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ECNL Jun 28, 2024

RECAP: San Diego Surf captures 2024 ECNL Girls U18/19 National Championship

After three rounds of the best ECNL Girls U18/19 teams battling it out in Seattle, San Diego Surf and Concorde Fire Platinum were the last two teams standing for the U18/19 National Championship.

Surf struck first in the opening half when Coco Dorfman made a run past the Concorde Fire defense and slotted home a shot in the lower corner to make it 1-0.

Nearly ten minutes later, Surf doubled their lead when Ines Derrien launched a left footed shot from the top of the box and into the back of the net to put Surf up 2-0. Surf then added onto their lead minutes later when Fernanda Rodriguez stole a pass and worked her way around the goalkeeper to put Surf up 3-0 going into the half.

In the second half, Surf tacked on two more goals to secure their National Championship title. Ella Emri put in the fourth goal of the game for Surf, before Kennedy Roesch, who was outstanding all day, earned a penalty kick in the final minutes. Roesch buried the kick for Surf’s fifth goal and solidified their National Championship.

After the game, Roesch, who was named the Player of the Match, said ending her Surf career with a National Championship was a dream finish, especially after losing in a final three years ago.

“It feels really good. To get it in my last game is the best possible scenario,” Roesch said. “We were here three years ago and it was really gut wrenching. We’ve had so much adversity, but we just grinded it out.”

In their final game together, Roesch said Surf’s mindset was to win for each other, and that all the memories she made with Surf throughout her career will be ones she carries with her for the rest of her life.

(Players That Impressed: ECNL Girls 2024 National Playoffs and Showcase)

“We wanted to just fight for each other and do it for each other. Luckily, we got the job done and I couldn’t be more excited,” Roesch said. “These are the memories you are going to cherish. The hardware and trophy is great, but these are the people I have grown up with the last ten years. They were my childhood and these memories will last my whole life.”

U16-U17 Champions League

Thursday’s games also included Round of 16 action in the U16 and U17 Champions Leagues, with the winners of each knockout stage game punching their tickets to Richmond for the ECNL Girls Finals in July.

In the U17 Champions League three games went all the way to penalties to decide who would be advancing to Richmond. Indy Eleven Pro Academy, Kansas City Athletics, and Slammers FC HB Køge all advanced to the ECNL Girls Finals on penalties, and will be joined in the last eight by Beach FC (CA), FC Dallas, Legends FC, Penn Fusion SA, and Solar SC, who kept their hopes alive of repeating as National Champions.

At the U16 age group, FC Stars Blue, San Diego Surf, Slammers FC HB Køge all advanced to the ECNL Girls Finals by way of penalty kicks, while Crossfire Academy, De Anza Force, Penn Fusion SA, Real Colorado National, and So Cal Blues also all punched their tickets to the ECNL Girls Finals.

North American Cup

Sporting Blue Valley took home the U17 North American Cup over Orlando City in penalty kicks, after the two sides were tied 3-3 after regulation, while in the U16 North American Cup final, Bethesda SC defeated Florida Krush 2-1.

Showcase Cup

Utah Avalanche claimed the U17 Showcase Cup A title in penalties over Mustang SC, while Challenge SC defeated Colorado Rapids 2-0 to claim the U16 Showcase Cup A title.

In Showcase Cup B, PacNW SC defeated Tampa Bay United 2-0 in the U17 final, while Pateadores won the U16 Showcase Cup B title on penalty kicks over Charlotte Independence.

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