CCL Winter Showcase: Top teams roll, others climb in standings
(Via CCL) – More than 120 U-15 through U-18 teams enjoyed temperatures in the mid-60s for the third and final day of the CCL Winter Showcase on Sunday in Richmond, Va.
A wide collection of college coaches from around the region took in the matches which also counted toward the league standings. Several teams were able to complete perfect weekends earning nine points, and others pulled out critical wins over high-ranking opponents to improve their place in the table.
One of the most notable upsets of the day came in the U-18 men’s division as FC Frederick (6-4-0) upended previously unbeaten FC Richmond (10-1-1) 3-1 on second half goals by defender Justin Poole (2015 – uncommitted), midfielder Estiven Saldarriaga (2016 – uncommitted) and midfielder Ian Rohrbaugh (2015 – uncommitted).
Saldarriaga scored the team’s second goal when right midfielder Kurtis Bynum (2015 – uncommitted) lofted a cross to the front of the left post where he outleapt two defenders to guide the ball into the net with a header. Both Saldarriaga and Bynum were terrific for Frederick, contributing on the defending and attacking sides of the field.
FC Frederick coach Kenny Putnam, also the head coach of Hood College, said the win over the skilled FC Richmond side is a good sign for his team heading into the spring. “We’ve been up-and-down some this year but our guys are playing well and are really motivated right now in our last season together,” Putnam said.
FC Frederick is seventh in the division in points but has played two or three fewer games than each of the six teams ahead of them. Along with competing for one of the top spots in the CCL U-18 division, the 2013 and 2014 Maryland State Cup semi-finalists and 2012 finalists are vying for a state title in their last run as a team.
See below for a few more highlights from Sunday at River City SportsPlex in the U-15 to U-18 showcase divisions…
Second place Loudoun (9-2-2) won all three games on the weekend, capping things off with a win Sunday over Roanoke. Virginia Legacy earned a 1-0 win over BRYC, also moving to 3-0-0 on the weekend.
Roanoke played a tough match and earned a 1-1 draw against State Cup champions Loudoun. Despite dropping points for only the second time all season, first place Loudoun remains undefeated at 11-0-2 after the Winter Showcase.
Roanoke pulled even with Loudoun for fourth place in the U-17 standings with a 3-1 win on Sunday in a match showcasing high level offense from both sides. Loudoun midfielder Alyssa Choo (2016 – uncommitted) opened the scoring less than midway through the first half with a long-rage bomb from over 30 yards out, fitting the ball under the crossbar. About a minute later, Shannon Mitchell (2016 – uncommitted) knotted things up for Roanoke and Emily Barranco (2016 – uncommitted) followed with what proved to be the game-winner on a strike into the right corner of the net.
A relentless team effort throughout the second half finally paid off in the end for Beach FC when Erica Ganthner (2017 – uncommitted) netted an equalizer in the final two minutes to earn a 2-2 draw against Arlington. After several key defensive stops by both teams, Ganthner found a gap in the Arlington box and received a well-placed pass from Reina Araujo (2017 – uncommitted) while moving to her left, planted and shot across her body into the right side of the goal. Beach FC is now just two points out of third place in the division.
Potomac and Fredericksburg FC both played quality soccer en route to a 1-1 draw, with first place FFC striking first on a goal by Sabrina Daglish (2017 – uncommitted). Potomac is now 6-0-2 on the season and in prime position to move up in the standings having played four or five fewer games than all five teams ahead of them in points.
Maryland United beat SYA 3-2 for their second win in as many days, improving to 5-3-2. Virginia Legacy earned a 2-2 draw against fourth place BRYC. First place Arlington remained unbeaten and advanced to 12-0-1 on the season, edging out Beach FC 1-0 on a goal from Nelson Flores-Blanco (2017 – uncommitted).
In a match that included great saves and attacking play from both sides until the final whistle, Beach FC and State Cup champions Arlington ended up with a 2-2 draw. Alejandro Maldonado (2017 – uncommitted) and Nikolas Jackson (2017 – uncommitted) found the net for Arlington, while Shaun Brooks (2016 – uncommitted) and Jordan McFarland (2017 – uncommitted) tallied for Beach FC. Brooks had a potential game-winner go off the post in the final minutes of the match.
First place Loudoun (11-1-1) capped off an unblemished weekend with a 3-0 win over Roanoke. Jacob Labovitz (2017 – uncommitted) continued his hot streak with a brace, Dorion Dixon (2017 – uncommitted) had one goal and Giovanni Vasquez (2017 – uncommitted) picked up two assists.
Second place BRYC (11-2-0) beat third place Virginia Legacy (9-3-0) 3-0 to finish the weekend picking up all nine available points.
BRYC and Virginia Legacy played to a scoreless first half, but the scoring picked up in the second with three quality goals. Legacy scored the first two and held a 2-0 lead with 15 minutes left but BRYC got one back soon after, leading to a frantic finish on both ends. Both Legacy goals went through right winger Juan Garcia, who split two defenders inside the box on the dribble then lacing home for the first, then assisting Matthew Beatty’s one-timer from the of the box. BRYC’s Miguel Flores (2016 – uncommitted) answered Beatty’s strike less than two minutes later, but third place Legacy (9-2-1) held on for the 2-1 win.
Virginia State Cup finalists Arlington (11-1-1) won a well-paced match against quarterfinalist Beach FC (6-5-2). Arlington worked to hold possession in the attacking half, with Roger Rojas-Goodbold doing a good job of ball-winning and finding the flanks quickly. When Beach found a way past Rojas-Goodbold or Daniel Damiani, they went for goal in numbers and speed, but were unable to find a way through. Arlington’s winter pickup Gaetan Roux had both goals in their win.
First place Arlington defeated Beach FC on Sunday to complete an unblemished 3-0-0 weekend at the Winter Showcase. Maryland United beat SYA 2-1 in a thriller.