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News Detail

29

Jun, 2018

19U Girls are Region Champs!

Congratulations to AFC Lightning's 19U Girls Elite team on winning the Southern Regional Championships!

Greensboro, N.C. (June 27, 2018) — 
Determination turned into celebration on Wednesday at the BB&T Soccer Complex at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C., as one team has already claimed a 2018 US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championship. By winning the title, the team – 19U Girls AFC Lightning 99 Elite (GA) – has secured a spot in the prestigious US Youth Soccer National Championships, which will take place July 23-29 at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas.
 
As a familiar coach in the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, Steve Muccillo of the 19U Girls AFC Lightning 99 Elite understands that making it to the finals is just a foreshadowing of what is to come at Nationals.

"This game could have gone either way as the whole game was very even," said head coach Steve Muccillo. "The goal kind of came out of nowhere off of a scramble and then we just kind of hung in there. The type of competition we will face at Nationals is exactly what we got from the Lobos and we were very fortunate to win."

Winning Regionals is a hard task but, by moving on to Nationals, you now face the best of all four Regional Championship events for a chance at becoming the US Youth Soccer National Champion.

"These girls can expect every game at Nationals to be games just like they just played and maybe against even stronger opponents," continued Muccillo. There are only four teams at Nationals in the 19U Girls age group, so I imagine all three of the other teams will be every bit of good as we are and it's going to take some luck and good preparation as well as some quality play for us to win it." 

19U Girls Final Recap:
After finishing at the top of their respective groups, AFC Lightning 99 Elite (GA) and CSA 00/99 Lady Lobos Rush Premier (TN) both earned clean sheets in the semifinals to advance to the 19U Girls Southern Regional Championships final. AFC came into the match holding the top three spots on the age groups top goal scorers chart - Molle Belisle (7), Taylor Malasek (4) and Emily Mason (4) – and it was always going to be a tough defensive task for CSA. Facing a daunting attacking force, CSA held its own and played AFC to a scoreless back and forth first half. It was more of the same in the second half as each side looked for opportunities to break down the opposing defense. It took until the 72nd minute to break the deadlock but Abbie Crane’s second goal of the tournament pushed AFC ahead. Lobos pressed for an equalizer and were held from any meaningful chances thanks to some pressure defense and sure hands from the AFC keeper. The score held until the final whistle and AFC lightning claim the first 2018 Southern Regional Championship title and a spot at in the US Youth Soccer National Championships.
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