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Friday, June 15, 2012
Region IV U18s: Utah team guns for title

By Chris Ackels

For each of the past four years, LaRoca has won the Utah State Cup and earned a spot in the US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships. For each of the past three years, the team made it out of group play and was knocked out in the elimination rounds. This time around, the girls from Utah are taking aim at their first ever regional championship.

“A lot of teams that go to the regional events, they are just happy to be there,” says coach Tim Crompton. “But we’ve been there so many times, that anything less than winning would be a disappointment.”

The Utah State Cup champs also won the Far West Regional League this spring, after coming in second in that league last year. They placed fourth overall in the National League, and have competed in huge national events like the Disney Showcase and Surf Cup.

“We’ve competed in every league, against the best possible competition,” says Crompton. “We have an immense about of respect for the teams we’re going to play [at regionals], but we also know that we’ve had success against many of these teams in the past.”

Last year, LaRoca advanced on a win and two ties, and even the win was by just one goal. Crompton says one of the great things about this team is their ability to play in close games.

“This group is pretty composed,” he says. “They don’t get too rattled in close games because they really believe and they are confident in the system they play.”

LaRoca is led offensively by Youth National Team player Stacy Bair, complimented by Mackenzie Harrison at the forward position. Regional ODP player Shaylee Peterson captains the defense while fellow Region IV ODP player Chansi Crompton runs the midfield.

“These players are of the mindset that they are good enough to win that event, and we’ve felt that way for three years,” says Crompton. “If they go out and they’re able to play at the level they are capable of, they’ll have every opportunity to do that.”

Pre-Event Favorites

Legends SC (Group C) – South California State Champs were also first place in the Far West Regional League last fall
LaRoca (Group A) – These girls won the Far West Regional League this spring, and also have won five straight Utah State cups
Eastside FC (Group D) – Washington State Cup champs also looked good at Surf Cup and the Players Showcase
Beach FC (Group B) – They’ve faired will in the Far West Regional League, placing second on both fall and spring
Central Valley Flames (Group A) – The Cal North State Champs had a great fall last year, can that carry over into a great summer?

Players to Watch

Stacy Bair, LaRoca – National Team Player leads offense
Kodi Lavrusky, Legends FC – National Team Player, Region IV ODP Player
Shaylee Peterson, LaRoca – Region IV ODP Player
Chansi Crompton, LaRoca – Region IV ODP Player
Courtnee Wood, LaRoca – Region IV ODP Player
Rylee Baisden, Legends FC – Region IV ODP Player
Coryn Bajema, Eastside – Region IV ODP Player
Randi Donahue, Eastside – Region IV ODP Player
Kirsten Olson, Eastside – Region IV ODP Player
Dominique Randle, Eastside – Region IV ODP Player
Samantha Witteman, Beach FC – Region IV ODP Player
Victoria Barba, New Mexico Rush Nike – Region IV ODP Player
Sade Akindele, Boulder County Force – Region IV ODP Player
Berkley Gamble, Boulder County Force – Region IV ODP Player
Sarah Schweiss, Predators – Region IV ODP Player, National Team Pool
Cadienne Naquin, SC del Sol – Region IV ODP Player
Laura Glew, SC del Sol – National Team Pool