06/02/10 — WYSA squad punches ticket to Southeast Regional

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WYSA squad punches ticket to Southeast Regional

By From staff reports
Published in Sports on June 2, 2010 1:47 PM

GREENSBORO -- Expect an Explosion in Oklahoma.

Six Wayne County players helped the WYSA '92 Explosion boys Classic team clinch a berth in the U.S. Youth Soccer Association President's Cup Southeast Regional.

Gregory Alexander, Tyson Pearson, Jason Horne, Nick Bowden, Patrick Schultze and Chase Thompson played critical roles as the Explosion claimed the Kepner Cup U17 boys state championship. The group punched their ticket to Broken Arrow, Okla., which will play host to the 16-team regional June 10-13.

"They're an extremely talented group that has been valuable to what we've been able to do (this season)," said Explosion coach Matt Akins. "They've been just as valuable as my Wilson group as far as depth, and the commitment they have show has been outstanding.

"They're always willing to get better and do what they can to get better."

The Explosion (10-4-1 overall) started Cup play with a 4-0 decision over the Yadkin Crush. Alexander and Pearson hooked up for all four goals with Alexander recording his natural hat trick (three straight goals) during a 12-minute stretch in the opening half.

Pearson finished off the Crush in the 47th minute.

"Tyson is the catalyst of our offense and a lot of it goes through him," said Akins. "He sets the tone and is going to win every headball that goes into the air. He and Greg, of late, have really gotten on the same page and are playing extremely well together.

"They're both unselfish."

Pearson, Alexander, Bowden, Thompson and Omar Chahid accounted for the Explosion's offense in their semifinal-round victory.

The Explosion clinched the Cup with a 3-0 triumph over the Triangle United Soccer Association Gold. Keeper Rob Brown recorded 10 saves in goal and got tremendous help from defenders Schultze, Phillip Packard, Ben Bradley, Clayton Stakes and Kyle Lewis.

"Patrick has been the heart and soul of this defense for three years," said Akins. "His heart, energy and leadership on the field definitely helped us in the final four this weekend."

The Explosion will face the Georgia Silverbacks, Mississippi Royals and Brentwood (Tenn.) during pool play in the Southeast Regional. The top finisher in each pool advances to the final four, and the survivor earns a berth in the national tournament.