Although it fell short of its ultimate goal, the Blast FC 15-and-under boys soccer team still was pleased.

Although it fell short of its ultimate goal, the Blast FC 15-and-under boys soccer team still was pleased.

The Blast finished 0-2-1 in the US Youth Soccer National Championship, which ran July 22 through last Saturday.

The event was played at Citizens Bank Fields at Progin Park in Lancaster, Mass., outside of Boston.

"I told the kids to hold their heads up high," coach Lesh Shkreli said. "This is an experience that a lot of people would like to have. I know it's nice to win it, but sometimes you just have to have this experience and take it and see what you are going to do about it next season. Are you going to come back and have your dream come true?"

Baltimore Casa Mia Bays 94 of Maryland defeated Sereno 94 White of Arizona 2-0 in the championship game last Saturday.

The Blast concluded the season with a 28-5-4 record.

"I'm very happy," midfielder/forward Alec Everts said. "We deserved to make it here. We played the best in the nation. Now we know how to play next year and what we need to do, and learn from our mistakes."

"I know we can play with anybody," Shkreli said.

"The experience was very good for the kids, but I think they were shocked because of the speed and the whole situation was another level."

The Blast finished fifth behind Baltimore Casa Mia Bays 94 (2-0-1, 7 points), Sereno 94 White (2-1, 6), Grand Rapids Crew Juniors (2-1, 6) and Spirit United Celtic of Pennsylvania (2-1, 6), and ahead of SCSA 93 Gold of North Carolina (0-3, 0).

Sereno 94 earned a spot in the title game because of a larger goal differential.

"We could have done better, but I'm still pretty happy that we got this far," midfielder Shane Facemyer said. "The competition was really tough. There were no weak teams in the tournament."

The Blast opened the tournament with a 4-0 loss to Sereno 94 White on July 22. The game was scoreless at the half. Blast keeper Peter Stoll made five saves.

The Blast bounced back the following day to tie Baltimore Casa Mia Bays 94 at 1.

Joshua Saunders opened the scoring midway through the first half before Baltimore Casa Mia Bays tied the game late in the half.

Stoll made 19 saves.

Baltimore Casa Mia Bays defeated the Blast 2-0 in the Disney Soccer Showcase title game in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 30.

Saunders again gave his team a 1-0 lead against Grand Rapids Crew Juniors last Friday, but the Michigan team scored twice in the final 15 minutes to pull out a 2-1 win.

Stoll recorded 10 saves.

"It was a very tough loss," Shkreli said. "We kind of had no legs in the last 15 minutes. We made a couple of mistakes and they scored."

The teams battled to a 2-2 tie in a Midwest Regional League game May 2.

After dropping a 2-0 decision to Team Ohio in a State Cup semifinal May 16, the Blast caught fire on their way to a Regional Cup crown and berth in the nationals.

"I think we can get back next year," Facemyer said. "We just have to keep training hard."