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Girls Mar 14, 2012

Jefferson Cup continues in Richmond with girls’ weekend

By Charles Boehm

The Jefferson Cup rolls on this weekend as the nationally-respected youth soccer tournament enters Girls Weekend, featuring 442 top teams from across the country at a host of locations across Richmond and the greater Central Virginia region.

Hosted by the Richmond Strikers Soccer Club, the enormous event began with boys’ competition last weekend, three days of quality soccer which may yet be matched – or even eclipsed – by a talent-heavy lineup of girls’ squads, including Elite Clubs National League flights in several older age groups.

Overall, Girls Weekend brackets range from Under-10 to U-18 level, with older age groups scheduled in a showcase format catering to the hundreds of college coaches which will flock to the tournament.

Beyond the ECNL heavyweights, this weekend will also feature the cream of the crop from clubs along the Eastern Seaboard as well as other imposing contenders from as far afield as California and Canada.
The Jefferson Cup will be spread across several venues using both natural grass and artificial turf fields, with the majority of games taking place at the sprawling, all-turf SportsQuest complex in Midlothian, Va., the West Creek fields in Henrico, Va. and the host club’s own Striker Park in Glen Allen, Va.

Scattered thunderstorms are in the regional forecast for Friday, though the Strikers have access to 20 synthetic turf fields in all – including several at the Warhill Sports Complex in Williamsburg – and tournament officials have experience in rejiggering the schedule thanks to weather issues affecting past Jeff Cup editions.

The Boys Weekend took place despite Thursday night rainfall which moistened the tournament’s grass fields but did not disrupt the schedule.

This weekend’s  fans and participants can also take in several quality NCAA college matches scheduled in conjunction with the Jefferson Cup. James Madison University faces the University of Richmond at Striker Park Field #3 at 7 p.m. on Friday night, while a packed Saturday schedule includes Virginia vs. Virginia Tech at 11 a.m., N.C. State vs. Duke at 1 p.m., Virginia Tech vs. N.C. State at 5:30 p.m. and Virginia vs. Duke at 7:30 p.m., all at Richmond City Stadium.

+Visit the Jefferson Cup’s official home page for more information ]