PEMBROKE — Lake Region United (LRU) Soccer Club's U13 Boys Division 1 team took first place at the New Hampshire State Championship Tournament held over the weekend of November 9- 10. The end of season playoff tournament was hosted by New Hampshire Soccer League and played at the North East Athletic Club in Pembroke, NH. The LRU U13 team consists of 6th and 7th graders from Belmont, Sanbornton, Gilmanton, Laconia, Concord, New Hampton, and Canterbury. LRU qualified for the playoffs after finishing the regular season holding the number one seed in New Hampshire. LRU competed against teams from Dover, Bedford, Derry, Exeter, Hooksett, and Amesbury, MA. During regular season play, LRU allowed only 6 goals while posting 3 shutouts. Many of the LRU athletes have played together since LRU was formed five years ago.
In the semi-final game on Saturday, LRU played a very skilled NHPSA Eagles team from Derry winning 2- 0. On Sunday, LRU faced perennial rival, Hooksett Select Soccer Club in the championship game. LRU controlled play from the opening whistle. Shortly after hitting the left post on a penalty shot, LRU opened the scoring midway into the first half. They added to their lead and found themselves ahead 2- 0 at the end of the first half. Midway into the second half, Hooksett scored on a direct kick just outside the penalty box to cut the lead to 2-1. LRU answered back with a third goal minutes later, securing a victory with a final score of 3-1.
LRU's U13 Division 1 girls' team and U14 Division 1 boys' team also participated in the State Championship tournament. The U13 girls finished their regular season undefeated and ranked first in the state. The U14 boys finished undefeated and ranked #2 in the state. Both teams were defeated in the state finals finishing in second place.
LRU receives sponsorship from Tom Cantin of Cantin's Chevrolet in Laconia. Shaker Regional and Gilford School Districts are also integral partners by supplying field space for games and practices. LRU is a competitive soccer club drawing athletes from all over the Lakes Region. Their mission is to develop young athletes who aspire to play at the highest levels as they move through middle school, high school, and beyond. LRU is an entirely parent and volunteer-run organization. It fields travel teams with the New Hampshire Soccer League in the spring and fall, and indoor teams at Fieldhouse Sports and Tilton Sports Center in the winter.