ORLANDO, Fla. (Via US Youth Soccer) — The 2015-16 US Youth Soccer National League Girls resumed league play Thursday, as 32 of the 80 teams competed at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla., alongside the Disney Soccer Showcase in front of hundreds of college coaches.
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. In addition to recruiting opportunities, the top two finishers from each division will earn a ticket to the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships, making each match valuable to the teams’ fate as it could make or break their chance at competing for the National Championship.
With day one in the books, three teams – Under-15 Midwest United FC 01 Royal (MI) and Under-18 teams Maryland United Coyotes (MD) and NJ Stallions Dynamite (NJ) – have clinched a top two finish in their divisions.
Everything is still to play for after the first day of play in Orlando, as all division titles are still up for grabs. All games continue to be intense as teams fight to separate themselves in the tight standings.
The National League teams that do not compete in Orlando, including all Under-14 squads, will complete their season at the Players College Showcase in Las Vegas — with boys games held March 11-13 and girls games played March 18-20.
The National League is an extension of the US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (US Youth Soccer Region I Champions League, Midwest Regional League, Region III Premier League and Far West Regional League).
Some highlights from Wednesday’s matches…
In the Under-15 Red Division, Sunrise Sting 00/01 (FL) jumped to the top of the division after defeating South Shore Select Elite (MA) 3-0. Elsewhere in the division, Campton United Navy (IL) dropped to second in the division after falling on the first day of play to 00 TFCA Alliance (NC). After a back and forth first half in which both teams had opportunities to score, TFCA scored the game’s first goal in the 51st minute when Shadae Nicholas found the back of the net. TFCA’s Bridget Barrett added an insurance goal in the 75th minute to give TFCA a crucial three points.
Midwest United FC 01 Royal (MI) clinched a top two spot in the Blue Division after continuing its perfect form through National League play. Midwest United defeated OFC 01 Phillips (OK) 3-0 on the first day of play in Orlando to keep the Michigan side a perfect 5-0-0. All of Midwest United’s goals came in the second half with Khloe Hayes scoring what would be the game winner in the 45th minute. Jennifer Blitchok and Ashley Ward added Midwest United’s second and third goals to seal the game for the Michigan side.
In the other Blue Division game, Dallas Kicks SC 01 (TX-N) played to a 2-2 draw with FC United Select I 00/01 (IL). The point moves Dallas into fourth, just two points behind the second place team.
FCKC Pink Panthers Elite (MO) move into second place in the Red Division after defeating Cleveland FC (OH-N) 3-1. Cleveland FC took the lead in the 34th minute when Brooke Weitzel found the back of the net. Hallie Klanke equalized for FCKC just one minute later to bring the teams into half tied at 1-1. FCKC took a 2-1 lead in the 51st minute when Grace Heenan headed home a crossed ball. The final goal of the game came in the 77th minute when a low cross was knocked in for an own goal by Cleveland to bring the final to 3-1 in favor of the Missouri side. The result leaves the teams in second and third tied with 10 points on the season.
Solar Chelsea Elite 00 (TX-N) defeated SAC Premier United (MD) 4-0 to claim the fourth place spot in the Red Division just one point behind both FCKC and Cleveland.
In the Blue Division, FC Pennsylvania Strikers (PA-E) narrowly defeated Tennessee SC 18 (TN) 1-0 to move into third place in the division. In the other Blue Division game, Midwest United 00 Royal (MI) picked up its second win of the National League season by defeating United FA 00 Premier (GA) 1-0.
YMS Premier Xplosion 98 (PA-E) moved closer to clinching its fourth consecutive trip to the US Youth Soccer National Championships after narrowly defeating a winless Solar Chelsea 99 Elite (TX-N) side 2-1. YMS now sits at a perfect 5-0-0 with 15 points.
Elsewhere in the Red Division, FC Kansas City Forte Elite (MO) defeated ABGC Annandale United FC 98 (VA) 5-0 to move into second place. Tess Rellihan started the scoring in the 36th minute with a header over the Annandale keeper. Peyton Trester added a goal just before halftime to bring the teams into the half with the score 2-0. Kayla Deaver added a hat-trick in the second half to bring the final score to 5-0.
In the Blue Division, Team Chicago Academy-Brasilia (IL) moved into first place with its 2-1 victory over Loudoun 98 Red (VA) while Sunrise Sting 98/99 (FL) moved into third place after defeating Lou Fusz – Wipke (MO) 3-0.
After the first day of play in Orlando, NJ Stallions Dynamite (NJ) and Maryland United Coyotes (MD) have clinched the top two spots in the Under-18 Red Division. With both teams tied at a perfect 5-0-0, the teams will look to continue winning as they battle for the top spot in the division.
In the Blue Division, Syracuse Development Academy 97/98 (NY-W) defeated KCU Rangers 97/98 (KS) 3-0 to move into third place just three points behind the two top teams. In the other Blue Division game, VSA Elite 97 (VA) picked up its first win of the season after defeating Michigan Jaguars 98 Green (MI) 2-0.
National League action continues Thursday, Jan. 1, at ESPN Wide World of Sports with games at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. 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.