U14-U19 #NorCalStateCup Quarterfinals State Division Preview
With just eight teams remaining in each division, it’s finally time for the much-anticipated NorCal-hosted rounds of the U14-U19 NorCal Premier Soccer State Cup.
The quarterfinals begin Saturday and Sunday at Davis Legacy Soccer Complex and Turlock Sports Complex, with the winners advancing to the semifinals, set for May 13 at a location to be announced later.
The finals will take place June 3 and 4 at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento.
Of the eight sides left in the U14 Boys State Division, four of them currently occupy spots in the top half of the U14 Boys Champions League. Each will play teams from outside the Champions League this weekend, headlined by first-place CL side Burlingame Soccer Club’s matchup against Spurs FC. South Valley Chivas and Woodside SC are just behind Burlingame in the Champions League standings and will face Valley Surf and Turlock Academica Jrs, respectively. Finally, fifth-place AC Marin take on Santa Clara Sporting in the last quarterfinal.
In the U14 Girls State Cup State Division, just three of the remaining sides play in the U14 Girls ECNL-RL and given that all three are near the bottom of the table, this age group appears wide open for the taking. Of those three, San Juan South are highest in the standings at fifth place and will take on Granite Bay FC. The other two squads in the ECNL-RL, De Anza Force, and Almaden FC, face Stanislaus United and MVLA, respectively. Lastly, Association Football Club are undefeated and running away with the NPL 1 title and are matched up against upstarts El Dorado Hills Soccer Club.
In the lead up to the quarterfinals of the U15 Boys State Division, most of the round of 16 matchups proved to be close affairs, with six being decided by two goals or fewer. Of those that didn’t go down to the last minute, Albion SC Merced booked their passage the most emphatically, hitting the back of the net five times in a shutout victory. Meanwhile, Association Football Club moved into this stage of the competition with a 4-1 win. Those two sides are joined in the last eight by Pajaro Valley United, San Francisco Elite Academy, 1974 Newark FC, IR Academy, Sonoma County Premier, and Clovis Crossfire.
Just six teams remain in the U15 Girls State Division, as two quarterfinals have already been played, meaning Walnut Creek Surf and Stanislaus United are awaiting two more teams to join them in the semifinals. Both Walnut Creek and Stanislaus picked up 4-0 wins in the last eight and will face each other with a trip to the final on the line. The matchups that will be played this weekend are North Coast Futbol Club vs. Modesto Ajax United and Los Gatos United vs. Rocklin FC. The first three of those reached this stage of the competition via close wins, while Rocklin FC cruised to this weekend with a 3-0 victory.
In the U16 Boys State Division, there were a barrage of goals scored in the round of 16, with every match featuring at least three strikes and every team but one scoring. The most impressive result arguably came from Elk Grove Soccer, who put seven in the back of the net en route to qualifying for the quarterfinals. Nearly as impressive were MVLA, who scored five goals, while Sunnyvale Alliance, Clovis Crossfire, Los Gatos United, and Turlock Sports Park each tallied three times. The remainder of the division is rounded out by 1974 Newark FC and Stockton TLJ, who each struck twice in the round of 16.
Other than MVLA’s 5-0 win in the round of 16, every match seemingly came down to the wire, with only two being decided by two goals. The rest, of course, were decided by just one, indicating a level of parity in the U16 Girls State Division that could very well continue through the quarterfinals. California Odyssey and Marin FC each qualified for this stage of the competition after 4-3 barnburners, while Folsom Lake Surf and IR Academy made it through in low-scoring one goal victories. North Coast Futbol Club also advanced to the quarterfinals, but their match was a 3-2 victory in the round of 16. Modesto Ajax United and California Magic round out the list of remaining teams – both qualified for this stage of the tournament via 2-0 victories in the round of 16.
In a rare occurrence, two of the eight teams remaining in the U17 Boys State Division are from the same club: Elk Grove Soccer. Those two squads from just outside of Sacramento reached this stage by scoring 22 goals in a total of four knockout stage games – they’re the two highest scoring teams so far. The pair of Elk Grove teams are joined in the quarterfinals by another area team in El Dorado Hills Soccer Club, and then five Bay Area sides: San Francisco Elite Academy, 1974 Newark FC, Palo Alto SC, Richmond Sol, and Association Football Club.
While three of the round of 16 games in the U17 Girls State Division could qualify as blowouts, the rest of the five went down to the wire with the highlight being Central California Soccer Alliance’s 5-4 victory to reach this round. De Anza Force and Burlingame Soccer Club each also advanced to the quarterfinals thanks to 3-2 victories, while Blackhawks Soccer Club punched their ticket with a 1-0 victory. From there, it was fairly comfortable for Marin FC, who scored a 3-1 victory, while Walnut Creek Surf and South Valley Chivas each lived to see one more round through 3-0 wins. The most resounding victory in the round of 16 came through El Dorado Hills Soccer Club, who delivered a 5-0 thrashing away from home.
Always one of the most unpredictable age groups, the U19 Boys State Division has yet to disappoint this year after a round of 16 full of close games and a plethora of goals. Just two matches didn’t appear particularly close with San Francisco Seals and Revolution FC combining for seven goals in shutout victories to earn spots in the quarterfinals. There they’ll be joined by Sacramento United and Association Football Club, the only other teams to advance via a multi-goal victory. Rounding out the quarterfinalists are Spurs FC, Tahuichi F.C., Blues FC, and California Odyssey, who all posted just a single goal margin of victory in the round of 16.
While the U19 Boys featured mostly close games, the U19 Girls State Division saw many teams advance to the quarterfinals with comfortable victories in the round of 16. MVLA, Manteca Futbol Club, South Valley United, Marin FC, and Sierra Surf each booked their tickets to the next round through multi-goal wins and will look to continue their success this weekend. Joining those five are Folsom Lake Surf, Diablo Valley Futbol Club, and West Coast Soccer, who all advanced, but did so by just a solitary goal.