June 9, 2012

U15 Girls Set Final Four at USL Central Champs

By Casey Sherman | LaxMagazine.com | Scoreboard | @uslaxchamps


Oakley Arave of the Cy-Fair Burning Flowers (Texas) scored five goals to lead her team to a 16-2 win over the Texas Outlaws and into the semifinals of the U15 Girls' Division at the US Lacrosse Central Regional Championship Saturday in Arlington, Texas. Sunday is medal day.

©Brad Newton

ARLINGTON, TEXAS -- Ninety-degree temperatures were no match for the dominant play of the four girls’ U15 teams that advanced to the semifinals of the US Lacrosse Central Regional Championship at the Harold Patterson Sports Center on Saturday.

With quarterfinal victories, Sica Lax (Texas), Lonestar Lacrosse (Texas) and Cy-Fair Burning Flowers (Texas) will join top seeded Coyotes Fusion (Colo.) in the semifinals tomorrow as they battle for the gold medal, with an eye on the US Lacrosse U15 National Championships, powered by Lacrosse Unlimited, next month in Orlando.

Coyotes Fusion cruised through three games of pool play, outscoring foes 40-8 in three games to earn the No. 1 seed and a quarterfinal bye in the seven-team field of the event’s U15 Girls’ Division. Coyotes Fusion is attempting to become the second consecutive team from Colorado to win the US Lacrosse Central Regional Championship in Arlington after the Northern Lights did so last year.

Fourth-seeded Sica Lax took an early 8-2 first-half lead over the fifth-seeded Southlake Lady Dragons (Texas) in their quarterfinal, with two goals apiece from PJ Van den Branden and Ryan Licalsi. Head coach Frank Sica, who has one of the more experienced squads playing this weekend, felt confident in his team’s chemistry coming into the weekend and said his team was more focused on winning today.

“We’re getting better every game,” he said.

Southlake turned up its offense in the second half behind the play of midfielder Rowan Bumpass, who scored three consecutive goals for the Lady Dragons, but they could not stop Sica’s consistent offense. Seven players scored to lead Sica to the 14-8 win.

Third-seeded Lonestar Lacrosse utilized its run game to secure a 16-6 victory over sixth-seeded 3D Lacrosse (Colo.) and positioned itself to see another day of tournament play. Midfielder/attacker Cady Roberts notched five goals for Lonestar, with three in the second half. Despite the loss, goalkeeper Grace Abbett racked up 13 saves for 3D Lacrosse.

Oakley Arave’s five goals paved the way to second-seeded Cy-Fair Burning Flowers’ 16-2 win over the Texas Outlaws. The Burning Flowers’ top scorer all season credited her teammates for their 2-1 pool-play record and quarterfinal win.

“We have a really good goalie and positioning on our offense,” she said. “We’re more stick skills, but we know how to play defense and run the ball very well.”

The Outlaws, who had been playing together as a team only since the start of this three-day tournament on Friday, was backed by 17 saves from goalkeeper Christian Erben of Austin. Lia Mouton-Johnson and Bailey Brown recorded the club’s goals.

The semifinal round begins at 8 a.m. Sunday and includes a Houston-area rivalry moved north to Arlington, as Lonestar Lacrosse and the Cy-Fair Burning Flowers collide. Sica Lax faces top-seeded Coyotes Fusion, also at 8 a.m. Each of the three lower seeds will need better luck against the No. 1 seed, which handed them their only losses in pool play.

The championship game will draw at noon.

Updated scores and brackets from the US Lacrosse Central Regional Championship in girls’ U15 and boys’ U11, U13 and U15 play are at uslacrosse.org. Onsite updates on http://www.twitter.com/uslaxchamps.


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