Juneau Soccer Club teams got off to a rough start Monday as play opened at the 2004 U.S. Youth Soccer Far West Regional Championships in Spokane, Wash.
The U-13 Juneau Reign boys lost 7-0 to El Dorado United Crew of Northern California; the U-14 Juneau Xtratuffs girls fell 6-1 to Nevada's Rebels Select Red; and the U-15 Juneau Jaguars boys lost 4-0 to Utah's Sparta Premier.
Juneau teams were not alone in their struggles; the 13 Alaska teams at the tournament finished the day a combined 0-11-2.
The Xtratuffs - which last year became the only Juneau team to win a game in tourney history - trailed 3-1 at halftime. Margaret Sekona scored the team's lone goal.
Coach Tom Rutecki said Sekona took a shot that bounced back out into play. After getting knocked down along with a Nevada defender, Sekona managed to get up first.
"There were three players on her, but she got the ball and knocked it in," Rutecki said.
In the second half, the Xtratuffs came out strong and had two strong shots on goal from Isabel Waldman and Jenna Rutecki. But the Nevada goalkeeper made a pair of impressive saves, Tom Rutecki said. Some defensive lapses down the stretch allowed Nevada to pull away. The Rebels had a height advantage and scored three goals off headers.
The Xtratuffs face Colorado Rush Nike (1-0-0) today.
The Jaguars, playing in their third straight regional, trailed just 1-0 at halftime and 2-0 well into the second half before Utah tacked on a couple of late goals.
"We played them pretty square the first half," Jaguars coach Mark Kelley said. "It wasn't a team out of our reach."
Kelley praised the efforts of Jamaal Bailey, Jamie Sekona and Cary Kelly on offense, and Alex Schirmer, Bryan Crowder and Nils Domke for their defense in the box. Utah scored just one of its goals from close range.
The Jaguars play Real Hawaii FC '89 (0-0-1) today.
The Reign, playing in their first region tourney, trailed Northern California 3-0 at halftime.
"We made some mental errors early on," Reign coach Doug Badilla said. "We had some jitters."
Badilla said Reign goalkeeper Conor Lendrum made some "tremendous saves" and played well, in spite of the score. Daniel Stoops put in a good effort at the outside left half position, and Joe Croteau had the team's best scoring chance on a breakaway.
The Reign play the Santa Cruz County Chivitas (1-0-0), another Northern California team, today.
Juneau Empire ©2014. All Rights Reserved.