Botafogo Repeats as Region II Champions!
Team Chicago Academy-Botafogo claimed back-to-back USYS Region II Championship titles with a 2-1 victory over FC United. The win avenged Botafogo’s 2-1 loss to FC United in the IYSA State Cup Final 2 weeks ago, which was the team’s only loss in the 2012-13 season thus far.
While Botafogo dominated possession and chances from the beginning it was FC United who struck first in the 13th minute on a wonderful strike from 25 yards out. However, Botafogo kept pressing and 7 minutes later left-back Dana Miller made a commando-raid up the left flank and scored off the far post from a near-impossible angle. Meegan Johnston and Ashley Handwork assisted on the goal.
4 minutes before the interval Botafogo got the eventual game-winner after a phenomenal run by U17 call-up Heather Handwork who blew by the FC United right-back and served in a perfect cross across the top of the 6-yard box. Kendall Wilde made a perfectly timed near-post run to draw the goalkeeper and center-back away from the center of the goal-mouth, and another U17 call-up Katie Ciesiulka beat her mark to the ball and scored easily. The goal was the perfect execution of a training ground exercise that the players have spent countless hours on.
In the second half Botafogo still controlled most of the play, and with better finishing, and save for a couple of great stops by the FC United goalkeeper, Botafogo could have run away with the game. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, so the last 10 minutes became a bit nerve-wracking, but the girls held strong and came away with a very deserved Regional Championship.
Next up for Botafogo will be the USYS National Championships in Overland Park, Kansas on July 23rd-28th. The two 4-team brackets will be announced next week along with the game schedule.