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Smithtown soccer team makes nationals

A youth soccer team from Smithtown won state and regional championships to qualify for a national tournament in Phoenix, where the club finished fourth.

Smithtown Arsenal, whose members are 13 and 14 years old, was eliminated from the tournament on Friday in a 3-1 loss to the Dallas Texans. Arsenal’s goal was scored by Chris Hettler, who tallied two goals in the tournament.

It was the closest Arsenal has come to winning a national title. The club is part of the Long Island Junior Soccer League, which includes dozens of teams throughout Suffolk and Nassau counties.

To qualify for the Phoenix tournament, Arsenal won a regional championship on July 5, when it defeated Manhattan’s Paris Saint-Germain, 3-1, in Lancaster, Pa. Arsenal had beaten the Manhattan club, 2-0, in June to win the New York State crown in upstate LaGrange.

In Phoenix, Arsenal lost all three of its games, including losses to teams from Fullerton, Calif., and Chicago. The Fullerton Rangers won the championship Saturday with a 1-0 win over the Chicago Magic.



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