Tucson Soccer Academy sends four to West Regionals; 95 Girls Red repeat as state championsby Andy Morales on May. 06, 2013, under Sports
With Maureen Shields. Shields has a journalism degree from the University of Arizona and owns KidzArt Tucson. Sabino forward Shannon Shields is her daughter.
CASA GRANDE: No strangers to competitive play, the Tucson Soccer Academy (TSA) 95 Girls Red recently met up with the Gilbert Arsenal 95 Premier Black on Sunday, April 7 in Far West Region IV League play at Reach-11 Sports Complex in Phoenix. TSA came away with a 3-1 victory, finishing #2 in the FWRL Spring Season. For both teams, it wasn’t enough to earn a qualifier to the Region IV Championships in Honolulu, with Southern California’s Legends FC White advancing as Far West Region League champions. The Arizona State Cup Championships was the final opportunity for either team to advance.
As the teams lined up for the start of play, TSA was challenged going against a strong wind. About four minutes in, a foul called on TSA lead to a free kick and early score for Gilbert. Late in the first half, Jasmine Stokes (Palo Verde/California Baptist) sends a great pass through to Justene Kesterson (Mountain View/Arizona) who muscled in for the finish, despite being dragged to the ground. TSA ties it up going into the half 1-1.
Second half play stayed very physical with TSA dominating on offense. A hard strike by Kesterson hit the upper crossbar and deflected out but Shannon Shields (Sabino/Sam Houston State) was on point for the finish. TSA leads 2-1 about mid-way through the second half. To seal the win, Shields sets up a left-footed corner into the box to Brianna Barreiro (Homeschooled/UTEP) for the 3-1 win.
TSA 95 Girls Red went undefeated in the 2013 AZ State Cup Championship tournament and win their second straight AZ State Cup, winning against Phoenix’s SC Del Sol last year in 2012.
Other tournament results with Southern AZ connection:
U-18 Women’s –
Finishing in 3rd Place, Tanque Verde Soccer Club 95 Blue defeats Valparaiso United 2-1.
U-18 Men’s –
#1 Sereno 95 Boys White defeat #2 Tucson Soccer Academy 95 Boys Red 1-0. Both teams will advance to the Far West Region IV Championships with TSA Boys getting a Wildcard Bid.
U-17 Girls -
#1 Tucson Soccer Academy 96 Girls Red defeats #2 Gilbert Arsenal 96 Premier 4-1.
U-15 Boys –
#1 Tucson Soccer Academy 98 Boys Red defeats #2 CCV Stars 98 Black 4-1.
Four TSA teams have advanced to the US Youth Soccer Region IV (West) Championships (AYSA) and will begin participating in mid-June in Honolulu. It’s the first time four teams from TSA have made the West Regionals in a season.
Games will be played at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex with more than 4,500 players and an estimated 15,000 spectators.
“The Tucson Soccer Academy’s guiding aspiration ‘Expect the Best’ has taken on a new and special meaning with the conclusion of Arizona Youth Soccer Association State Cup play,” said Ted Schmidt, president of TSA. “With the 95 Red Girls, 96 Red Girls and 98 Red Boys first place state championship finishes and the 95 Red Boys second place finish TSA has not only completed its most successful season ever but also has won more state championships than any other club in Arizona for the 2012-13 season.”
As noted above, the 95 Girls Red, a team full of college-bound players, defeated Gilbert Premiere, 3-1, to win the title. It’s the team’s second consecutive state title.
The 96 Girls Red defeated Gilbert Premiere, 4-1, in the championship. And the 98 Boys Red defeated CCV Black, 4-1, in the title game.
In winning the titles, all three advance to the Regionals. Also on Sunday, the 95 Boys Red team fell to Sereno White, 1-0, in a well-played game. The 95 Boys also advance to the Regionals as the AZ wildcard.
“The 95 Red girls has always been a special group of players,” said co-coach Amy Garelick. “Todd and I are so very humbled to have the opportunity to spend time with this group of girls. We have been blessed to be a part of their maturation to great people as well as great players. Their back-to- back state championships are a testament to their dedication and love of the game.”
Jeff Rogers, coach of the 98 Boys Red, said Sunday was all but “TSA Day” in Casa Grande.
“Dean Nourse (assistant coach) and I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” Rogers said. “They played a flawless first half, jumping out to a 4-0 lead and were extremely focused and disciplined the entire match. We were highly motivated and driven to succeed, and that is always the foundation of any championship-caliber team. Their performance set the tone for the day and I sincerely believe it gave confidence to our other teams … everyone felt like this was TSA’s day after the way we played.”
TSA, which has more than 1,000 players, has been designated the only Nike Premiere club in Southern Arizona.
“These achievements in State Cup are the perfect initiation to a new era at TSA,” Schmidt added. “We have just begun to expand and innovate in our recreational and developmental programs with Charlie Kendrick at the helm, put added emphasis on our girls competitive program with Todd Garelick as director, just founded TSA FC as a the only club in the Women’s Premiere Soccer League with Amy Garelick serving as head coach and begin construction this month on the new Ann Kathryn Schmidt Kickin’ It Club House.”
Portions from news release.