State Cup semifinal exit for local club soccer teams

PLAYING UPHILL: The Shreveport United 03 boys, coached by Rob Jump, had to play a man down in the state semifinals but competed valiantly.

By DAVID ERSOFF, Journal Sports

Shreveport United 03 girls and boys teams both fell in the semifinals of the Louisiana State Cup soccer tournament Saturday morning in Baton Rouge.

SU 03 girls lost to eventual State Cup winner Baton Rouge Black, 4-1. With two key starters unavailable and a third limping in with a hurt foot, SU 03 found the task tall even before the opening whistle.

Baton Rouge went up early with a solid goal and a penalty kick. Shortly before halftime, Emily Moffett sent a beautiful pass to Khiana Roraback that she was able to put past the keeper to cut the lead in half, 2-1. Momentum seemed to shift to Shreveport.

But early in the second half, the assistant referee put up his flag for an apparent Baton Rouge foul. Though a foul seemed obvious to the local fan base, the center referee waved it off. One pass later and the score was 3-1.

Coach Gil Roraback argued his case to no avail. Baton Rouge then played a defensive formation and ‘parked the bus,’ which equates to having 10 or more players between the ball and their own goal. As Shreveport tried to push everyone up to get back in the game, Baton Rouge added an insurance goal for the 4-1 final.

This marked the end of this team’s run in club soccer; it won a state title in 2019 and went to the US Club soccer nationals in 2021.

Shreveport United 03 boys were defeated by top-seeded LA Fire Navy 6-1. Odds were against them early in the week when it appeared they would only have 11 players for the game, meaning no break for any players. Two hours before game time, the outlook worsened as a player’s nagging injury left him unable to play. This put the team down a man for the entire game.

Things started with LA Fire taking advantage of an overwhelming time of possession to build an early 3-0 lead. The bright spot came for Shreveport when Juan Gomez Carrion scored the team’s lone goal with an assist from Emiliano Garduno to make the score 4-1 at half.

Shreveport showed signs of life even being a man down. They were able to hold LA Fire to two goals in the half, resulting in the 6-1 final. Keeper Marc DeLeon made 12 saves in the game, worthy of the team’s MVP for the game.

Next up for the Louisiana Soccer Association State Cups is the U11 and U12’s, known as the Bob Abbott Cup, April 9-10 in Baton Rouge. There will be four boys and three girls local teams vying for state titles at different competitive levels. Look for our preview during the week leading up to the event.