LUSC U14 boys win championship at Challenger Cup

Tracy Lawler-White
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Shown is the Leavenworth United Soccer Club U14 team following their first-place finish at the Challenger Cup.

Leavenworth United Soccer Club brought home some more hardware last weekend at Stump Park in Shawnee. This time, it was LUSC United U14 boys' turn, led by head coach Andrew Lopez, and assistant coach Timothy Jansen.

The team kicked off the tournament late Saturday morning with a strong 8-0 win over MUSC Nighthawks.

Eight different players (Logan Yandura, Aiden Bonewits, Kellen Slusher, Riley Dilka, Nathan Alexander, Reid Kinney, Isaac Alvis and Jacob Meador) scored goals for United. Jonas Lawler-White, the team’s keeper, came away with the clean sheet.  

Later that afternoon the boys faced Piper SC. The game started off with a bang with three goals in the first five minutes. The first was by forward Andrew Martin followed Alex Sant ’ana with back-to-back goals. Piper answered with two goals of their own making the score 3-2 at the half. Elijah Bennett, Isaiah Lopez and Landon Jansen drove hard for the offense.  Dilka found the back of the net one last time and United’s defense held strong to bring the final score to 4-2.   

United opened Sunday against KC Fusion 07. Olivias. Bonewits and Sant ‘ana were the dynamic duo as Sant ‘ana scored first with an assist from Bonewits. Several minutes later Sant ‘ana returned the favor with an assist to Bonewits. Jackson Coleman, Brady Anderson and Owen Kannaday disrupted several of Fusion’s attacks keeping them scoreless in the first half. It was a hard-fought game, and late in the second half Lawler-White had an impressive save that allowed United to seal the win 2-1 and clinch a spot in the championship

The championship game kicked off in the afternoon against KS Rush Storm. The Storm scored quickly, leaving LUSC on the defense from the get-go. Shortly after, Bonewits’s corner kick found Sant ‘ana for the equalizer.

Sant ‘ana lofted one in and Martin scored with a beautiful header for the go-ahead goal. In the final minutes of the second half, the Storm sunk an unstoppable goal to even up the score.

With no score after overtime, the game went to a penalty kick shootout. Sant ‘ana and Bonewits made the first two PKs look easy. Kobe Yasin stepped up as keeper to block Storms’ first attempt, making the tally 2-0.

The Storm was able to get one past Yasin in their second attempt, but missed their remaining shots, giving United the gold.