Back to back weekend wins give Arsenal FC’s GU15 berths to New Mexico regionals

Arsenal FC, a professional youth soccer organization established in 1988 by local soccer enthusiasts Betty Williams and Steve Lucey, has had unparalleled success in developing multi-skilled, multi-faceted youth soccer players with consistently successful boys and girls teams that compete on a national level and one more of their teams has had much success recently.

The Arsenal FC GU15 team, coached by Sean Bowers, handled a feisty Beach North team 5-0 on Saturday, May 9 in blustery conditions at Lancaster National Soccer Center.

Arsenal FC scored early in both halves and forged a 4-0 lead only 5 minutes into the second half. The balanced attack was led by Emma Vanderhyden’s two goals, with Josie Guinn, Danielle Clark, and Dakota Dantzer each chipping in with a goal.

On Sunday, May 10 the Arsenal squads found themselves in the quarter-finals game which was indeed a roller coaster ride was for all involved. The morning was unusually calm and mild, but the bumpy field was a precursor of what was to come.

Arsenal FC took the opening kickoff and pressured Strikers FC-Whitfield for several minutes that led to a direct-kick goal blasted precisely by Emma Vanderhyden to give Arsenal FC-S Bowers an early 1-0 lead, but then came a shift in momentum and the usual Lancaster winds began. The Strikers took total control for all but a few seconds of the remainder of the half and scored two goals from their left wing. The first half ended 2-1, with the Strikers FC–Whitfield team out in front.

“We returned in the second half with a renewed vigor and regained control,” said team manger Yi-Fen Thompson. “The girls really focused their attack along the spacious flanks and that is where they were very successful.”

Danielle Clark finished two scoring opportunities, the last with about 10 minutes left in regulation. Arsenal FC maintained their composure and kept the ball deep in Strikers FC territory to finish off the win. The Arsenal FC squad had now outscored their opponents 12-2 during the three elimination round games of the 2014 Cal South National Cup. They had also had a balanced attack with no players scoring more than three goals and six different goal scorers during those three games.

This past weekend, the Arsenal FC team from Temecula stayed hot during the 2014 Cal South National Cup semi-finals by avenging one of two loses they were handed in the Coast Soccer League Premier. They topped Albion OC G98 White (formally Tustin G98 White,) the highest ranked team in National Cup, 3-2 to move on to the Championship.

The 2014 National Cup Championship game was played at Rancho Capistrano on Sunday, May 18th against a familiar foe: Legends FC G98.

“This was the third time this year these teams had met, and to make it more intense, a couple of former Arsenal players were playing for Legends FC team,” said Coach Bowers.

The hard-fought game needed extra time to declare the champions, but after 110+ minutes of soccer, Arsenal FC managed to grab the Champions trophy with a 2-1 victory.

“The 2014 Cal South National Cup Champions persevered through the longest tournament of the year with a unified team effort,” exclaimed Thompson.

The 8-game, five weekend tournament saw Arsenal FC outscore their opponents 22-8 and finish with a 7-1 record. The defense was anchored by Cameron Pyles in goal and the four defenders that played almost every minute together included Abigail Nobiensky, Giselle Preciado, Serra Collins, and Taylor Turner. The hardworking midfielders were Cassidy Leake, Dakota Dantzer, Emree Thompson, Gianna Stacy, Marissa McAllister, and Shianne Rosselli. The high-scoring strikers included Danielle Clark (Captain,) Emma Vanderhyden (Captain,) Isabella Bowers (Captain,) Josie Guinn and Samantha Aguilar. And of course the very proud coach, Sean Bowers.

Congratulations to Arsenal FC-S Bowers, the 2014 Cal South National Cup Champions. They are now preparing to challenge the best of the west in the Far West Regional’s (Region IV) Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico in June. They actually earned two berths to the Regional Championships; the first by winning the California Regional League in March, and now by winning Cal South’s National Cup.

Since 2013, the Arsenal FC squad coached by Sean Bowers and Erik Thompson have gained the following accolades: 2013 Surf Thanksgiving GU15 Gold – Semi-finalists (team name Xolos USA GU15), 2013 Coast Soccer Premier GU15 – 2nd Place (team name Xolos USA GU15), 2013 Blues Cup GU15 Premier – Semi-finalists (team name Xolos USA GU15), 2013 National Cup – Round 16, 2013 FWRL Spring League – Semi-finalists, 2013 Arsenal Winter Classic GU14 Emirates – Champions 2014 National Cup GU15 – Champions, 2014 California Regional League GU15 – Champions – Undefeated, 2014 Player’s Showcase 2014 – GU15 Cosmopolitan Semi-finalists.

Competitive Arsenal FC teams start at Under 8 and continue through Under 19. Arsenal competes in US Soccer’s Development Academy, the Elite Club’s National League, the Southern California Developmental Soccer League, Far West Regional League and the Presidio Soccer League. All Arsenal FC players are given the opportunity to participate and compete in all competitions the club offers.

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