Jefferson Cup U-16 Girls Preview: ECNL, US Club, USYS sides from East to West set to square off
With the 2015 Jefferson Cup quickly approaching, SoccerWire.com has started an article series previewing the top divisions for the showcase age groups. See below for a look at the U-16 Girls Championship Division.
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Coach: Brian Thames
Group Schedule: Tampa Bay United Premier 98 (March 20, 4:20 p.m. @ West Creek #7) | Richmond United ECNL (March 21, 1 p.m. @ West Creek #10) | Bethesda ECNL Impact 98 (March 22, 8 a.m. @ River City #5)
Overview: Reigning Arizona State Cup champions Ahwatukee 99 White were US Youth Soccer Region IV semifinalists as well in 2014, and finished first in the Chipotle AZ State League Division 1. Also in 2014, they were finalists in the top flight of the Nomads Coaches Showcase and in the Las Vegas Thanksgiving Classic. Class of 2017 forwards Caroline Bych, Paige Maling and Kelly Cannistra combined to score 9 goals in three games at Regionals in 2014 and are key players up top for Ahwatukee.
Coach: Paul Riley
Group Schedule: ASA Azzurri (March 20, 4:20 p.m. @ West Creek #4) | FC Virginia 98 ECNL (March 21, 11:20 a.m. @ West Creek #8) | Slammers FC 98 Maroon (March 22, 8 a.m. @ River City #4
Overview: Returning Jefferson Cup Elite Division champions from a year ago, Albertson will look to repeat this year as they enter the top bracket. Albertson placed third in the ECNL New England Division for 2013-14, posting an 8-5-3 (W-L-D) record and scoring 34 goals while allowing just 19. The Fury reached the semifinals of the National Elite Women’s Soccer Showcase (NEWSS) and the Discovery Cup top flights in 2014. U.S. Youth National Team defender Caitlin Cosme and midfielders Catherine Gambino and Danitza Leon are among the key class of 2017 players on a deep Albertson roster. [player_box id=49029 leftright=right]
[player_box id=51225 leftright=right]Coach: Kerry Brimmer
[player_box id=49033 leftright=right]Group Schedule: Albertson Fury ECNL 98 (March 20, 4:20 p.m. @ West Creek #4) | Slammers FC 98 Maroon (March 21, 9:40 a.m. @ West Creek #10) | FC [player_box id=51231 leftright=right]Virginia 98 ECNL (March 22, 1 p.m. @ West Creek #6)
Overview: Two-time Maryland State Cup champs Arundel SA Azzurri have not [player_box id=51218 leftright=right]slowed down since reaching the Jefferson Cup top flight final a year ago, where they lost 2-1 in a tough battle against PDA O’Reilly. The team placed fourth in the 2014 Region I Premier League, second in the South Division and recently reached the Disney Soccer Showcase Premier White Division final after going 2-0-1 in group play. Center backs Emily Roberts (2017) and Brittaney Reffit (2017) are energizers defensively, while center midfielder Allie Brimmer (2017), midfielder Hannah Hoefs (University of Maryland – 2016) and forward Montanna Hill (2016) are among the team’s top playmakers on offense.
Coach: Hayley Siegel
Group Schedule: Richmond United ECNL (March 20, 2 p.m. @ West Creek #10) | Tampa Bay United Premier 98 (March 21, 1 p.m. @ West Creek #4) | Ahwatukee 99 White (March 22, 8 a.m. @ River City #5)
Overview: 2014 Discovery Cup champion Bethesda has jumped out ahead in the ECNL Ohio Valley Division with a 3-0-1 record, scoring 7 goals and giving up just 2. Forward Cameron Murtha (2017) has been a sparkplug offensively, racking [player_box id=48436 leftright=right]up 3 goals and 3 assists in only four league games. Murtha also netted all of her team’s goals in a thrilling 4-4 match against FC Virginia at the PWSI President’s Day Showcase on Feb. 14. Bethesda forward Jamie Fink (2017) has added 1 goal and 1 assist in ECNL play, while Maria Harrington, midfielder Sofia Rebaudengo (2017) and Ashley Ventura each have 1 goal on the young season. Jadyn Wilensky (2017) has added 1 assist.
Coach: Benard Dargle
Group Schedule: Loudoun 98 Red (March 20, 10:20 a.m. @ West Creek #10) | PDA O’Reilly (March 21, 11:20 a.m. @ West Creek #4) | NEFC Elite (March 22, 9:40 a.m. @ West Creek #10)
Overview: Ohio North State Cup champion Cleveland FC ’98-’99 won the 2014 Jefferson Cup Platinum Division, earning an impressive 2-0 win over Continental FC DELCO ECNL in the final. Cleveland FC captured the Generation Adidas Bethesda Tournament Chesapeake Division title as well, going a perfect 3-0-0 with wins over Premier SC Real (MD), Albertson Fury ECNL and Continental FC DELCO ECNL once again. A few of the team’s key players from the class of 2017 include midfielder Sofia Rossi, defender Daysha Randelson and midfielder/defender Maria Gerace.
Coach: Christian Cziommer
Group Schedule: Slammers FC 98 Maroon (March 20, 4:20 p.m @ West Creek #9) | Albertson Fury ECNL (March 21, 11:20 a.m. @ West Creek #8) | ASA Azzurri (March 22, 1 p.m. @ West Creek #6)
Overview: Currently in a close race with Richmond United and CASL for the ECNL Chesapeake Division lead, FC [player_box id=43420 leftright=right]Virginia 98 will take a break from league play to compete for a Jefferson Cup title. FCV has gone 6-1-4 [player_box id=45895 leftright=right]this season in the league, scoring 23 goals and allowing 12. Forward Lilly Weber (2016) and [player_box id=48442 leftright=right]midfielder/forward Ashley Anderson (2017) have been an unstoppable combination at times, combining for 13 goals and 4 assists. Midfielder Isabella Ponzi (2018) has netted 4 goals and two-way player Susanna Weisskopf (2016) leads the team with 4 assists. Forward/attacking midfielder Gabriella Gordon (2017) has 3 goals and 1 assist, and forward/midfielder Katie Le (2017) has 2 goals and 3 assists.
Coach: Randy May
Group Schedule: Cleveland FC ’98-’99 (March 20, 10:20 a.m. @ West Creek #10) | NEFC Elite (March 21, 1 p.m. @ West Creek #3 | PDA O’Reilly (March 22, 1 p.m. @ West Creek #9)
Overview: A perennial Region I power, Loudoun 98 Red will vie for another Jefferson Cup championship, this time in the top flight after winning the Superior Division in 2014. In the last year alone, Loudoun has finished first in the US Youth Soccer Region I Premier League, won the Virginia State Cup, the WAGS Tournament, the Columbia Invitational Memorial Day [player_box id=46950 leftright=right]Tournament and the Loudoun Soccer College Showcase. They have been finalists in the Region I [player_box id=49031 leftright=right]Championships, Disney Soccer Showcase, OBGC Capital Cup and the August Cup. They are currently second place in the US Youth Soccer National League Blue Division and first place (11-0-2) in the Club Champions League. Forward Allyson Brown (2017) is a consistent scoring threat up top with 4 goals so far in National League play. Madeline Kelsey (2017), Leah Deutsch (2017) and Anna Deutsch (2017) provide versatility in the midfield, and Region I ODP goalkeeper Courtenay Kaplan is a game-changer in net.
Coach: Christopher Hamblin
Group Schedule: PDA O’Reilly (March 20, 9:40 a.m. @ West Creek #9) | Loudoun 98 Red (March 21, 1 p.m. @ West Creek #3) | Cleveland FC ‘98-‘99 (March 22, 9:40 a.m. @ West Creek #10)
Overview: 2014 Region I semifinalists and three-time reigning Massachusetts State Cup champion NEFC Elite is one of the Northeast’s dominant teams, having won both the New England and New York NPL in the past year. They also won the GPS Thanksgiving Showcase and PDA Invitational Girls Showcase in 2014, and reached the semifinals of the Jefferson Cup Championship Division, Disney Showcase Gray Division and NEFC Preseason Tournament Gold Division. National ODP forward Katherine Hostage (2017) and forward/midfielder Sarah Lofstrom (2017) are key players offensively, while defenders Alyssa Lum (2017) and Rebecca Michaud (2017) are vital members of the team’s strong back line.
Coach: Tom Anderson
Group Schedule: NEFC Elite (March 20, 9:40 a.m. @ West Creek #9) | Cleveland FC ’98-’99 (March 21, 11:20 a.m. @ West Creek #4) | Loudoun 98 Red (March 22, 1 p.m. @ West Creek #9)
Overview: Returning Jefferson Cup Championship Division winner PDA O’Reilly is coming off a top flight title at the National Elite Women’s Soccer Showcase (NEWSS) and a run to the 2014 ECNL Nationals semifinal round. PDA has won its first three ECNL matches this season to take an early lead in the Metro Division, having scored 12 goals and allowing only 2. U.S. Youth National Team pool players Evangeline Soucie (goalkeeper – 2016), Alexa Ferreira (midfielder – 2017) and Kaitlin Higgins (defender – 2017) are just a few key players on the team’s star-studded roster.
Coach: Andy McIntosh
Group Schedule: Bethesda ECNL Impact 98 (March 20, 2 p.m. @ West Creek #10) | Ahwatukee 99 White (March 21, 1 p.m. @ West Creek #10) | Tampa Bay United Premier 98 (March 22, 9:40 a.m. @ West Creek #4)
Overview: Currently holding a 7-2-3 division record, the leaders of the ECNL Chesapeake Division have been strong [player_box id=47384 leftright=right]both offensively and defensively throughout the 2014-15 season. Richmond United has been [player_box id=46676 leftright=right]outstanding closing games out, winning six by one-goal margins so far in ECNL league play. Forward Taylor Guy (2016) leads the team in scoring with 6 goals and 3 assists, followed by Gabrielle Johnson (2017) with 5 goals along with 3 assists and Morgan Hall’s (2017) 4 goals and 2 assists. Riley Cook (2017) leads Richmond United in the assist column with 5 while also adding 3 goals.
Coach: Pat O’Brien
Group Schedule: FC Virginia 98 ECNL (March 20, 4:20 p.m. @ West Creek #9) | ASA Azzurri (March 21, 9:40 a.m. @ West Creek #10) | Albertson Fury ECNL 98 (March 22, 8 a.m. @ River City #4)
Overview: Representing one of Southern California’s most respected clubs, Slammers FC 98 Maroon have played well at some of the most competitive showcase events on the West Coast. They were finalists in the San Diego Surf Cup Gold Division and in the Pleasanton RAGE College Showcase top flight in 2014, as well as champions of the So Cal Summer Showcase Predator Division. They also reached the semifinals of the 2014 Players Showcase Cosmopolitan Division in Las Vegas. Slammers FC finished third with a 10-2-0 record in the Southern California Developmental SL last fall. Forward Shayna Larson (8 goals, 5 assists), forward Carmany Jones (8 goals, 2 assists), Savanna Hayes (3 goals, 4 assists), forward Alexsis Weiser (2 goals, 3 assists), midfielder Raven Epps (3 goals, 1 assist) and defender Olivia Covert (2 goals, 2 assists) are some of the team’s key players.
Coach: James Cote
Group Schedule: Ahwatukee 99 White (March 20, 4:20 p.m. @ West Creek #7) | Bethesda ECNL Impact 98 (March 21, 1 p.m. @ West Creek #4) | Richmond United ECNL (March 22, 9:40 a.m. @ West Creek #4)
Overview: Florida State Cup finalists Tampa Bay United recently won the Disney Showcase Gray Division title, defeating in-state opponent Sunrise Stings 98/99 2-0 in the final. United also placed fifth in the highly competitive Southern Region Premier League East in the fall. A few of the team’s key players from the class of 2017 include midfielder Elaina Laxer, center defender Paige Liebel, goalkeeper Kendall Catone and center midfielder Sophie Wiltshire.