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U19G Win 2nd Straight MYSA State Cup Championship
U14G Blue, U14B, and U15B Fall in Championship Games

The HYSA Arsenal U19G Blue team won their second consecutive MYSA State Cup Championship on Sunday, defeating Electric City SC (Great Falls) 3-2 and capping a great weekend for Helena's Arsenal teams at the Montana club soccer state championship tournament in Billings. This was the 4th time this season that Arsenal and ECSC have met and the 8th time in the last two seasons, including last year's MYSA Championship game. All four games this year were either tied or decided by a single goal. On Sunday, after giving up an early goal, Arsenal responded with three unanswered goals in 20 minutes to take a commanding 3-1 lead into halftime. Stout defense and quality possession play maintained Arsenals advantage until ECSC pulled a goal back late in the game, but it was too little too late and Rick Sparks' team celebrated at the whistle, just as they did in Great Falls last June. The U19G finished the regular season with a 10-1-1 record and went a perfect 4-0 this weekend to finish with an MYSA record of 14-1-1 for the year. The girls defeated Ravalli United (Hamilton) 6-0, and Polson FC 2-0 in pool play, Polson FC again 3-1 in the semi-finals before meeting ECSC in the finals.

Three other Arsenal teams all fell in championship games on Sunday as well, finishing as State Cup runners-up. The U14B, U14G, and U15B were all playing in their second straight state championship game as well, with the U15B looking to defend their 2013 state championship. Cuyler Tonkovich's team went down 2-0 early but battled back against a tough Magic City SC (Billings) team, making it 3-2 before conceding a late goal while pushing for an equalizer to finish with a 4-2 final. Arsenal lost two close U15/U16 cross-over games to Bozeman Blitzz U16 and Magic City SC U16 4-2 and 2-0, respectively, before beating the Belgrade Rage 3-0 in the semi-finals to advance to the championship game.

For the second straight year, the U14G suffered heartbreak as they fell in a penalty kick shootout in the championship game. Magic City SC took the title from the spot after a the game went scoreless through two overtime periods. Brooke Mahoney's team actually lost to Magic City 1-0 in group play, but rebounded to beat Electric City SC 8-0 to advance to the semi-finals, where they defeated the Flathead Force (Kalispell) 4-2 to earn a spot in Sunday's championship game.

The U14B, given one of the toughest game schedules in the entire tournament, took it in stride and made their way back into the championship game for the second year in a row. Similar to last year's tournament, the team elected for the hardest road: dropping both group games to Magic City SC 1-0 (Friday night at 7:00 PM) and to Bozeman Blitzz 4-2 (Saturday morning 8:00 AM). Having to play both quarter-final and semi-final games on Saturday afternoon/evening, the boys found themselves as the only team in the entire tournament having to play three games in a single day. Arsenal downed Livingston YSA 4-0 in the quarterfinals before dispatching the same Magic City SC team 2-0 n the semi-finals, setting up a rematch with the Bozeman Blitzz. Saturday's events seemed to take a toll on Diego Rivas' team and Bozeman came out hard and fast to take a 1-0 lead inside of five minutes while cruising to a 5-0 halftime lead. Arsenal regained their composure in the second half while holding Bozeman scoreless and pulling a goal back for a 5-1 final score.

In total, ten Arsenal teams competed over the weekend in Billings with several more teams falling the quarter-finals and semi-finals. Three more Arsenal teams are slated to play in th U12 State Cup later this month in Great Falls, which will cap the competitive spring soccer season in Montana.

Complete results from the MYSA State Cup can be found here.

A brief run-down of Championship games:

Age/Gender/Level Champion Finalist
U13 Boys Championship Missoula Strikers Magic City SC
U13 Girls Championship Magic City SC Bozeman Blitzz
U14 Boys Championship Bozeman Blitzz Helena Arsenal
U14 Boys Select Polson FC Flathead Rapids
U14 Girls Championship Magic City SC Helena Arsenal
U14 Girls Select Flathead Rapids Polson FC
U15 Boys Championship Magic City SC Helena Arsenal
U15 Girls Championship Missoula Strikers Bozeman Blitzz
U16 Boys Championship Flathead Force Magic City SC
U16 Boys Select Kootenai Rapids Electric City SC
U16 Girls Championship FC Missoula Flathead Rapids
U16 Girls Select Bozeman Blitzz Belgrade Rage
U19 Boys Championship Magic City SC Bozeman Blitzz
U19 Boys Select Livingston YSA Flathead Rapids
U19 Boys Classic Big Timber Wolves Red Lodge
U19 Girls Championship Helena Arsenal Electric City SC

 


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