Day 2 of 4 complete
WILSON, N.C. (Via US Youth Soccer) — The 2017-18 US Youth Soccer National League Girls season is in full swing after two days of play at the Wilson Gillette Athletic Complex and Rocky Mount Sports Complex in North Carolina. The season is shaping up to be a long fight for the divisional titles and automatic entries to the US Youth Soccer National Championships, and Saturday’s games should play a big role in separating some teams in the standings.
After two days of play, just 23 of the 128 teams have come away unscathed with two wins with no defending National Champions earning wins in both games.
Whether a defending champion or a newcomer to the National League, every player will be pushed and have the opportunity to grow with each challenge throughout the season. While his 14U Nationals Union 04 Black (MI) team has already picked up two wins, coach Gronthik Chatterjee said his players are also enjoying the other benefits of the league.
“It’s incredibly important for our players to expand their horizons and play against the top level competition from around the country,” Chaterjee said. “Every time any of our players get the opportunity to step up to this level, it really forces them to compete and learn things from the game that they don’t get to experience in other competitions.”
National League teams earn their place in the league based on a proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer regional and national competitions and are among the nation’s best. Competing for a league title and a spot in the US Youth Soccer National Championships, each and every game will play into who represents the National League this summer in Frisco, Texas.
The National League is an extension of the highly successful US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional League, Midwest Regional League, Southern Regional Premier League and Far West Regional League). The National League provides an avenue for teams to play in meaningful matches against top competition from across the country for continued development and opportunities for exposure at the national team, collegiate and professional levels.
National League action will continue Saturday, Dec. 2, as the girls teams play their second game of the season. Complete standings, scores and schedules, including goal scorers and match information, can be found at the results page here. Click on the score of each game for more information.
Some highlights from Friday’s matches…
In a tight 14U Red Division matchup, Nationals Union 04 Black (MI) fought back to grab a 2-1 victory over GA Rush 2004 (GA). Rush almost took the lead early in the game when Jordynn Dudley broke through but had her chance saved by Nationals’ Leah Wolf. The ball bounced out and found Neena Damodaran, who barely missed wide left on her chance. Midway through the first half, Rush went down a player but managed to take the lead in the 28th minute. Damodaran received a long ball over the top and muscled her way beyond a defender — giving her the opportunity to slip her shot under the sliding keeper. The lead didn’t last long, as Nationals leveled just two minutes later. Olivia Barfield made a save in a scramble in front of the Rush net, but the ball bounced out to Samantha Springer, who finished her chance. Union took the lead for good early in the second half when Carly Boyd hit a right-footed bomb from deep that slipped through the hands of the keeper. Union took advantage of their extra player on the field to control the possession the rest of the game and earned the 2-1 win.
San Diego Soccer Club Academy-Navy (CA-S) and CDA Premier 03 (OH-S) combined for four goals in the second half of their 15UG Blue Division matchup and finished in a 2-2 tie. After a scoreless first half, both teams found their scoring boots as the game took an exciting turn in the second half. CDA’s Emma Frey took the lead off an Ally Sands free kick that Emma Frey redirected on goal from close range for the 1-0 lead. CDA increased the lead to 2-0 when Frey hit a shot over the head of the San Diego keeper. Just three minutes later, San Diego pulled one back as Sophia Vivar flicked a pass to Jacey Farmer. Farmer hit a shot from close range that went through the fingers of the CDA keeper. Farmer added her second just before the final whistle in the 80th minute to complete the comeback from two goals down to earn a point in the 2-2 tie.
After a win to open its season, Sporting OFC 2002 Elite (NE) remained unbeaten with a scoreless draw against Pipeline Pre-Academy (MD) on Friday in 16U Black Division action. Sporting goalkeeper Sidney Anderson played a big role in helping her side earn the point, as Pipeline created some quality chances in the second half. In the 70th minute, Pipeline’s Baylee DeSmit worked around a shielding defender to keep the ball in along the left sideline. She used speed to get around back line and charge into the box, but Anderson dropped down to stop a low drive at the near post. Anderson also produced a save on the game’s final sequence, when a free kick bounced to Pipeline’s Brianna Gobell, whose half volley was smothered by the Sporting keeper. The draw leaves both teams with some work to do entering the third day of play in North Carolina.
PacNW 02 Maroon (WA) moved to 2-0 on the season with a 2-0 victory over Loudoun 02 Red (VA). The Washington side took the lead in the 13th minute when Jocelyn Stephens hit a hard shot that took a sharp deflection beyond the Loudoun keeper. Less than 10 minutes later, PacNW added to its lead when Madelyn Brothers found Stephens over the top with a long ball. Stephens got the ball before the on-rushing keeper and finished her chance. Loudoun had a chance to pull one back in the second half, but Devon Balac’s chance went just wide. PacNW almost added another goal, but Ali Gouge’s effort from about 20 yards out rattled the crossbar. Loudoun could not breach the Washington side’s defense, and PacNW earned another clean sheet and three more points.
After a close loss on Thursday, Cleveland FC 01 Royal (OH-N) reversed its fortune on the second day of play, as it earned a 1-0 win over 01 CSA Charlotte Predator (NC). The two 17U Red Division foes went to halftime in a scoreless tie, but that changed shortly after the break. Cleveland’s Kathryn Ramicone ran onto a ball at the top of the box and slid a left-footed shot past a diving keeper and just inside the right post — putting her side in front, 1-0. Cleveland clamped down defensively, as Ramicone’s strike proved to be the difference in the 1-0 victory.
In the 17U Black Division, 1776 United FC 01 Xtreme (PA-E) picked up its first win of the season with a 4-0 defeat of Santa Clara Sporting 01 Green (CA-N). Alivia Hamilton and Kenna Kaut each found the back of the net in the first half to give 1776 United a 2-0 lead after 45 minutes. Cynthia Sheehy helped extend the lead in the 64th minute with a darting run down the left side. Sheehy got to the end line and played a cross that found an open Calista Courtney, who calmly placed her shot inside the near post. Caitlin Donovan added an insurance goal later in the half to help cap 1776 United’s 4-0 win.
A quick start helped Legends FC 00 South (CA-S) pick up its second win in as many days, as the Cal South side earned a 3-1 victory over Syracuse Development Academy (NY-W) in 18U Blue Division play. Joey Rak put Legends up with a 10th-minute strike, and Chloe King doubled the lead just three minutes later. The Legends lead grew to 3-0 after a half-hour of play, as Mackenzie Vehlow found the back of the net. Syracuse pulled a goal back late in the game thanks to Carolyn Brussel, but Legends held on to pick up the victory and stay in the top tier of the division standings.
D’Feeter Kicks 00 (TX-N) earned an important three points with a 3-0 victory over Arlington SA 2000 Red (VA) in a Day Two 18U Red Division matchup. Emily Torres provided the lone first-half goal, giving the Kicks a 1-0 edge heading into the second half. Kicks kept the pressure on throughout the second half and gained a 2-0 edge thanks to a Jordan Michie goal. Michelle Gonzalez added a late tally in the 82nd minute to give the North Texas side a 3-0 win. The win puts the Kicks right in the middle of the 18U Red Division with two games left to play in the first weekend of action.