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U18 Nike Boys at Regionals - Day 3 Update

18sHawaiiAloha and good luck to the Rush Pikes Peak U18 Nike Boys this week as they compete in the USYSA Far West Regionals. Having been crowned State Cup Champions in Colorado, they will now face champions from California North, California South and New Mexico in the first round of play in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The team will join 25 other Rush teams at the tournament for a chance to win the Regional Championship and move on to play for a National Championship. You can follow the results here on the Pikes Peak website and get updated standings by clicking here.

Best of luck to the boys and to all the Rush teams this week!

See below for daily updates on their progress:

Day 1 - Rush Pikes Peak won the first game defeating California North 3-1. The guys played a very good game, giving up very few chances and creating a number themselves.

The first half ended 0-0 and the match was even, with both teams missing a very good chance, but for sure Rush were edging it.

The coaches made a couple of changes which made an immediate impact at the start of the second half.  45 seconds had passed and after some great passing and movement Aaron Archer set the ball for Evan Young about 25 yards from goal and he hit a laser that smashed against the far post and across in to the goal to take the 1-0 lead. 3 minutes later Jared Foulk found the ball about 10 yards in to the opposing half and took off on a mazy run, bypassing 5 of the Cal North defenders before rolling it under the keeper to make it 2-0.

Unfortunately, just 3 minutes after that a free kick conceded on the edge of the area resulted in a goal from Cal North to make it 2-1. The game settled down for the next 25 minutes or so and with about 15 minutes left, Aaron Archer again was provider, drawing a couple of defenders before dropping the ball to Jonah Hady who passed the ball in the goal from 18 yards.

With 10 left one of the Cal North players received a red card for kicking goalkeeper Erich Frey, effectively putting an end to any chance of them getting back on the game.

This leaves the boys at the top of the group after Day 1. Tomorrow they play the California South State Champions, Albion, who beat NM Rush 1-0 today.

Day 2After yesterday's win, Pikes Peak Nike took on Albion of Southern California, currently in the top 5 in the nation. Although the guys knew it would be a tough battle, they were ready and came out to play.

The first 20 minutes showed that Albion would have most of the possession, but really did not threaten the Rush goal too much. A ball in behind their defense from the Rush midfield saw Aaron Archer race on it and slip it past the on rushing keeper for 1-0 lead. The remainder of the half continued in the same fashion, with most of the possession with Albion but Rush staying disciplined and working hard.  Eric Cano tweaked a muscle in his back and had to come out, but this was the only notable negative from the first half.

The second half continued the same way and some pressure out wide allowed a cross to come in from Albion and after a minor scramble the game was tied up at 1-1. The reaction from Rush was good, and pressing forward within 5 minutes Aaron Archer took a solo run into the penalty area where he was brought down.  Aaron stepped up and calmly put the ball away for a 2-1 lead.

This would be the end of the scoring for Rush as Albion that had most of the possession throughout the game; with 3 goals in the space of 15 minutes they jumped out to a 4-2 lead and saw out the game. 

Rush worked hard but did not quite have enough on the day. However, with results going their way, they have put themselves in a good spot to finish as runners up in their bracket. A win tomorrow will confirm a place in the quarter finals, and they could advance with a tie and even a loss.

Day 3 - Going into game three, the boys knew they were up for a challenge. Sitting in the second qualification spot in their group they came up against a New Mexico Rush team that had already lost twice, but could advance with a win and some help from other games. With New Mexico having everything to played for, they left everything they had on the field. Our boys ended up on the wrong side of a 2-0 defeat, leaving them out of the quarterfinals on goal difference, just one goal shy of advancing. Though the defeat was painful, the boys take some solace in the fact that at least it was a Rush team that will be moving on. Congratulations to all the boys and coach Nik Penn for their amazing season!

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