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  • The PSC Rangers went 3-1 overall and defeated the Arundel Soccer Association Bobcat 3-1 in the championship game of the Arundel Cup soccer tournament in early October.
    Courtesy photo
    The PSC Rangers went 3-1 overall and defeated the Arundel Soccer Association Bobcat 3-1 in the championship game of the Arundel Cup soccer tournament in early October.

PSC U15 Rangers Win Arundel Cup Championship

Colin Murphy
View Bio
October 16, 2017

The Pasadena Soccer Club U15 Rangers boys soccer team went 3-1 over the weekend of October 7-8 to claim the championship of the Arundel Cup tournament.

A pair of clutch playoff performances led the Rangers to the tournament title. The PSC roster of forwards Stephen Sutton, Jairo Munguia and Ryan Loundsbury; midfielders Timoteo Valles, Alex Contreras, Tony Blaszczyk, Cooper Dove, Jasper “JC” Cavin and Geo Reyes; backs Mason Huddy, Keenan Kopf, Lizardo Reyes, Stuart Piccoli, Daniel Gensler and captain William Baysic; and goalkeeper/captain Maxx Gray handily defeated Cape St. Claire 6-0 in its opening game, and despite falling to the Arundel Soccer Association Bobcats 2-1 in their next contest, still made the playoff cut.

In the semifinal round, PSC needed overtime and penalty kicks to defeat the Severna Park Thunder 2-2 (4-2 on penalties) and advance to the final.

Head coach Steve Thompson, who coaches with assistants Matt Blaszczyk and Rich Piccolo, credited Gray’s goalkeeping with “saving the club and putting us in the finals” and noted the scoring of Sutton (four goals), Munguia (three goals) and Blaszczyk (one goal) over the team’s first three games.

The final yielded a rematch with the ASA Bobcats, a welcome challenge for a team the Rangers knew they could beat.

“I think the turning point for the tournament was when we lost to the Bobcats in the first game,” said coach Thompson. “The team saw that they could beat them, and if not for an extremely awesome goal in the second half, we could have tied or even won. I kept telling them that everyone in this tournament was beatable, and we can win this.”

Sure enough, the team came out and took control of the final. Baysic put a direct kick in the upper left corner of the goal to open the scoring in the second half, and Sutton was fouled from behind on a breakaway to earn a penalty, which PSC converted for a 2-0 lead. Despite earning a red card on the play, the shorthanded Bobcats nonetheless capitalized on intense pressure to score and pull to within 2-1, but Loundsbury embraced the role of “back post vulture” late in the game, pouncing on a cross by Munguia at the back post to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead with five minutes to play.

The defense locked up and the team controlled the ball to seal the 3-1 victory and the tournament championship.

Thompson said the team and players have shown a lot of progress over the past couple seasons since forming five years ago and winning only a game or two each season in their first few years together. The Rangers are 3-1-1 in league play and had won three straight victories going into the Arundel Cup Tournament.

“The kids have worked hard and practiced off season to get better, and it has shown this season,” Thompson said. “I’ve worked with some of these kids since 2015 and have watched them develop as players. To see their faces when they knew they won the finals is the reason why the three of us coach. … The team believed they could win every game and then started to do it.”

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