Sports Shorts | July 29, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - July 29, 2011

Sports Shorts

ON THE PITCH . . . The nationally No. 1-ranked Palo Alto 93 Blue has some work to do if the local 18U boys' soccer team has any plans of playing for the championship of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series on Sunday in Phoenix, Ariz. Palo Alto opened play in the four-team, round-robin tournament with a 2-1 loss to defending champion and national No. 2 Alpharetta Rush (Ga.) on Wednesday, despite a last-minute first half goal and a sustained attack in the second half. Alpharetta Rush scored its first goal at 11:10 on a short corner play and scored its second at 29:50 on a steal and a breakaway. At the 46:00 mark, Palo Alto was awarded a free kick from 30 yards out and Riley Hanley scored on a direct kick that beat the keeper cleanly, shortly before the first half ended. To start the second half, Palo Alto shifted to a 4-5-1 to slow down the speedy Georgians and mount an attack up the middle. The tactic worked as Palo Alto carried the run of play and had five good scoring chances, but could not score again. Palo Alto played the YMS Thunder of Yardley (Pa.) on Thursday. Yardley won its opening match, 2-1, over Kansas City on a late goal. The top two teams from the round-robin stage will advance to Sunday morning's title match. The Palo Alto 93 Blue has played together since 2002. This is their first trip to nationals. Palo Alto had to win the Northern California State Championship and the Far West Regional Championship to qualify for the trip to Phoenix. The players are recent high school graduates so this will be their last time playing together as a team. The roster includes

This story contains 546 words.

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