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Global Aug 03, 2012

Super Y-League top performers

As the 2012 Super Y-League season winds down, teams are more and more aware of the importance of each remaining game.

For the teams that have already clinched a bid to the 2012 North American Finals at IMG Academy in December, keeping fresh and injury-free are some of the main priorities.

For teams that have not qualified, the final games offer an opportunity for the outstanding players who can prove the difference between qualification and consolation, such as a few of this week’s top performers.

Elizabeth Lane
Seacoast United Mariners U15 Girls

Lane led the Mariners’ line superbly with a hat trick performance in Seacoast United’s 6-0 win against the MPS Lady Knights on Saturday.

“Liz is new to the team this season and has made a fantastic impact,” Mariners coach James Blackwell said.

Lane’s impact on this game was helped by teammate Abigail Maker, who contributed multiple assists, as well as Jenna Soucy, who also scored three goals through three clinical finishes.

“She is incredibly talented but has the work rate and desire to push herself and improve that makes her a standout player,” Blackwell said.

Her hat trick marks the second in three games for the young player, after she scored three in the Mariners’ win against Nordic Soccer Club on July 22.

“She combines well with the other players around her and when she’s not scoring she’s providing assists for others,” Blackwell said.

“What makes it even more impressive is that she’s a true U-14; she’s playing up against older players, although you wouldn’t know it.”

Christian Pederson
Force Football Club Academy U16 Boys

Pederson’s hat trick in Force’s 5-0 win against St. Louis Lions Elite Academy on Sunday helped his Midwest Division club clinch the top spot in the division and a berth at the Super Y-League North American Finals.

The U-16 boys knew a win would secure their place at the Finals and started the game brightly, but could not unlock the door to the game’s opening goal. St. Louis proved to be difficult to break down until Drew Rozman converted a great corner delivery midway through the first half.

The game went back and forth until substitution Christian Pederson entered the game and extended the lead to 2-0 after some nice combination play from Rozman and Benjamin Kileen. Pederson’s second came shortly after, as Jasdeep Khaira showed tremendous vision and great technical ability to place a perfectly-weighted through ball into the substitute’s path. Pederson finished the opportunity and set the Force boys on their way to Nationals with a 3-0 half time lead.

Five minutes into the second half, Pederson completed his hat trick with a neat finish across the St. Louis goalkeeper with his weaker left foot after some superb buildup play by Kenneth Vincent and Eric Towns. Towns completed the scoring with a powerful header from a Vincent corner not long before the final whistle.

“Christian is actually a converted forward,” Force Coach Daniel Price said. “He spent the last eight months as a defender for us. After trying him there a few times, it was quite clear that his size, speed, and eye for goal are a major threat to any opposition.

“He took all his goals really well, to be honest, and his work rate leading up to them was fantastic. He has people to thank, as some of the through balls and buildup play [made for] some of the best soccer we have played all season.

“But his contribution in front of goal was first class.”

Casey Estey
Seacoast United Wanderers U15 Girls

Estey scored two goals and assisted the other two in the Wanderers’ 4-0 win against Nordic Soccer Club on Sunday to keep her team in the race for a place at the finals in December.

The New England Division club faced Nordic for the second time this season. The previous result was in Seacoast’s favor, and the girls hoped for a similar outcome against the home team.

Seacoast was able to get the much-needed opener just before the end of the first half and managed to step up a few gears in the second half to add three more.

“I thought Casey was excellent [on Sunday],” Seacoast Coach Christopher Scott said. “She was the focal point of all of the attacks we were involved in and was always linking the play. When she turns and drives at players she is very dangerous, and the two goals she scored showed that, as they were very good individually-taken goals.

“She has definitely flourished in a more central forward role this season, and I am very happy with how she is continuing to perform.”

Jessica Lukas
Long Island Rough Riders U17 Girls

The Rough Riders snagged one of the three bids in the Mid Atlantic Division for the Super Y-League Finals thanks to Lukas’ two-goal performance in her side’s 3-0 victory against Northern Virginia Majestics on Sunday.

Long Island kicked off a doubleheader against the Majestics in early hours of Sunday morning and had a strong start. The Rough Riders were able to capitalize on two goals from Lukas on the left wing in the opening 45 minutes for a 2-0 lead, and kept up the consistent play in the second half and moved the ball around well.

Erica Modena was able to cap the game with a third goal when she broke through the Majestics’ back line off of a through ball from Maggie Cash.

“Jessica has been creating opportunities for us all season from her position out wide,” Long Island coach Meghan Frey said. “She is a dynamic player with a lot of speed and skill on the ball.

“She’s a hard worker and has the ability to impact the game at any moment.”

Erica Modena
Long Island Rough Riders U17 Girls

Modena followed up her teammate’s earlier performance with her own in the second game of her side’s double-header. She recorded a hat trick in Long Island’s 5-0 win against the Northern Virginia Majestics.

The Rough Riders were ready to put in a strong showing in their last home game of the season. It quickly became a physical battle, but they were able to maintain their composure. The Majestics were playing a high offside trap, which enabled Long Island to break through the defense and score shortly after the opening kickoff.

Modena was able to break through the Majestics’ defense on several occasions to open up multiple scoring opportunities.

Long Island controlled most of the first half and went into the break with a 2-0 lead. It did not take long to extend the lead, either, as the Mid Atlantic Division club scored a third goal early into the half and was able to find its way to a 5-0 victory with steady, composed play.

Modena’s tenacity, clever touch, and clinical finishing led to some excellent goals.

“Erica is a smart player with exceptional technical ability,” Rough Riders coach Meghan Frey said. “She has a great capacity to finish her opportunities in front of the goal and is quite the offensive threat.

“She’s had a tremendous season with the Rough Riders and is playing some great soccer.”

Mariah Vollmer
St. Louis Lions Elite Academy U17 Girls

Vollmer scored six goals in two games during the weekend for her club, including a four-goal game on Sunday against Alliance Academy.

The Midwest Division team played four games in the span of two days to conclude the 2012 Super Y-League season and finished with a 4-3-1 record, a fourth place finish.

Against Alliance, the Lions’ final game, St. Louis fell behind to an early goal in the fourth minute. Vollmer took control of the game and scored four consecutive goals to lead her team to a 6-1 win.

“Mariah is a goal-scorer and she displayed just that in a span of 30 minutes,” St. Louis coach Steven Jose said. “She can win a game for you, for sure.”