Four area club soccer teams competed in a U.S. Youth Soccer Region Presidents Cup Tournament last weekend in Decatur, Ala., with a girls team from the Pitt-Greenville Soccer Association advancing to win its division.
The PGSA U13 ('97) Stars returned home with the U13 Region III President's Cup title, marking the second Presidents Cup Region III title won by PGSA in the past three years.
The team is based in Greenville but includes players from various North Carolina cities and towns, including Wilson, Roanoke Rapids, New Bern, Washington and Greenville. The U13 Stars went on to win the championship after defeating Texas Football Club Texas North in a penalty shootout after a scoreless draw in regulation. The Stars won 4-3 in the sixth round of penalty kicks, with goals scored by Ava Dawson (Greenville), Taylor Dodd (Greenville), and Chloe Wilson (Roanoke Rapids). Olivia Hall (Greenville) scored the winner, and goalkeeper Emily Alligood (Washington) earned the shutout performance for the Stars.
"The championship is a tremendous accomplishment for soccer in Eastern North Carolina and the PGSA. All 18 girls put forth an extraordinary effort, and it is very rewarding as a coach to witness your players experience success after many dedicated hours of training," coach Darren Dawson said.
The three other Triangle area teams in the Presidents Cup Regional Tournament:
CASL Boys U17 ('93) United Black: The team made a deep run at the regional title under coach Alix Charles but came up just short, falling in Sunday's championship game to the '94 Arkansas Rush Nike, 1-0. U-17 United won its Flight C bracket in the tournament with a record of 2-1-0 and finished with seven points.
"I was really proud of the way the boys played this weekend. They may not have won the tournament, but they won the heart of everyone who watched them play in Decatur," Charles said.
CASL Boys U14 ('96) Premier: Coached by Bill Hanckel, the team reached the semifinals before falling 2-1 Saturday to SB Select 96-97 Club Mexico from Texas.
Bryson White scored the CASL goal. The CASL U14 Premier (2-0-1) won its Flight C group with seven points.
"The team played great against the toughest opponent we have faced this year, and we just came up short. I am very proud of this team, and how we responded to being down and never gave up," Hanckel said.
The Triangle United Soccer Association Girls U16 ('94) Gold: TUSA (0-1-2) third in Flight A with two points. TUSA lost 1-0 to FC Dallas ('95) Red, then drew 2-2 with Birmingham (Ala.) United Soccer Association on goals by Cassidy Blalock and Taylor Wood. TUSA finished its weekend with a 1-1 tie against FC Bartlesville of Tulsa, Okla., with the TUSA goal scored by Kalyn Fowler.