The Newport Beach-based Slammers FC boys' under-16 team captured the U.S. Youth Soccer Region IV championship in dominating fashion led by Corona del Mar High sophomore-to-be Jack McBean's hat trick.
The Slammers defeated defending champion Sereno White of Arizona, 5-1, in Albuquerque, N.M. Sunday.
In addition to McBean the Slammers also featured Sea Kings Connor Gaal, Jack Gorab, Greg Allen and Mason Case.
The Slammers' coach George Larsen was also the head man of the CdM boys' soccer team that won the CIF Southern Section Division IV title and CIF Division II Southern California Regional championship this year.
The Slammers earned a berth to the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship July 20-25 in Overland Park, Kan., at Overland Park Soccer Complex.
Larsen was impressed with the Slammers' second-half effort against Sereno, especially after enduring such a battle in a 5-4 semifinal win that went into overtime Saturday.
The Slammers trailed, 2-0, in the first half, and, 3-1, in the second half, but continued to fight back against the Westside Metros of Beaverton, Ore., Larsen said. McBean, who had eight goals in the tournament, scored twice in the semifinal, helping the Slammers overcome their deficit, and go up, 4-3. But the Metros tied it before regulation ended. The teams went scoreless in the first overtime period. With three minutes remaining before a penalty-kick shootout, Cameron Waymire scored the game-winner.
"It was one of those games you don't forget," Larsen said. "To come back and score five goals is pretty great. To score 10 goals in the final two games of the Region IV tournament is pretty impressive."
Against Sereno, the Slammers were tied 1-1 at the half thanks to a goal from McBean. But the Slammers erupted with four goals in the second half.
Waymire gave the Slammers a 2-1 lead in the 46th minute. McBean later scored in the 51st and 77th minute for his hat trick. Ethan Morrow closed out the scoring in the 80th minute.
The Slammers' girls' under-19 team reached the title match, where it lost to the South Alameda Northstars, 3-2, in overtime.
Mia Bruno of the Slammers scored in the 87th minute to tie it up, 1-1, and send it into overtime. The Northstars scored twice, in the 112th and the 115th minute, to go up 3-1.
Mary Schmidt scored in the 119th minute for the Slammers.
Larsen said his Slammers' girls' under-17 team qualified for the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship because the squad finished second in the national league.
Corona del Mar High players Lindsey Luke and Kaylee O'Connor are on the team.
— From staff reports