Southern Indiana will be well represented when the final stages of the Kentucky State Open Cup take place in Bowling Green on June 2 and 3.
Many made it through the preliminary round with their respective teams in scorching conditions in Owensboro at the weekend.
One of the best results came via Mockingbird U15 girls, a team featuring the Southern Indiana trio of Jordan Reger, Alyssa Jones and Maggie O’Farrell.
The girls caused a major upset when beating Javanon, ranked No. 1 in Kentucky and a semifinalist at the Region II tournament last year.
They then beat Nelson Elite Laser, also by a 2-0 scoreline, and CSC ‘97 3-0 to ensure a place in the last four.
Reger and Jones were members of Providence’s Indiana State winning team in the fall, while O’Farrell plays with Floyd Central.
Despite several injuries this season, the team has made steady progress, placing second in their first season in the Midwest Regional League.
As it turns out, they will again play against Javanon, the best of the bracket runners-up, in the semifinal on Saturday.
No. 1-ranked Mockingbird ’94 girls also has a large influence from the area, with the foursome Casey Marlin, Rebekah Burgan, Taylor Patty (out with knee injury) and Lauren Haley amongst the squad.
The team breezed into finals weekend with preliminary round victories over Thoroughbreds (3-0) and Owensboro United (6-0). They will take on CKSC Lightning in the semifinal on Saturday.
Another team worth mentioning in the same age group is Javanon ’94 girls, a group featuring no fewer than eight locals. They just missed out on a place at next week’s finals with a win (Atletico Flames, 2-1), a tie (Lexington FC, 0-0) and a loss (CKSC Lightning, 1-0).
The squad includes Loryn Queen, Cassie Holland, Cylie Miller, Lydia Kost, Christine Clark (Floyd Central), Taylor Little, Kaelin Blessinger (New Albany) and Taylor Davis (Jeffersonville).
No.1-ranked Javanon ’96 girls, featuring Lauren Wyatt and Mackenzie Fell (Floyd Central), and Kasey Wallace (Providence), beat Owensboro United (9-0), KSA Select (6-0) and KSA Elite (6-0). They will now play Mockingbird in the last four of the U16 tournament on Saturday morning (8 a.m.).
Javanon U17 girls, featuring Providence’s Leah Mattingly, won all three games, beating Mockingbird (2-0), Nelson Elite (7-1) and United 1996 (3-0). Hoping for a fifth state title, the girls will play CSC ’95 Gold in the first semifinal on Saturday.
United 1996 U17 International boys’ team, features Providence’s Pierce Crawley and it beat Mockingbird 4-0 on Saturday, with Crawley netting the third goal, before securing their place at finals weekend with a 7-0 thrashing of West Kentucky United Orange Stealth (with Crawley scoring another) and a 2-0 win over Thoroughbreds. They will play Bluegrass SC in the semifinal.
Another heading to Bowling Green is Floyd Central defender Varun Alse, who is part of the Javanon ’96 Black team which beat Bluegrass 2-0 on Saturday and Sky 96 4-0 Monday morning.
Meanwhile, five Southern Indiana players — Tyler McGeorge, Parker Davidenkoff, Henok Jones (Floyd Central), Andrew Kennedy (Lanesville) and Grant Hollkamp (Collegiate) — played with Mockingbird ’97.
They managed to tie two tough games against United 1996 (0-0) and title-holders Lexington (1-1), but it was Lexington who moved on after beating United 2-0.
Javanon ’95 also just missed out, winning their first two games against Commonwealth SC (4-0) and Owensboro United (1-0), before losing to Bluegrass (2-0). The team includes Brian Fischer, Luis Arradondo and Erik Martinez (Jeffersonville), Stephen Tuma (Home School Union), Daniel Martinez (Clarksville) and Kyle Daughtery (Madison Shawe).
Another team who will not be at the Kentucky State Open Cup finals is six-time champion Javanon ’94 boys, featuring Jordan Vejar (Jeffersonville), Matt Kelecy (Floyd Central) and Nick Blackwell (New Albany).
The team was ejected from the U18 tournament for fielding a suspended player in a preliminary game against United 1996 International, which they won 11-1.
However, Kentucky Youth Soccer Association later informed Javanon ’94 of their disqualification for fielding a player — Kentucky’s 2011 Mr. Soccer John Manga — who was ineligible due to a suspension picked up at last year’s U.S. Youth Soccer Region II championship.
His red card against Grand Rapids Crew of Michigan in their 2-1 semifinal defeat carried through to the first game of this year’s state tournament.
Javanon had considered appealing the decision, but Kentucky Youth Soccer Association told “Kick It” last week that the team had informed them they would not be moving forward with an appeal to the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Committee.
The Kentucky State Open Cup is part of the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship series for teams from U13 to U19. Winners advance to the Midwest Regional Championship, to be held this year in Saginaw, Michigan from June 23 to 27.