FRISCO, Texas (July 28, 2016) – Under-16 Girls La Roca Premier PO (UT) defeated Florida Krush Black (FL) 1-0 in a battle of first place teams at the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Frisco, Texas.
Both sides entered day three with a 1-0-1 record, and a draw would have seen both teams advance to the semifinals. However, defending national finalists La Roca made its intentions known in the 15th minute when Arizona State University commit Marli Niederhauser received a pass in the middle of the box, turned a defender and found the back of the net.
“This was a hard opponent. They were great in transition and were runners. You could tell they did a lot of running to prepare for this tournament,” La Roca head coach Francisco Ovalle said. “Once we were able to get past midfield the game became normal for us, and we took advantage.”
La Roca controlled play for the remainder of the half, and continued to threaten Krush’s defense with 2015 National Championships Golden Ball Winner Olivia Wade along with 2015 National Championships Best XI player Anna Escobedo and 2015 National Championships co-leading scorer Macy Martinez.
The Utah side, who qualified to the National Championships with a first place finish in the 2015-16 US Youth Soccer National League, reached the finals of the 2015 National Championships before falling to two-time national champions Legends FC 99 (CA-S) in the finals.
“From now on the mental side is the most important facet – more important than the tactical and technical portions because you have to show up to these games,” Ovalle said. “Whoever is going to make the least mistakes is going to advance.”
La Roca will play against FCKC Pink Panthers Elite (MO) in the semifinals on Saturday, July 30. La Roca edged out FCKC in National League via a tie breaker. 2016 Region III Champions Florida Krush will join La Roca in the semifinals after edging out Syracuse Development Academy (NY-W) via a tiebreaker and will play Carlsbad Elite 99 (CA-S).