Of the six area soccer teams that competed in the Midwest Regional Cup from June 22-27 in Westfield, Indiana, only one returned home with a championship.
The Club Ohio Under-16 Green 1 boys team capped a memorable tournament by defeating REV Academy Black of Minnesota 1-0 in a final June 27.
Matthew McLaughlin of Cleveland St. Ignatius scored the game's lone goal in the second half.
Club Ohio U16 Green 1 went 2-0-1 in group C pool play, defeating CFJ City 2002 Pre-Academy of Illinois 7-0 on June 22 and DASC Black 1 of South Dakota 5-0 on June 23 before tying Indiana Elite FC 2002 Premier at 2 on June 24.
Making its second consecutive regional appearance, Club Ohio U16 Green 1 defeated Midwest United FC 2002 Royal of Michigan 6-1 in a semifinal June 26.
Club Ohio U16 Green 1 trailed Indiana Elite FC 2002 Premier 2-0 late in regulation before tying the game on goals by St. Ignatius' Kyle Folds and Gahanna's Blaine Martin.
"We were pretty much a minute away from going home and they just kept fighting, they just kept believing that we could get it done," coach Mike Lawrence said. "When we scored the first one we had some extra time and we had some chances and we finally got it. That helped us in the championship game when things were getting tight and tough."
McLaughlin and forward Chris Guerra of Worthington Kilbourne both finished the tournament with three goals.
Regional champions in each age group advanced to the U.S. Youth Soccer Association National Championships to be held July 24-28 in Frisco, Texas.
The only other area team to reach a final was the Ohio Premier U18 NL boys squad, which went 4-1 despite missing two key players for most of the tournament.
OP U18 NL won its first four games without allowing any goals before losing to the Michigan Jaguars 00 Green 1-0 in the final. The Jaguars, who also won a regional title last year, scored the game's lone goal in the first half.
OP U18 NL lost midfielder Noah Boffo of New Albany to an ankle injury during the final game of pool play and defender Jonah Kuntz of Thomas Worthington to a leg injury in the early stages of the opening game.
"It was tough, but we do have good players," said coach Alan Yost, the men's coach at Capital University. "The players just had to step up and play more time and be more impactful."
Yost said Hilliard Bradley's Jacob Castro and Marysville's Mason Taylor split time in goal throughout the tournament and both played well. Castro is a West Virginia recruit.
"The hardest part accepting a loss is we felt like we could have won," Yost said. "We felt like at times we were the better team. I don't want to discredit the Jaguars, but I felt like we were the better team. They can hold their chins up knowing that they were in the semifinals last year, they were in the final this year. ... It's a life lesson through sports."
OP U18 NL opened group D pool play with a 1-0 win over Lou Fusz Soccer Club Geerling of Missouri on June 22, followed by wins over Westside United Elite of Indiana (3-0) on June 23 and NFC Blue 00 of Nebraska (4-0) on June 24.
OP U18 NL then defeated St. Louis Gallagher Elite 2000 1-0 in a semifinal June 26.
Boffo and midfielder/forward Drew Fischer of New Albany both scored two goals in the tournament to lead the team offensively, while defender Owen Sullivan of St. Charles played a key role in its defensive effort.
"We played pretty well," Sullivan said. "We only gave up one goal the whole tournament, so we were pretty good defensively. ... Even though we lost a few players, we had the camaraderie to help cover those spots and work harder and just cover more space to get those wins."
Also competing at regional
The Club Ohio U17 Green 1 boys team reached a semifinal before losing to SLSG Elite 01 of Missouri 2-1 on June 26.
Making its third consecutive regional appearance, Club Ohio U17 Green 1 went 2-1 in group D pool play, losing to Sporting Omaha FC 01 Elite of Nebraska 5-2 on June 22 before rebounding to defeat KHA 01 Red of Cincinnati 5-1 on June 23 and Raiders FC of Illinois 5-4 on June 24.
Forward Ludwig Conrad led the team with five goals and midfielder Jaggar Brooker scored four. Both attend Olentangy Liberty.
Both Club Ohio Green 1 teams were coached by Lawrence with assistance from Steve Dawson.
Classics Eagles Red U18 girls coach Mary Seiffert was pleased with her team's effort, as it finished 1-1-1 in group C pool play.
The Eagles opened with a 2-1 loss to Maple Brook Fury of Minnesota on June 22 before tying Sporting Omaha FC Elite 2000 of Nebraska at 2 on June 23 and defeating Kentucky Fire Juniors 4-0 on June 24.
Forwards Delaney Earl of Olentangy Orange and Abby Townsend of Liberty and midfielder Madi Rennie of DeSales each scored two goals in the tournament.
"They worked really hard for this," Seiffert said. "I told them how proud I was of them and how I'm excited to see what they're going to do in life, both on and off the field. It was a little emotional, but it was good that we were able to end with a win."
The Classics Eagles Red U15 boys team went 0-3 in group B pool play, getting outscored 12-1.
The Eagles lost to Lexington FC 2003 BW of Kentucky 2-0 on June 22, the Milwaukee Bavarians of Wisconsin 6-0 on June 23 and Kalamazoo Kingdom SC 2003 Red of Michigan 4-1 on June 24.
Defender Charles Debolt of Orange scored the Eagles' lone goal.
The Classics Eagles Red U13 boys team also returned home without a win, going 0-3 in group A pool play and getting outscored 9-1.
The Eagles lost to Javanon 2005 Black of Kentucky 3-1 on June 22, Soccer Nation Academy 2005 of Kansas 2-0 on June 23 and St. Louis Soccer Gallagher SC Elite 2005 4-0 on June 24. Jacob Ebby scored the team's lone goal.