Heading to the Lone Star State as a wildcard from Region 1, Elite lost to Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley United 2-1 in the regional finals on July 5 in West Virginia. Dix Hills qualified for the regional finals by defeating Lehigh Valley 2-1 in the Region 1 Championship League finals held on May 8.
This will be the team’s third trip to Nationals over the past four years. In 2013 as a Boys U-15 side, Dix Hills lost in the national championship final in overtime to California’s Santa Barbara SC White on a penalty kick. The following year at Boys U-16, Elite came close again, losing in overtime in the semifinals to eventual national champion Baltimore Celtic.
Dix Hills played in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) State Open Cup finals for five consecutive years from 2011 to 2015, winning the state championship in 2011, 2013, 2015.
While working around high school graduation parties and graduation trips, Dix Hills will be training several days a week and scrimmage the Boys U-19 Smithtown Arsenal, who are also regional champions and preparing for Nationals.
“This resilient bunch never gives up,” said Howard Manus, Dix Hills team manager.