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ECNL May 29, 2023

ECNL Boys 2023 Virginia National Event: Day 2 Recap

The ECNL Boys Virginia National Event continued on Sunday with the second day of competition. See below for a rundown of some of the top matchups from Day 2.

East Meadow SC vs Fairfax BRAVE SC 4-3

In an absolute shootout on Sunday in the 07 age group, East Meadow SC rallied back on two separate occasions to pull off a 4-3 come from behind victory over Fairfax Brave SC.

After falling behind 2-0 in the first half, East Meadow rallied together before halftime to find two goals and knot the game up at 2-2 going into the break.

In the second half they faced more opposition though as Fairfax came out and took the lead back, making it 3-2.

East Meadow SC was not done yet though. After a beautiful one touch pass in the box, East Meadow was able to fire home a shot to again knot things up at 3-3, before eventually pushing to find the game winning goal and prevail 4-3.

East Meadow’s charge back into the game was led by two goals from Matthew Ramirez, while Alex Squillacioti and Akanni Allen tacked on the other two goals.

[+READ: ECNL Boys National Selection Game in Virginia comes down to the wire]

After the game, everyone on the team continued to emphasize how their teamwork and resiliency to stick together ultimately helped them come away with the win.

“Our resilience to come back was very good. We worked as a team together. I’m very proud of all of us. We communicated very well and just played with no fear,” said David Preval. “We had a lot of good through balls and a lot of good creations where we just worked together as a team.”

“We played as a team and that changed the whole game for us. Once we started playing together they couldn’t stop us,” said Squillacioti.

Allen also echoed the sentiments of his teammates, saying how proud he was of the group.

“We all did our thing today. It was a comeback win and I’m proud of us.”

FC Stars vs FC Prime 2-1

In the 06 age group, a late winner ultimately helped FC Stars prevail in dramatic fashion over FC Prime.

FC Stars got on the scoreboard first in the 10th minute off a goal from David McGee, but Micah Williams of FC Prime was able to answer that goal with one of his own to knot things up at 1-1.

In the second half, both sides really went for it, pushing players forward and looking for the winning goal. Both sides narrowly missed chances from inside the box, one of those came when FC Stars just missed scoring off a header from a corner kick.

In the 86th minute though, Will Slayton slotted home the game winner to give FC Stars the 2-1 win. “I knew if I just got my first touch right I could slide it home,” Slayton said after the game.

Slayton and teammate Zachary Brown both detailed how the team was not only resilient on the day, but that has been something that has defined this group throughout the season.

“It was just a bunch of resilience. We got that late winner and we’re happy to get the win,” Slayton said.

“It’s the thing with us, all season long we just battle to the end and don’t ever give up,” Brown said.

Florida Elite vs Wilmington Hammerheads 1-1

In the 07 age group, Florida Elite set the tone early for what would be a game full of both teams going forward, attacking, and looking for goals.

Omar Trto opened the scoring in the fifth minute of the game with a great strike for Florida Elite to put them on top 1-0.

Florida Elite Head Coach Scott Allison believes that goal really set the tone for how both sides would approach the game.

“Both teams were obviously going at it. We got the early goal, which is good and sets the tone for the game because obviously the opposition has to come at us and it makes for a good attacking game,” Allison said.

It took some time, but that attacking play that Wilmington Hammerheads had to go with eventually was rewarded. Alan Acree knotted the game up in the 53rd minute and set up a frantic finish where both sides pushed hard for the winning goal.

Both sides saw a number of good opportunities in the closing stages of the game, but ultimately the defense was strong at both ends and the game finished in a 1-1 draw.

“The boys were good. Both teams tried to attack and both teams defended well, so it was a good game,” Allison said.

Going into the final day of games on Monday, Allison believes the event has been a great opportunity for his team and they have been very pleased with the standard of play the opposition has brought to the table in all the games so far.

“The showcase has been great for everyone and we’re looking forward to tomorrow,” Allison said. “We’re here for our players to enjoy it, to progress, and to get good experiences. The teams that we’ve played over the whole showcase have been of a good standard and it’s been an exciting time for us.”