ECNL: Local teams look to light up Sanford National Event
By Jimmy LaRoue
The local contingent of ECNL clubs will look to light things up this weekend as play begins today at the league’s second National Event of the 2012-13 season in Sanford, Fla.
The U-15 FC Virginia group comes into the National Event having given up just one goal in eight games while scoring 24 and compiling a 7-0-1 record in Mid-Atlantic Conference play. They face a stiff test in Southeast Conference leaders Concorde Fire, who are 15-0-1 and have a trio of 10-goal scorers already this season, scoring 49 goals overall while surrendering just four. FC Virginia has divided up the goal-scoring wealth well, as 10 players have scored at least one goal.
McLean Youth Soccer’s U-16s, having started off well at 6-2-1, will also look to make a favorable impression in Florida. Mia Hoen-Beck leads McLean with 10 goals, but it has given up just six goals in nine games. McLean takes on Scorpions SC, Orlando City YS and FC Wisconsin Eclipse. Scorpions have played just two games in its ECNL schedule, going 0-1-1, while FC Wisconsin Eclipse is just 2-10-3 in Midwest Conference play.
McLean’s match against Southeast Conference leaders Orlando City, however, figures to be its feature match of the Sanford National Event. Orlando City leads the Southeast Conference with a 12-2-2 mark and a 2.38 ppg average, just slightly ahead of Gwinnett Soccer Association. Orlando City’s trio of 10-plus goal scorers–Alana Hockenhull (12 goals, 7 assists), Ruvimbo Mucherera (10 goals, 13 assists) and Evelyn Neidert (10 goals, 7 assists) figures to test a stalwart back line.
Though Freestate Soccer Alliance’s U-17s have played just two games, they won them both, knocking off Virginia Rush 9-0 and beating a 5-3-3 Richmond Strikers squad featuring nine goal scorer Elizabeth Ball 4-1.
Freestate figures to be playing some good soccer early on in its season and looks to continue that and figures to get a good test of where it is early on in its season going up against Southeast Conference leaders Charlotte Soccer Academy (10-1-4) and a powerhouse Sporting Blue Valley (9-0-2) club of the Midwest Conference. Freestate opens with Albertson Fury of the Northeast Conference. Albertson, like Freestate, has just started its season.
Freestate will face a stiff challenge Saturday in a Sporting Blue Valley squad that has not only yet to lose, but has also scored 42 goals in just 11 games and features U-15 national teamer Dorian Bailey (8 goals, 4 assists), Savvy Trujillo (7 goals, 6 assists) and Haley Hanson (6 goals, 7 assists).
Sunday, Freestate will see Charlotte, led by ECNL newcomer Alison Price with eight goals and three assists, along with Anna Estep, who has six goals and three assists.
All of the local Mid-Atlantic Conference teams–Virginia Rush (U-15 – U-18), FC Virginia (U-15 – U-18), Richmond Strikers, McLean Youth Soccer (U-15 – U-18), Bethesda SC (U-15, U-17) and Freestate Soccer Alliance (U-15 – U-18)–have teams at the Sanford National Event.