TUCSON – It was a great weekend – and season – to be a member of the Tucson Soccer Academy.
Four teams have advanced to the US Youth Soccer Region IV (West) Championships 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."
On Sunday in Casa Grande, 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.
All 18 of the players on the 95 Girls Red team will play at the next level with 12 of them achieving Division I scholarships.
"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."
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.
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 so 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. And the league has just founded TSA FC, which will be part of the Women's Premiere Soccer League.
TSA also has started construction on the new Ann Kathryn Schmidt Kickin' It Club House at Brandi Fenton.
"The achievements in State Cup are the perfect initiation to a new era at TSA," Schmidt said. "As we achieve these extraordinary successes and develop these new and exciting programs, now more than ever our families have every right to ‘Expect the Best'" from TSA."
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Donate to TSA:
It will cost Tucson Soccer Academy roughly $2,000/player to send all four teams to Hawaii for the Western Regionals. If you want to help these athletes, please send your tax deductible contribution to:
Tucson Soccer Academy, P.O. Box 2190, Tucson, AZ 85702 or log onto their website www.tucsonsocceracademy.com.
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