The '94 AYSES Gold won 1-0 in Tuesday morning's quarterfinal game against a physical Louisiana State Cup team to advance to the semi-finals of the regional tournament. BRSC (Baton Rouge Soccer Club) lost for the second time in three months to the AYSES team but this game was much closer than when the two teams met in Dallas Cup.
BRSC relied on a quick strike offense and physical play to advance to the quarterfinals. Without pressure from BRSC forwards the AYSES were control possession in their end of the field. However, once in BRSC’s half the Louisiana team applied a great deal of pressure to create a counter attack utilizing their speed up top.
For the third time in four games the AYSES were awarded a penalty kick for a foul by the opponent in the box. Once again the opposing goal keeper was able to stop the penalty kick hurting the AYSES chances of scoring early in the first half. A few minutes later Chris Lofton beat the right defender on the edge and shot on goal. The shot was deflected by the BRSC keeper but Ramone Gallegos was able to redirect the ball into the back of the net for what ended up being the only score of the game.
There are four teams left playing for the regional championship and an opportunity to play for the national championship. Florida, which advanced by beating South Carolina 2-1 in overtime will play Charlotte Soccer Club who defeated the Texans Red Team (won premier league which give automatic bye to the regional tournament) in one semi-final game. Tulsa Soccer Club defeated Tennessee 2-0 to advance in the other semi-final against the AYSES.
Coming into the tournament most observers believed the two teams to beat were Florida (Orlando) and Oklahoma (Tulsa). The AYSES will play a Tulsa Soccer Club team they have played twice in the past year but have yet to register a win after losing and tying one against them. Both semi-final games will be at 8:30 EST in Greenville on Wednesday morning with the championship game at the same time on Thursday.