2010 State Games of North Carolina

One last time: United players gathered to watch the season recap video and have one last dinner together Sunday night at New York Pizza.
Watch the 2010 spring season recap in HD!  Relive from Los Angeles all of the way through the gold medal game versus the SISA Heat.   United’s final season recapped in video!

Like old times: Celeste and Zach catch up at the final United team dinner. Click on the picture to see other pictures from the night.

Ethan, Stephen and Colin tie for final AT: Ethan Sheflin, Stephan Pratt and Colin Attarian tied for the final United Assister’s Trophy with six each. Colin and Ethan, both second-time winners, built up their assists over the course of the season. Stephen entered the State Games without any assists but quickly racked up six. The three combined for setting up 18 of United’s goals this season.
Watch portions of the Gold Medal Game and awards by clicking the video above!  Watch the game versus the Mebane Phoenix by going to United TV!

Kim, McCullers team up again for a goal, Johnson scores two in effort.

HUNTERSVILLE – Over the last seven years United has played more than 8,300 minutes of soccer.  But it was the last five minutes of the team’s  final game where, like the promos said, history was made, and those final minutes will be remembered as legend as United came from behind to win gold at the State Games of North Carolina.

Saving the Best for Last:  Raphael Kim and Nicholas McCullers teamed up several times over the weekend, but none more important than when McCullers passed to Kim for United’s first goal.

United’s opponent was the unbeaten SISA Heat from Iredell County.  The Heat rolled through their bracket and survived an overtime game against the CSA Arsenal in the semifinal.  Early on both teams seemed to be able to move the ball, but the United midfield of Stephen Pratt, Ethan Sheflin, Declan Hoffman and Colin Attarian slowly started to win balls.  Attarian, who played all sixty minutes of the match, and Pratt, were able to shut down the skill players of the Heat.  With just under 10 minutes left, Raphael Kim and Nicholas McCullers, who have been an explosive tandem in the tournament, went to work again, as McCullers crossed to Kim to score his most

The Moment:  United players pile on Derrick Johnson after Johnson scored the eventual gold medal winning goal with two minutes remaining in regulation Sunday afternoon. Pictured are Johnson (on ground), George Bournazian (on ground), Nicholas McCullers (right) and Ethan Sheflin.  In the background the Heat goalie retrieves the ball from the net.

important as a United player, giving the team a 1-0 lead.  But the lead was incredibly short lived.  Less than a minute later the Heat marched down to tie is at one.  The Heat almost went ahead but were thwarted by strong goal tending by Abdul Elmorsi, who made several saves in the first half.

In the second half a defensive miscue turned the ball over in the United backfield and the Heat capitalized.  Elmorsi dove and made the save but the rebound bounced in front of an open net for the open Heat striker.  With the Heat up 2-1, United thought that they had tied the game when Pratt and  George Bournazian pounded the net, thinking that the Heat keeper caught the ball in the net, but the referee said that the ball never crossed the line. Stymied, the team kept attacking.  Then, with five minutes left, Declan Hoffman sent the ball on net that Bournazian and Derrick Johnson ran down.  First Bournazian touched it, but it was Johnson who drove in the equalizer.

Tied at two in the 97 degree heat, the two teams sprinted to the finish.  The Heat had another scoring chance when their fast number six ran down the sideline with the ball, but had United’s number six with him step-for-step.  Colin was

Jake Powell moves to clear the ball in the first half of the gold medal game against the Heat.

able to poke it away and clear it up, and the Heat returned a volley that Elmorsi grabbed and sent up field.  Ethan Sheflin grabbed it and poked it through to Pratt, who sent the ball down the right touch line to Johnson, who turned, drove the shot in net, dropped down on one knee and was mobbed by his teammates.  United had gone up

3-2, but there were two minutes left, and the Heat kept coming, with several attempts that Elmorsi, with help from

Chris Brown and Jake Powell, were able to clear before time ran out.

The gold medal is the team’s first major tournament championship, and  comes in United’s final game.  The State Games were like tournament book ends for United.  The team competed in its first tournament, the State Games, in 2005 when they were in Cary.  United finishes with a record of 9-6 for the spring, 2010, and 118-60-17 all-time.  Along the way, the team has picked up championships as part of Holly Springs Parks and Recreation, Triangle Y Soccer Club and two indoor championships.  But it was goal 611 all-time, United’s final goal, that won them a Gold Medal.

Front row, Left to right: Chris Brown, Jake Powell, George Bournazian, Raphael Kim, Colin Attarian, Declan Hoffman. Back Row: Ethan Sheflin, Nicholas McCullers, Stephen Pratt, Brock Waters, Abdul Elmorsi, Derrick Johnson.

Waiting: United players watch the game between the CSA Arsenal and the SISA Heat. United will face the winner in the Gold Medal Game.

United downs Phoenix in penultimate game; will play Heat for Gold

HUNTERSVILLE – United has saved what could be the most important game in team history for last.  In another complete performance, United defeated the Mebane Phoenix 5-0 in the first semi-final of the State Games of North Carolina.  The win puts the team in the gold medal game in what will be the final match for the team.   United will disband after the game.

To get the chance to play for gold, United played the Phoenix, champions of the Mebane Youth Soccer Association.  In a competitive game, George Bournazian scored to put United up 1-0 when he took a punt from Abdul Elmorsi.  Shortly after, Nicholas McCullers scored the first of his two when he fielded a Chris Brown goal kick for a 2-0 lead.  Brock Waters scored when Stephen Pratt passed the ball across the goal moutn and Waters converted.  United led 3-0 going into half.

In the second half, United kept pressure on.  McCullers scored again, this time off of another pass from Pratt, who came into the tournament with no assists and who currently has five.  United ended the scoring when Derrick Johnson converted on a ball that he received from Elmorsi.  While rare for goal keepers to receive assists, Elmorsi had two in the game.

United moved to 1-1 all-time against the Mebane Youth Soccer Association.  The team faced The Mebane Storm at the Wrangler-McDonald’s Classic in 2007.  The team now prepares for the final game in red, the gold medal game versus either the SISA Heat or the CSA Arsenal (game in progress).

Semi-final parings announced!

8AM:  United vs. Mebane Phoenix
9:30AM:  SISA Heat vs. CSA Arsenal
Bronze Medal Game:  12:30
Gold Medal Game:  2PM

United players having a pool party at Midtown Sundries. Visit the United picture page for shots from the party, including the beach soccer game that broke out on the volleyball court.

Colin Attarian moves in to poke the ball away from a CSA player. United sealed the number one seed headed into Sunday.

United downs CSA; takes number one seed for Sunday
HUNTERSVILLE – United secured its first victory over an all-star team Saturday afternoon when it downed the Charlotte Soccer Academy Arsenal 3-1 in the second round of the North Carolina State Games.

The Arsenal were skilled and brought strong and tall players in what was one of the most intense games in recent United history.  But United played its best game as a team to defeat Charlotte.  Early on, the Arsenal used speed to create a breakaway and secure the 1-0 lead.  But United responded when Jake Powell fed George Bournazian, who followed his shot to tie the game.  Then, about 10 minutes later, Colin Attarian sent the ball deep into the corner of the field.  Derrick Johnson chased it down and, with virtually no angle, hooked the ball for a deep shot that went in the net and a 2-1 lead.

George Bournazian goes down inside the box but could not get the call.

Raphael Kim and Nicholas McCullers have started to become a tough twosome for opposing defenses to deal with, scoring against the Maniacs and following it up when McCullers crossed to Kim for a 3-1 United lead.

The second half was played at a phrenetic pace as the skill players for CSA made their presence known.  United used several different types of defense to try to slow them down, including man-to-man, marking with two players, zone defenses and more, and it worked.  When the CSA strikers did get through, they found themselves facing Abdul Elmorsi, who stopped almost everything that came his way, including a penalty kick, when CSA had momentum.

United (7-6) is the top seed from the division and will begin the team’s final day of soccer with an 8AM game against the number two seed from bracket B (game in progress).

United players celebrate after a goal in the first half of the opening round of the State Games. United downed Mint Hill 8-4.

MINT CONDITION – United downs Mint Hill Maniacs in first round of Games
HUNTERSVILLE – United used physical play, sharp passing and things learned from recent experience to run out to an 8-4 victory over the Mint Hill Maniacs Saturday morning in the opening round of the State Games of North Carolina.  United, playing in the final weekend of soccer for the team after seven years, used scoring from five different players to pace to the victory.

Early in the game both teams played wide open, with end-to-end action.  About seven minutes in, Declan Hoffman got the ball to Derrick Johnson to convert for United’s first goal.  Mint Hill answered just a few minutes later when a cross found a player breaking toward the net.  United turned up the pressure.  Johnson found Stephen Pratt who converted to make it 2-1.  Shortly after Johnson took a George Bournazian pass to go up 3-1 and Johnson completed his hat trick when Pratt centered the ball to convert and put United up 4-1 going into half.

In the second half it was United that struck early, in part due to strong play by Hoffman, Colin Attarian, Chris Brown, Jake Powell, Ethan Sheflin and Brock Waters.  Bournazian took a pass from Pratt for a goal, followed by Attarian sending the ball to Johnson for another.  Abdul Elmorsi converted when Pratt sent another ball forward for a goal.  Pratt finished with a goal and three assists on the day.  Nicholas McCullers and Raphael Kim got involved when Kim crossed to McCullers for United’s final goal, but the pair had two other chances to convert.  One was stopped by the Mint Hill keeper.  One went wide.

Mint Hill, which finished second in the Union County Soccer League this spring, rallied, sparked by a questionable penalty kick call, and scored a few late, but by that time United (6-6-0) was in firm control.  The eight goals also gives United 600 all-time goals since 2003.  United is guaranteed a spot in a semi final match and faces the Charlotte Soccer Academy at 11 to determine seeding.

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