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It's a Rogue Valley finale

A pair of local teams will battle it out for U-19 crown

Challengers came from all over the west this weekend to unseat the Rogue Valley Soccer Club's 19-and-under teams at their own tournament.

But at the end of pool play, two local teams were the ones left standing.

After two days and four matches, the RVSC United stand atop the U-19 boys standings at 4-0, and their rivals, the RVSC Centaurs are 3-0-1; both advance to today's 10 a.m. final at North Medford High School.

On Sunday, United fended off teams from Puyallup, Wash., and Carson City, Nev.

— We were going against some very talented teams, said United coach Randy Struckmeier. We knew we were in the hunt, and we slipped through.

United's true test came in their final match of pool play against a fierce Chivas team from Carson City. Tied at 1-all in the closing minutes, North Medford High senior Richard Snapp drove through four Chivas defenders and found Roseburg's Erik Fabrizius, who scored the game-winner.

Erik has been awesome for us this weekend, Struckmeier said. That was his fourth goal of the day and sixth of the tournament.

Fabrizius scored United's first goal against Chivas on an assist from South Medford's Corey O'Neill.

United won their opener, their second 8 a.m. game in as many days, 4-1 over the South Hills Revolution.

Fabrizius scored United's first two goals, each on assists from North Medford players. The first from David Struckmeier, the other from Richard Snapp.

South's Andrew Egan and Spencer Hunter added insurance goals.

Goalkeeper Tomas Iboa, a senior at Crater, has allowed only two goals all tournament for United.

I couldn't be more pleased with my guys, Struckmeier said. They're a great group of kids.

The wins set up a rematch with the RVSC Centaurs, who won and tied Sunday. The United won the winter premier league by defeating the Centaurs 3-2.

After tying Chivas 2-all in their opener, the Centaurs knew they needed a win to advance to the finals.

It was nice knowing that our destiny was in our own hands, Centaurs' coach Mason Hansen said. It was a must win and we responded.

The Centaurs jumped out to a 5-0 lead after only 19 minutes against the SBSC Revolution and cruised to 6-nil victory in their nightcap game.

Crater senior Erich Hangartner scored in the sixth and 17th minutes. Only a minute after Hangartner's second goal, South Medford's Daniel and Kevin Potter each scored chip-shot goals for a 5-0 lead.

Roberto Ramos closed out scoring in the 43rd minute with a shot from 15 yards out.

We took care of business, Hansen said. They played well this afternoon, as they have all weekend.

The Centaurs led Chivas 2-1 in the final minute, but the Carson City team tied the game with 30 seconds to play.

Rick Ferguson and Fabian Garcia-Flores scored goals for the Centaurs.

Today's final takes place at Hoffbuhr Field.

It will be a good one, said United coach Randy Struckmeier. We've beaten them once, but this isn't over. We have a large task ahead of us.

Said Hansen: We're looking forward to playing (United). We lost in the regular season, which is giving our boys a little motivation.

Girls

U19 STORM ADVANCES ' The RVSC Storm U19 team picked up two victories Sunday to finish pool play 4-0 and advance to today's 10 a.m. championship match.

The Storm opened play Sunday with a last-minute, 1-0 victory over FC Aanvallen of Auburn, Wash., and a convincing 7-0 triumph over Blackhills FC of Lacey, Wash.

The RVSC Storm plays ????.

North Medford High junior Amber Wihtol found the net with eight minutes to play on a direct kick in the opening game.

In the final match of the day, the Storm cruised to a 4-0 lead behind South Medford senior Courtney Quinowski's hat trick.

Fellow Black Tornado senior Karen Thiebes added another score in the opening 30 minutes to give RVSC a comfortable advantage.

Klamath Union senior Jenna Fay put home a pair of goals and Ashland's Sylvia VanAusdal added another in the second half.

Today's title match marks the end of an era for the Storm.

The RVSC team has won six Rogue Valley Cup titles in eight years at the event and will call today's match its last as a team.

It's ours for the taking, if the girls want it, said Storm coach Grant Bryant. I think the girls really want to go out winners.

Centaurs? Luis Cabrera, center, squeezes the ball between a pair of Revolutionary defenders in a U-19 semifinal game at the Rogue Cup Valley Cup. Mail Tribune / Andrew Mariman - Mail Tribune Andrew Mariman