The Dragons took a trip up I-5 to Sacramento for the annual Western Regionals Tournament this past weekend. After a pair of strong showings in the first SoCal Cup earlier in July, the boys were coming into the weekend with some nice momentum.
The Dragons’ first opponent was the Seattle Grizzlies at 11 AM. Aided by the rock-solid work of ruckman Donald Lee and midfielders David Higgs and Joe Silvio, LA got off to a flying start and began to out-muscle the Grizzlies in the contests. With Justin Hall and Julian de Vizio both bagging a handful of goals, the Dragons soon built an impressive lead.
Seattle managed to bounce back with some scoring opportunities as the game unfolded, but the Dragons’ backline held firm with Dre Jansen and Ryan Lorseyedi attacking every ball that came their direction. A couple of acrobatic goals from the always-reliable Ryan Hitch ended up sealing the deal, as the Dragons prevailed 8.4 (52) to 4.2 (26).
Game two brought a familiar opponent — the San Diego Lions. Despite rising temperatures, the Dragons persevered and managed to get off to a quick start once more. Out on the wings, Will Crandall and Freddy Schulin got their hands on the footy plenty of times combining with the midfield of Paul Ioakim & David Higgs to dominate the early proceedings and by qtr time built a 4 goals lead. San Diego fought back but the classy half-back line of Lukas Golson, Paul Jackson and Red Macpherson held strong. Ultimately, the Dragons grabbed a crucial win, 9.6 (60) to 1.1 (7).
The final match of the day brought the top two seeds in the west: the Golden Gate Roos and the Dragons. It was a tough, physical match throughout and both sides battled significant fatigue and injuries, but there was a lot to like about it.
While the Roos managed to get out to an early lead, the Dragons battled back to be within a kick late in the first half. However, the Roos’ athletic midfield continued to run and carry the footy forward, and they used a big third quarter to effectively put the Dragons away, winning by 35.
The Dragons wish to congratulate Julian de Vizio for taking home the MVP award for the tournament, as well as the Dragons’ women, who combined with the Portland Sockeyes to win the women’s tourney. All in all, there were plenty of positives to take forward for the rest of the season.
The boys from LA will regroup during the coming weekend before hosting a big clash on August 11th, when both the Denver Bulldogs and the Dallas Magpies come to the City of Angels in which will be our Ladies Day event.