ECNL: Freestate, Bethesda head to Ohio for pair of games
By Jimmy LaRoue
Maryland clubs Freestate Soccer Alliance and Bethesda SC will be on the road this weekend in Ohio taking on Ohio Elite Soccer Academy and Carmel United, while four other local Under-14 teams are in action Saturday.
In U-14 play, Virginia Rush is hosting FC Virginia (Sat. 9 a.m., Hampton Roads Soccer Complex #6), while Richmond Strikers are hosting McLean Youth Soccer (Sat., 12 p.m., West Creek 6). Carmel United leads the division with a 5-0-1 record, with Bethesda SC one point behind in second place at 5-2-0 and FC Virginia in third at 4-1-1.
Among Mid-Atlantic Conference U-14 ECNL teams, Carmel United’s Alexandra Rice is among the conference’s goal scoring leaders with eight, and she has also added four assists. Her teammate, Hope Van Wagner, has five goals on the season.
FC Virginia’s Gabriella Gordon and Bethesda SC’s Olivia Kane are right behind the Carmel United duo with four goals apiece.
Rush and FC Virginia also face off Saturday in U-15 through U-18 play at the Hampton Roads Soccer Complex, and the Strikers and McLean’s U-15s through U-18s are in action against each other Saturday at West Creek. Six conference U-15 through U-18 teams–Bethesda SC, Carmel United, Freestate, Internationals SC, Ohio Elite Soccer Academy and Ohio Premier Eagles–have yet to begin their ECNL seasons.
FC Virginia leads the conference U-15s with a 4-0-0 record, while Rush is 2-1-1, the Strikers are 1-3-0 and McLean, at 0-3-1, is looking for its first win of the year.
In U-16s, McLean and FC Virginia are tied for the division lead at 2-1-1, while the Strikers are lurking at 2-2-0 and Rush is 1-3-0.
The Strikers and McLean should have the match of the day Saturday at West Creek, as both have begun the season strong, each going 3-0-1. The two teams have combined to give up a single goal, with the Strikers yet to surrender one and scoring 11. The Strikers are led by a pair of three-goal scorers in Elizabeth Ball and Kylie Hegemier. McLean is led by Kalia Williams, who has three goals and two assists.
FC Virginia’s U-18s have been dominant in the early going as well, going 4-0-0 and have given just two goals and scoring 17. Rush (0-4-0), looking for its first win of the season will have a difficult time containing this group.