FRISCO, Texas (July 26, 2016) – A second-half goal from Lincoln Augenstein gave Under-16 Boys La Roca South CS 99/00 Premier (UT) a 1-0 win over Loudoun Red (VA) on the opening day of group play at the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships.
Both sides played its first ever game at the National Championships. La Roca won the 2015-16 US Youth Soccer National League Red Division in its first National League season and will hope to have similar success at the National Championships.
“We won the National League in our first year, and the boys were very excited to play in their first game at the National Championships,” La Roca head coach, Celso Santos said. “These boys are very ambitious and aren’t just happy to be here. We are hungry to win the title.”
La Roca’s high press created a couple of chances in the first half, but 2016 Region I Champions Loudoun Red (VA) were up to the task, with the Virginia side’s back line proving to be tough to crack. The match opened up in the second half when the two-time US Youth Soccer Virginia State Cup champions began pressing further and further up the field as well.
“We plan on playing different styles, whether it is high-press or possession depending our opponents,” Santos said. “The boys now feel more comfortable moving forward. They were a little excited in the beginning, but settled down at the end of the first half and played really well in the second half.”
Just minutes after La Roca had a goal called back due to off-sides, Augenstein made a strong run down the right flank before sending a bullet toward the far post. Loudoun keeper Christian Andrade got his hand on the strike, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Augenstein’s shot from finding the back of the net.
Loudoun surged forward with hopes of netting an equalizer, but the Utah side, which conceded only three goals seven games at the National League, was up to the task as La Roca keeper Jason Meyers was forced to make a handful of diving saves in order to secure a clean sheet.
“It was very important for us to get a win on day one, and the boys were very excited,” Santos said. “This was a great start to the tournament, but we are going to take things game-by-game and keep working hard.”
Next up for La Roca is a date with 2014 National Champions United FA Premier (GA), while Loudoun will take on 2016 US Youth Soccer Region IV Champions Strikers FC North (CA-S). United FA defeated Strikers FC, 3-0, on the opening day of group play.