Bavarian SC put on an impressive display at the U.S. Adult Soccer Association Region II Amateur Cup last weekend in Saginaw, Mich., allowing just one goal in four matches to win the regional title and earn a spot in the national semifinals.
The Bavarians won all of their games in the five-team, round-robin competition – it was scheduled to feature six teams, but FC Indiana didn't show up for the event – and finished two games ahead of three teams in the final standings.
The four-team USASA national Amateur Cup tournament will be hosted by one of the qualifying teams from Aug. 5 to 7; Bavarians manager Pat Hodgins said the club will bid to hold the event at its Heartland Value Fund Stadium in Glendale.
Goalkeeper Jim Jones (Kenosha Tremper/Cardinal Stritch) posted three clean sheets at regionals, as he and the backline of Brett Dietz, Marquette's Danny Jarosz (Milwaukee Marquette), Luke Goodnetter (Brookfield East/UW-Milwaukee) and Greg Rosenthal (UW-Milwaukee) consistently thwarted opposing attacks.
"Our backline has been playing really well," said Hodgins, whose team earned its regional berth by beating North Shore United 5-1 in last month's Wisconsin Amateur Cup final. "They shut down some good teams this weekend."
The Bavarians set the tone for the weekend in their first two matches, beating perennial regional and national contender RWB Adria 1-0 on Friday night and defending Amateur Cup national champion Quinto Elemento 2-1 on Saturday morning.
Andre Francois (Brookfield East/UW-Milwaukee) scored the lone goal in the 10th minute against Adria, and the Bavarians held off the Illinois club despite being without midfielders Tighe Dombrowski (West Allis Hale/UW-Milwaukee) and Logan Andryk (Milwaukee Marquette/MSOE) and losing midfielder Kyle Zenoni (Hartland Arrowhead/UW-Milwaukee) to injury during the match.
"They put a lot of pressure on us and we had to withstand some pretty good chances, but in the end, our guys were able to deal with it," Hodgins said of Adria.
The next day, MSOE's Braden Andryk (Milwaukee Marquette) had both goals against Quinto Elemento, including a last-minute, game-winner to beat the Kansas side. Andryk, the youngest player on the team at 19, ended up with a team-high four goals on the weekend – capping the tournament with a stoppage-time winner in Sunday's 1-0 victory over Michigan's Carpathia Kickers.
"Not only did he have four goals, he had three really important goals," Hodgins said of Braden Andryk, who is heading into his junior season at MSOE in the fall.
Francois, meanwhile, had two goals at the tournament and played a vital role as a target forward.
"Andre's been an important player for us. We play a lot through him and he had a really good weekend," Hodgins said of Francois, who turns 31 later this month. "He deals with center backs, he's a big guy, he gets fouled a lot, but he holds up the ball for us. We ask him to do a lot and this weekend he really came through."
The weekend continued the Bavarians' incredible spring. Their three teams, which play in the Premier League of America and the Wisconsin Soccer Leagues Major and First divisions, are a combined 21-1-2 in 2016 and all lead their leagues.
The Bavarian Majors (11-1-1) close out their regular-season schedule Friday night at home against the Milwaukee Brewers at 7:30 – the Bavarians have won 11 in a row since their lone loss, a 2-1 setback against the Brewers back on Sept. 27. Meanwhile, the club's PLA side (2-0-2) continues West Division play at 2 p.m. Sunday at home against the Minnesota United FC Reserves and the Bavarians Reserves (14-2-2) wrap up their regular season at 6 p.m. Sunday against SB United.
"We've got a lot of momentum right now," Hodgins said. "I think winning the (WSL Major Division) title last year really put things in perspective for some guys, as far as what's out there for us. And we've added some good guys, but we have been playing really well and getting the results.
"It's probably cliché, but we've tried to tell everybody we want to do everything together. We have a group of probably 35 guys that we rotate through the two teams, between Majors and PLA. We ask some guys to play Majors, we ask some guys to play PLA, and so far everybody does it and contributes to our success."
Only one other Amateur Cup semifinalist has been determined: Texas' Legends FC won the Region III title earlier this month in Frisco, Texas. The Region I final between New York's Lansdowne Bhoys FC and Maryland's Christos FC is Sunday in North Wales, Penn., while the Region IV tournament is Saturday and Sunday in Morgan Hill, Calif.
At Saginaw, Mich.
Bavarian SC results
Friday: Bavarian SC 1, RWB Adria 0. Goal – Andre Francois.
Saturday: Bavarian SC 2, Quinto Elemento 1. Goals – Braden Andryk 2.
Saturday: Bavarian SC 3, Ann Arbor FC 0. Goals – Andre Francois, Brett Dietz, Braden Andryk.
Sunday: Bavarian SC 1, Carpathia Kickers 0. Goal – Braden Andryk.
|Carpathia Kickers (Mich.)||2-2-0||6|
|RWB Adria (Ill.)||2-2-0||6|
|Quinto Elemento (Kan.)||2-2-0||6|
|Ann Arbor FC (Mich.)||0-4-0||0|