> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
The preliminary stages of the Indiana State Cup, Presidents Cup and Challenge Cup were held at various locations during the weekend and featured delight and heartbreak in varying measures for Southern Indiana sides.
The performance of the weekend came courtesy of Southern Indiana United U17 Renegade, which went through its Challenge Cup preliminary bracket with a 100 percent record and reached the final stages for the second successive year.
Jonathon Eade's charges, which comprise players from six different local high schools, dismissed SEI United 6-1on Saturday before overcoming Three Lions FC 1-0 and Evansville 2-0 on Sunday.
They will now move onto finals weekend, which takes place from June 8-10 at Lawrence Soccer Complex in Indianapolis.
SIU's two other Challenge Cup participants just missed out on joining Renegade.
U12 Revolution, coached by Robert Stevens, won their first two games against Carmel FC (2-0) and FWUSA Citadel (4-2), but lost to eventual Bracket B winner Pike Indy Burn (8-0).
Russ Corby's U14 Storm, meanwhile, beat FWSC '98 Weiss 3-0 in its Saturday opener, and chalked up another win against Fort Wayne Fever (4-0). However, they missed out on a place at finals weekend with a narrow 2-1 loss to Carmel FC on Sunday.
In the Presidents Cup, a middle-tier competition between the State and Challenge Cup levels now in its second year, U16 Net-Surfers came close to securing a finals berth when finishing runner-up in its four-team bracket.
Coach Gary Tanner's girls, currently ranked No. 10 in Indiana by SoccerInCollege.com, recorded a 6-5 victory over SWISA Flame in a preliminary game held two weeks ago. At the weekend, they added a 1-0 victory against South Central SCSA but lost to bracket winners USF Real from East-Central Indiana by a narrow 1-0 margin.
“USF Real scored in the first five minutes, and our defense quickly adapted to their style of play, shutting them down for the remainder of the match,” said Tanner. “We hit the goalpost multiple times, but were unable to put one in.”