ECNL: Richmond Strikers, McLean U-17s tied for conference lead
By Jimmy LaRoue
Bethesda SC’s Under-14 ECNL squad picked up a pair of wins over the weekend, defeating both FC Virginia and McLean Youth Soccer.
Freestate and FC Virginia’s U-14s, meanwhile, each won a game over the weekend, as Freestate defeated McLean while falling to FC Virginia.
Bethesda (5-2-0) opened the weekend with a 2-1 win over FC Virginia (4-1-1) at Walter Johnson HS, as Miranda Timberlake and Cameron Murtha each scored goals in the win, while Olivia Kane and Madeline Shrout picked up the assists. Kaitlyn Small scored FCV’s goal, with Susanna Weisskopf assisting. It was FCV’s first loss of the season.
In its 2-0 win Sunday over McLean (2-4-1), Bethesda’s Niven Hegeman and Kane picked up goals, with Francine Phillips ading an assist in the shutout. Kane leads Bethesda with four goals, and is tied for the team lead with Jamie Fink and Natalie Gately in assists with three.
Bethesda trails Carmel United (5-0-1) by a single point in the standings going into this Saturday’s showdown between the two clubs.
FCV recovered from its first loss of the season to defeat Freestate 2-0 Sunday, getting goals from Casey Kent and Kaitlyn Small, both scoring their second goals of the season, and an assist from Katie Le.
In U-15 action, Virginia Rush (2-1-1) picked up its second win of the season with a 2-1 defeat of Richmond Strikers (1-3-0) at West Creek. Jordan Marshall had a goal and an assist in the win, and Amanda Charalambous added a goal for Rush, while Sanders Gelnovatch, daughter of University of Virginia men’s coach George Gelnovatch, scored for the Strikers in the loss.
FC Virginia’s U-15s continued their strong run to start the season with an emphatic 5-0 win Sunday over McLean at SYA Park. Five different players got on the scoresheet for FCV, including Julia Phillips, who added two assists as well. Christiana Davey, Sierra Lam, Tess Sapone and Jasmine Warren also had goals, while Emma Kershner and Meaghan Nally picked up assists. Phillips leads the team with four assists, while Lam is the team leader in goals with three.
Richmond Strikers (2-2-0) picked up a win in U-16 play, 1-0 Saturday over Virginia Rush (1-3-0), with Simron Richard scoring the lone goal and Ann-Robert Goode assisting. Both wins for the Strikers have come over Rush.
On Sunday, McLean’s U-16s (2-1-1) held off FC Virginia 2-0, as Mia Hoen-Beck and Katelyn Jensen scored goals, and Madeline McCracken added an assist. The two teams are now tied for the top spot in the Mid-Atlantic Conference, though just four of the conference’s 10 teams have played games at this point.
The Strikers’ U-17s (3-0-1) also won to move into a tie with McLean (3-0-1) for the top spot in the conference, defeating Virginia Rush (1-3-0) 4-0 Saturday. McLean defeated FC Virginia 2-0 Sunday to keep pace.
For the Strikers, Kylie Hegemier scored twice and added an assist, while Alexis Mallory and Kayla Blake also scored goals. Hanna Gardner added an assist. The Strikers have been defensive stalwarts, having yet to concede a goal in four matches.
Meanwhile, in McLean’s second win of the season over FC Virginia (0-4-0), Kaila Williams had a goal and an assist to lead her team, while Laila Gray added a goal.
FC Virginia’s U-18s, though, have gotten off to a strong start, winning their fourth match in four tries, 2-0 over McLean at SYA Park Saturday. McLean falls to 2-2-0 on the season. The Strikers U-18s (2-2-0) used a goal from Ellen Taylor, assisted by Kelly Siewers to hold off Virginia Rush (0-4-0) 1-0. Rush, which has lost all seven of its matches overall–inclusive of the Phoenix National Event–has put together stronger results of late that indicate a breakthrough in the win column is just around the corner, with its last four losses coming by one-goal margins after being outscored 13-0 in its first three matches.