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Girls Mar 21, 2011

Jefferson Cup Girls’ Day Three: Striker Park

21 Mar, 2011
By Jenny Taylor

Richmond, Va. – With two days already out of the way, the third day of action at Striker Park featured a handful of championship and third-place matches as the final weekend of Jefferson Cup action came to a close.

Here’s a look at how Sunday’s action unfolded:

Girls U-15 Championship CRUSA FC 3-1 SYC Xtreme
CRUSA FC (PA East) soundly defeated their Springfield, VA counterparts SYC Xtreme 3-1 on Sunday morning.  CRUSA took the lead just 10 minutes into the match with a goal from Erica Crosier. SYC followed with several offensive attempts that ended in consecutive offside calls from the officials, due to CRUSA’s high defensive line.

A beautiful ball served out of the back to Danielle Robinson and headed past SYC’s goalkeeper assured CRUSA a comfortable 2-0 lead going into halftime. SYC, meanwhile, struggled to generate a successful attack until forward Julia Suarez beat a defender down the right touchline and sent a shot that smacked against the crossbar just before the end of the half.

CRUSA dominated possession throughout the second half, displaying skillful distribution from the back line and center midfield.  After SYC fouled nearly twenty yards from their own goal, Nicole Pannella placed a direct free kick in the back of the net and increased CRUSA’s lead to three. SYC midfielder Maribeth Salinas prevented a CRUSA shutout by converting a penalty kick that served as the game’s final goal.

Girls U-15 Championship Prince William SI Courage Gold 6-2 World Class FC ’95 Girls
Prince William flexed its scoring muscles early Sunday morning when it topped a flat World Class FC team 6-2. Midfielder Jessica Leonard got things started for PWSI when she finished a bouncing ball far post for the game’s opening goal. Minutes later, Colleen Gawkins slipped a shot past World Class goalkeeper Sarah Gross, who left her line for the attempted save. A three vs. two Prince William counterattack awarded Gawkins another goal when she again sent the ball far post.

The 3-0 score at halftime did not reflect the prior tournament performance of World Class FC, who held eventual Jefferson Cup champions SAC United Premier to a tight 1-0 win on Saturday.

World Class FC entered the second half as a more energetic and aggressive team, which showed when Michele Galvin received a slotted ball from midfield and placed it just between the crossbar and keeper for World Class FC’s first goal of the game. PWSI did not let up and followed quickly with goals from forward Jewel Christian and midfielder Cassidy Rowell. Christian added another goal to her tally after faking out a World Class defender and quickly shooting past the keeper. During her post-goal celebration, however, Christian was cautioned for unsporting behavior.

Nicole Aylmer netted a goal late in the second half for World Class FC, resulting in a 6-2 final score.

U-15 Elite: Richmond Strikers SC Elite 1-1 BRYC ’95 Elite
An intrastate contest between the Richmond Strikers and BRYC Elite ended in a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation Sunday. BRYC ultimately captured third place in the Elite division after beating the Strikers 5-4 in penalty kicks.

The game began with an early goal for each side. BRYC went up first thanks to a quick goal from Maggie Chapman. But the lead was short-lived when Richmond forward Elizabeth Ball finished a direct free kick for the Strikers.  BRYC controlled possession during the first half and worked the ball well through the middle. Richmond had a solid scoring chance before halftime with a two on two attack and slotted ball, but the play was eventually ruled offside.

Throughout the second half, BRYC had several opportunities on goal, yet was unable to translate them into a score. Midfielder Katherine Pieper rocketed a shot just over Richmond’s crossbar as regulation time wore out, sending the teams into two five minute overtime periods.  Play remained scoreless during overtime and third place in the Elite division was eventually decided by a penalty kick shootout.

Overall, the penalty kick shooting was accurate and on point for both teams. BRYC goalkeeper Gabrielle DiRocco’s tip over-the-bar save on Richmond’s fourth shot was the game’s deciding factor.

U-16 Superior: Lake Norman SC 94 Carolina Eclipse 2-1 Yankee United FC Blaze (CT)  
Sunday afternoon’s match between the Lake Norman Eclipse and Yankee United was a close competition that ended in a 2-1 Lake Norman win. From the beginning of the game, Lake Norman established a strong physical presence that offset Yankee United’s finesse style of play. United failed to take advantage of early set pieces, leaving several corner kicks unfinished in the 18 yard box. A United free kick about midway through the first half provided the Connecticut team with its only goal of the game.

Yankee United responded to Lake Norman’s physicality with more aggressive play in the second half, leading to a hard hit that earned a United defender a yellow card and gave Lake Norman a decent scoring chance.  Another United foul, this time a push in their own box, awarded Lake Norman a penalty kick, which defender Lindsey Byrne placed past the United goalkeeper.

Forward Kiana Ruger shone in the middle for United with smart passes and an elegant turn and shoot combination that sailed wide late in the second half.  But minutes later, Lake Norman midfielder Jane Cline scored the game’s winning goal after taking advantage of a one-on-one encounter with United keeper Megan FitzGerald.

U-15 Elite Championship: Bethesda SC Freedom 0-0 Cleveland United
The U-15 Elite Championship game started thirty minutes late after the division’s third place contest relied on a penalty kick shootout to determine its winner. Coincidentally, the championship game ended in much the same fashion with Bethesda FC (MD) topping Cleveland United (OH) 1-0 in an overtime shootout.

The championship was a physical drama in which Bethesda’s excellent back line staved off Cleveland’s many offensive advances.  Eleni Colevas and Ariana Fryer led Bethesda’s defense with particularly strong shielding and hard fought battles in the air. Goal chances were few and far between for both teams during the first half, resulting in a 0-0 score at the end of the first 40 minutes.

Midfielder Seyla Perez sparked Cleveland’s attack in the second half, sending one solid shot on goal that forced Bethesda goalkeeper Alexis Bryant to react quickly and tip the ball over the crossbar.  Bryant had numerous quality saves during the second half, including the disruption of a breakaway that could have sealed a win for Cleveland.

The game remained scoreless at the end of regulation, sending Cleveland and Bethesda into two extra overtime periods and an eventual penalty kick shootout. Good stops from Bethesda’s Bryant helped the Maryland team clinch the Elite division title.

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