NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- It was nearly a sweep for Maryland boys teams into the semifinals of the U.S. Youth Soccer Region I championships yesterday. For the state girls, it was almost a total washout.
When the under-16 Columbia City United (3-0) beat Rhode Island's Running Rebels, 3-0, last night, seven of the eight state teams, including all six Baltimore-area teams, had advanced to today's semifinals.
The defending U-19 national champ Baltimore Spirit (3-0-1), after two easy victories, can clinch the first regional U-20 crown by beating F. C. Delco of Delaware County, Pa., today in the round-robin format.
The U-18 Chesapeake Bay Thunder tied the Pittsburgh Strikers, 1-1, last night, making it the only one of seven Baltimore-area girls squads to advance to the semifinals. With results in two other groups still pending, none of Maryland's 10 female teams had escaped preliminary group play.
C. J. Norton and Chris Eatough each had two goals as the Spirit routed West Virginia, 8-0. Mike Henning scored twice to propel the Spirit to a 4-1 decision over Beadling, Pa., in a later match.
"Two games a day for two days is pretty brutal," said Henning. "The game with Delco was the one we were pointing for. The region [administration] figured that, too, since they scheduled us as the last game."
The Columbia Darby needed to win big and hope for help yesterday if it were to advance. The Darby dropped Massachusetts' Bandits, 6-1, then advanced when New York's Capital United could manage only a 1-1 draw with Pennsylvania's Ukranians.
The Arundel Top Guns needed only a tie to advance, but defeated Cherry Hill (N.J.), 2-0. Jonathan Cole scored the first goal with a 35-yard shot that was slightly redirected by a retreating defender's head into the top left corner in the 14th minute. David Kozak drilled home a rebound of a Cole shot in the 37th minute for the final score.
"I've been told to follow up shots my whole life, and it finally paid off," said Kozak.
Maryland team results
Boys -- Under-20: Baltimore Spirit 8, West Virginia 0; Spirit 4, Beadling (Pa.) 1. Baltimore is 3-0-1 in round-robin format. U-19: x-Potomac Silver Streak 1, Syracuse Blitz 1. U-18: Bethesda Wizards 0, [Massachusetts] Eagles 0. U-17: x-Columbia Darby 6, [Massachusetts] Bandits 1. U-16: x-Columbia City United 3, Southern Maine United 0; Columbia 3, [Rhode Island] Running Rebels 0. U-15: x-Arundel Top Guns 3, EPIC Force (W.Va.) 0; Top Guns 2, Cherry Hill (N.J.) United 0; U-14: x-Baltimore F.C. Bullets 1, York (Pa.) United Blast 0; U-13: x-S.C.B. Welle McComas 2, Nashua (N.H.) World Cup 0, McComas 3, Kirkwood (Del.) Cannons 1. U-12: Columbia Strikers 3, Amherst (N.H.) 1.
Girls -- U-19: Reston (Va.) United 1, Harford Shakedowns 0; Shakedowns 1, Win 'Jammers (Me.) 0. U-18: x-Chesapeake Bay Thunder 2, Manchester (N.H.) United 0; Thunder 1, Pittsburgh Strikers 1; Charles River (Boston) United 6, Severna Park Flames 1. U-17: S.A. Columbia Spirit 10, Beckly (W.Va.) Xtreme 0; Spirit 3, Ridgefield (Conn.) Yankee United 2. U-16: Harford Energizers 2, Ridgefield (Conn.) Yankee United 2; U-15: CSC Maryland Majestic 5, Oneonta (N.Y.) BratPack 0; Manchester (Conn.) World Class 5, S.C. Columbia Magoc 0. x-advanced to today's semifinals.