in Richmond.

Teams (seed)

  • VSA Heat Blue (#1)
  • Herndon Firecats (#2)
  • Richmond Kickers Elite (#3)
  • Roanoke Star U-18 Elite (unseeded)

Semifinal: Oct. 27, 2 p.m. – #1 VSA Heat Blue vs. Roanoke Star U-18 Elite, River City Sportsplex #2
Semifinal: Oct. 27, 12 p.m. – #2 Herndon Firecats vs. #3 Richmond Kickers Elite, River City Sportsplex #8
Final: VSA Heat Blue/Roanoke Star U-18 Elite winner vs. Herndon Firecats/Richmond Kickers Elite winner, River City Sportsplex #2 prediction: Three of these four teams–VSA Heat Blue, Herndon Firecats and Richmond Kickers Elite are familiar with each other at this stage of the Va. State Cup. VSA Heat Blue are the defending U.S. Youth Soccer National Champions, as well as the defending Va. State Cup champions, knocking off the Richmond Kickers Elite 4-0 in the semis and the Herndon Firecats 2-0 in OT in the final. The Firecats reached last year’s final after rallying from a two-goal deficit to defeat Lee-Mount Vernon SC in PKs. Either the Kickers or the Firecats will be in the final, while VSA Heat Blue will look to knock off upstarts Roanoke Star U-18 Elite, who weren’t even in the tournament last year, though in the opening round of the U-16 State Cup, VSA beat Roanoke 7-0, though Roanoke has had a strong State Cup run this season, knocking out two seeded teams in its three matches. In the 2010 State Cup, Herndon (then CYA) defeated Richmond Kickers Elite in the semis 2-0 and beat VSA Heat Blue 4-2 in the final. At the 37th Annual WAGS Rael Vodicka Memorial Tournament earlier this month, VSA Heat Blue went 2-0-1 in its bracket, while Herndon Firecats went 3-0-0 and scored 11 goals and conceded none. The Richmond Kickers Elite had similar success in the WAGS tournament in yet another bracket, also going 3-0-0 and giving up just one goal while scoring 10. This is a legitimate tossup between VSA Heat Blue, Herndon Firecats and Richmond Kickers Elite all closely bunched together, with Roanoke’s two upsets in the State Cup putting it in the mix, with VSA Heat Blue and Herndon having slight edges to get to the final, and should that final take place, that could go either way.

Team: #1 VSA Heat Blue
Club: Virginia Soccer Association
Head coach: Steve Smith
Home league: WAGS
Under-17 State Cup Finish: Champions
GotSoccer State Rank: 1
Goals in 2012 Cup: 11 goals, 1 allowed
How they got here:
Sept. 29, 2012: #1 VSA Heat Blue 8, Arlington Explosion White 1
Oct. 13, 2012: #1 VSA Heat Blue 3, #8 Beach FC Red  0

Team: #2 Herndon Firecats
Club: Herndon Youth Soccer
Head coach: Nadir Moumen
Home league: USYS National League/USYS Region 1 Premier League
Under-17 State Cup Finish: Finalist, lost 2-0 in OT to VSA Heat Blue in final
GotSoccer State Rank: 2
Goals in 2012 Cup: 10
How they got here:
Sept. 29, 2012: #2 Herndon Firecats 7, PWSI Courage 94 Red 0
Oct. 13, 2012: #2 Herndon Firecats 3, #7 SOCA Storm 1

Team: #3 Richmond Kickers Elite
Club: Richmond Kickers
Head coach: Andy McIntosh
Home league: VCCL South Under-18/19 Girls (7-0-0, fall 2012)
Under-17 State Cup Finish: Semifinal loss 4-0 to VSA Heat Blue
GotSoccer State Rank: 5
Goals in 2012 Cup: 18 goals, 1 allowed
How they got here:
Sept. 29, 2012: #3 Richmond Kickers Elite 8, FC Richmond Mystx 94 1
Oct. 13, 2012: #3 Richmond Kickers Elite 10, Central Virginia United U-18 Girls White 0

Team: Roanoke Star U-18 Elite
Club: Roanoke Star
Head coach: Matt Neale
Home league: VCCL South Under-18/19 Girls (2-4-1 fall 2012)
Under-17 State Cup Finish: Did not play
GotSoccer State Rank: 18
Goals in 2012 Cup: 19 goals, 3 against
How they got here:
Sept. 15, 2012: Roanoke Star U-18 Elite 12, Augusta FC 94GR 0
Sept. 29, 2012: Roanoke Star U-18 Elite 3, #5 CYA Phoenix 2
Oct. 13, 2012: Roanoke Star U-18 Elite 4, #4 Lee-Mount Vernon SC Patriots 1

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