ECNL Finals: Championship matchups decided on final day of group play
Richmond, Va. – In the pivotal final day of group play at the ECNL Finals in Richmond, Va., several age groups came down to the wire as championship matchups were decided in the U15, U16 and U17 age groups in the Champions League and North American League on Wednesday. Moderate temperatures and clear skies allowed for fast play on the fields at West Creek Park, as many of the matches turned into barnburners with plenty of top college coaches taking in the action.
Group winners will meet in their respective title matches on Thursday, while the rest of the field plays in crucial placement games.
Championship Matchups: Champions League
U15 – PDA (1W-0L-2D, +3 GD) vs. San Diego Surf (2-0-1, +5 GD) – West Creek 3 | 12:30 p.m.
Report-a-Score Prediction: PDA 2:3 San Diego Surf | Preview
After drawing their first two matches, PDA put on a scoring frenzy against Texas Rush, winning 4-1. Alexa Ferreira recorded a brace, while Sarah Hazard and Abby Boyan each added one for the New Jersey side.
“We wanted the group on the field that was going to be the most attack-minded,” PDA coach Larry Hart told SoccerWire.com. “We wanted to put the pedal down when the whistle blew. We’re excited to be back, and I’m excited for our team because they’re one of the hardest working groups I’ve ever seen in my life.”
San Diego Surf came out on top of a tough Group B, tying Albertson Fury 3-3 in their last group game. Albertson conceded an own goal in the fourth minute, and Surf went on to get two more first half goals. However, a second half Albertson surge with goals by Tatu Dumbadse and JJ Ahooja prevented Surf emerging with a perfect record.
U16 – Eclipse Select SC (2-1-0, +2 GD) vs. Dallas Texans (2-0-1, +3 GD) – West Creek 3 | 8:30 a.m.
Report-a-Score Prediction: Eclipse Select Soccer Club 3:2 Dallas Texans | Preview
Despite losing 2-1 to PDA on Wednesday, a strong showing in their first two matches allowed Eclipse Select SC to still earn the No. 1 spot in Group A and advance to the title match. Amanda Visco and Nicole Whitley scored in the win for PDA. Foster Ignoffo tallied the lone goal for Eclipse Select in the loss.
Dallas Texans defeated FC Dallas 2-1, receiving a goal from Hope Hyde in the third minute and an own goal in the 15th minute by FC Dallas. They emerged over Dallas Sting by one point in Group B.
U17 – Dallas Sting (3-0-0, +10 GD) vs. Eclipse Select SC (2-0-1, +4 GD) – West Creek 3 | 10:30 a.m.
Report-a-Score Prediction: Dallas Sting 3:2 Eclipse Select Soccer Club | Preview
Sting continued their dominance at the tournament with a 4-2 win over So Cal Blues on Wednesday, conceding their first goals of the tournament. Jordan Harr, Mimi Asom each scored once while Kaycie Tillman tallied twice in the second half.
Eclipse Select defeated PDA 1-0 on a goal in the 30th minute to advance from Group B.
Championship Matchups: North American League
U15 – Maryland United (1-0-2, +3 GD) vs. SLSG (2-0-1 +2 GD) – West Creek 5 | 10:45 a.m.
Report-a-Score Prediction: Maryland United FC 2:1 SLSG-Metro | Preview
Maryland United and SLSG played to a scoreless draw in their group match on Wednesday. Maryland United earned a strong 4-1 win over MVLA on Monday and tied FC Dallas on Sunday in the team’s first appearance at the ECNL Finals.
“It’s really important that you take care of business early on, because we obviously played for the win, but we got through on a tie which is great,” said Maryland coach Mellanie Nai. “Kori Locksley has been great for us in this tournament, and I thought Rachel Kim was great defensively, Marissa Vincent was great in the midfield and our goalkeeper came up with some big saves. Every single kid on this team earned this trip to the Final.”
SLSG drew Internationals 1-1 in their last group match, receiving a goal from “G” Gorman in the 77th minute to tie the game after Internationals took the lead in the 8th minute on a strike from Olivia Petit.
U16 – McLean Youth Soccer (2-1-0, +3 GD) vs. Solar Chelsea SC (3-0-0, +6 GD) – West Creek 5 | 12:45 p.m.
Report-a-Score Prediction: McLean Youth Soccer 1:2 Solar Chelsea Soccer Club | Preview
McLean Youth Soccer advanced to the championship match with a 3-1 win over SLSG, scoring three times in the second half. Guest player Kristina “Dino” Diana scored twice and Grace Kulik scored once for McLean, and Pamela Silies struck for SLSG.
Solar Chelsea SC emerged from Group B with an unblemished record. They hit top form on Wednesday with a 4-0 win over Connecticut FC.
U17 – Internationals SC (2-1-0, +1 GD) vs. FC Bucks (3-0-0, +4 GD) – West Creek 5 | 8:45 a.m.
Report-a-Score Prediction: Internationals SC 1:0 FC Bucks | Preview
Internationals moves on to the big game after a 1-0 triumph over FC Wisconsin Eclipse, finishing off group play. Jenna Dorchock was the only player to find the net in the game, scoring a dramatic goal in the final minute of play.
FC Bucks was dominant in Group B, beating second place East Meadow 3-2. Dakota Mills had a brace in the win, scoring in the 59th and 77th minutes. Victoria Hill opened the scoring for Bucks in the 12th minute with an equalizer, following an East Meadow strike in the 4th minute by Kayla Gansrow.