The Newport Beach-based Slammers FC under-16 boys' team experienced some high drama, yet still advanced to Sunday's title match of the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in Overland Park, Kan.
The Slammers, who feature Corona del Mar High players Jack McBean, Mason Case, Connor Gaal, Jack Gorab and Greg Allen, lost to RSL Florida, 1-0.
They needed a win to reach the title match, but after the loss they were hoping Grand Rapids Crew of Michigan would lose. Slammers Coach George Larsen, also the head man of the CdM boys' soccer team, said his players were waiting near the field to see the result.
Waza FC Black of Michigan defeated Grand Rapids Crew, 2-1. Grand Rapids needed the win to advance. The Slammers and Waza tied with six points, but the Slammers advanced because they won the head-to-head matchup.
The Slammers will meet RSL Florida, once again in the final.
"It's been a great year, so far," Larsen said in a telephone interview. "Over 10,000-plus teams started the process of this competition and for us to reach the final that says a lot about the team and what they have accomplished. To make the final it's a big deal … I know that they are looking forward to playing these guys again. We feel like we can play with these guys."
Larsen said Gorab played well Saturday. Gorab started at center back, then he was moved to right and finally ended up front when the Slammers were trying to find the equalizer. Allen also played center back, while Gaal also performed well as the goalie, Larsen said.
However, Case sustained a hip injury and his status is questionable for Sunday's final, Larsen said.
"His status going into the final will definitely have an impact," Larsen said. "He's been outstanding."
RSL Florida has a player who can throw nearly 40 yards from the sideline, Larsen said. That's how RSL Florida scored after the ball landed near the goal and the Slammers tried to clear it.
Larsen has also been coaching the Slammers girls' under-17 team. The girls, who opened with two losses, ended tournament play with a 2-1 win over the Syosset Sting 92 Elite of New York. Syosset advanced to the title match and will play against the So Cal Blues.
— From staff reports
Chin Makes Cut at event
UC Irvine men's golf alumnus John Chin will play the weekend after making the cut at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational at The Ohio State University Scarlet Course in Columbus.
Chin shot a three-over-par 74 in Friday's second round to sit in 46th place at even-par 142 after 36 holes, while Michael Putnam, with a 69, leads the field at six-under 136. Seventy-two players made the cut, which came at one-over 143.
Chin, a 2010 All-American, Palmer Cup competitor and three-time Big West Conference Golfer of the Year, begins his third round off the first tee today at 5:48 a.m. (PT).
— From staff reports