US Youth Soccer National League Conferences East Region Recap: Oct. 31 – Nov. 1
The US Youth Soccer National League Conferences, managed by EDP Soccer, saw teams in the 13U and 14U age groups play another important weekend of games for the Fall 2020 Season over Oct. 31- Nov. 1.
As the season nears an end and teams enter the final month of the fall schedule, some divisions are being decided as teams secure a first-place finish.
The USYS National League Conferences are part of each team’s pursuit of a place at the 2021 US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships, this season being held June 25-July 1, 2021 at Tuckahoe Turf Farms in Hammonton, N.J.
Some of the key matches in the conference over the weekend were:
In the 13U Boys Premier I Blue Division, PSA National 08 Boys and NJ Premier played a crucial game as they tried to keep pace with Torpedoes SC Red and Foundation 2008. Torpedoes SC sits in prime position to win the division having dropped just four points all season. Entering the weekend, PSA and NJ Premier had both dropped seven points, making a win vital for both teams when they met on the field. PSA won a high-scoring affair, 4-2, with goals being scored by Brandon Cosentino, Colton Davis, Ben Lyons and Daniel Altman.
“This was our best performance of the season, so far, without a doubt, and the squad deserves credit for the way they have prepared for the game this past week,” said Wayne Price, PSA National Director of Coaching. “The league is very competitive and you only need to look at some of the results to see that it is a case of ‘anyone can beat anyone’ on any given day.”
Price complimented NJ Premier and said it got the best of his team when the two sides previously met a month earlier. However, he said his team was focused from the first whistle during this weekend’s conference matchup, which helped contribute to the victory.
“We changed the way we played against them previously, and it worked. So, to be 2-0 up at halftime and reduce them to very little in terms of chances was pleasing,” Price said. “Obviously, against a team of this caliber, nothing is won at halftime and we needed to keep it going. You won’t see a better free kick than Ben Lyons’ this season, especially at a point in the game where the next goal was so important. But I’m also delighted with the other three goals we scored from open play.
“At 3-0, I still didn’t feel totally comfortable — you can’t in this conference — and NJ Premier kept going to the very end, but ultimately I thought we absolutely deserved the win today. It was certainly a great advert for the league.”
In the 14U Boys Premier I Blue Division, PDA Hibernian Scholes and PA Dominion FC squared off to decide the division winner. PDA Hibernian entered the last game of the season on 19 points, and PA Dominion entered with 15 points and one game in hand, making it a must win game for them. PA Dominion came away with the 2-0 win with goals by Matt Fisher and Ryan Noel.
PA Dominion coach Marc Meioli said his players learned a lot about themselves in the game, which included an injury to one of their standout players, Ethan Barr.
“[The injury] was a difficult moment as his teammates really look up to him, and he’s a great leader and teammate. Our kids showed a lot of character and maturity bouncing back,” Meioli said. “I am really proud of them. Now we have to turn our full focus on West Mont United to finish the job.”
In the 13U Girls Premier I Blue Division, Match Fit FC Academy Shore and Torpedoes SC Red were rescheduled due to weather, as the three-way race for the top between these two sides and Wall Elite Chelsea continues. Wall Elite and Match Fit FC are scheduled to play in the last game of the season for both teams.
In the 14U Girls Premier I Red Division, Torpedoes SC finished the season at the top of the table, as it prepares for the National League Playoffs in December.
“As we finish the final game of the league season, Torpedoes U14G have had another very successful fall,” head coach Andy Meaney said. “With a record of 7-0-0, scoring 20 goals and conceding just twice in the seven games, I could not be prouder of the players. Now that the league season is over, the team will continue to train hard and play through November and December with the USYS National League Playoffs coming up in Tampa in December. The team will go there full of confidence with a place in next summer’s Nationals at stake.”
In the 13U Boys Premier I Division, Coppermine 2008 Premier took on Potomac Blue 08 as it looked to stay in position to win the division with only a couple games remaining. Coppermine defeated Potomac, 2-0, and remains in position to win the league with two games left.
Coppermine’s first goal of the game came in the 20th minute when Bobby Cheswick made an incredible 60-yard run, beat three players down the right side of the pitch, and served a ball to the back post for an easy tap in by Leandro Llosa. The second goal came in the second half from Marco Taylor after Judah Pritchett made a dazzling run through the center of the pitch. Pritchett beat two defenders to create space for a 35-yard shot that the goal keeper could not hold, and Taylor had followed the shot and made sure to put it in the back of the net.
“We knew it was going to be a battle and that it was not going to be an easy game,” Coppermine coach Yassine Iguidre said. “Potomac is a very good team, and the boys were happy to come out on top. We look forward to training this week, as we prepare for our last two matches of the season.”
In the 14U Boys Premier I Division, Potomac Blue 07 posted a 3-0 win against Brausa 07 to stay on the top of the table. Matias Zarembka opened the scoring with a tap in from Henry Appleton. Matthias Englert converted from the penalty spot in the second half, and Noah Grosberg capped off the scoring with a beautiful header off the corner from David Araj.
“It was a rainy day and a slick field. The boys responded well. They moved the ball around and created scoring opportunities,” said Potomac coach Jesse Balsamo. “Brausa had a number of good chances, as well. I am proud of how our defense played. Austin Moon came up with a few big saves early in the game.”
In the 13U Girls Premier I Division, Penn FC Youth 2008 Black took on Lancaster Elite Atoms with the chance to win the division. After 70 minutes, the two rivals ended with the score tied 2-2. At half time, it was 1-0 in favor of Penn FC, as Lia Herb redirected a corner kick to score the game’s first goal. Following an equalizer in the second half, Penn FC once again took the lead when Hannah Sanson scored off a scramble in front of goal to put Penn FC up 2-1. A last-minute penalty kick saw Lancaster Elite tie the game 2-2. Ella Byrne and Nikki Nguyen were the goal scorers for Lancaster Elite Atoms.
“We have been battling Penn FC for years and today was no different except for the rainy and windy conditions. We started a little slow in the first half but finished strong in the end,” Lancaster Elite coach Chau Nguyen said. “Overall, our girls did a good job moving the ball and creating opportunities. We were fortunate to tie the game up in the final minute with a PK.”
Penn FC coach Austin Siodlowski also noted it was another “great game” between the two familiar sides.
“These are the types of games we signed up for,” Siodlowski said. “The match was a tough game to grasp a hold of due to slick field conditions, along with wind, rain and darkness. Penn FC did a good job defensively forcing the ball into predictable areas, which led to being dangerous on the break and winning set pieces in advanced positions.”
In the 14U Girls Premier I Division, Eagle FC and OPSA came into the match separated by one point at the top of the table, with OPSA on 14 points and Eagle FC on 13 points. OPSA Magic 07 pulled out a 3-0 win over Eagle FC to extend its lead at the top of the standings. Layla Epps scored the first goal with the assist from Isabel Triandafilou. The second goal came from Abby Cover with an assist by Epps to end the first half with OPSA up by two goals. Cover added another goal in the second half to cap the 3-0 win.
“We got off to a slow start due to the heavy rains. But once we scored first, it gave us the momentum we needed,” OPSA midfielder Jessica Gotshall said. “We came out with confidence to start the second half and kept up the pressure. We connected passes and finished. It was a total team effort.”
Several key games remain in the New England Conference following some postponements due to weather this past weekend.
In the 14U Girls Premier I Division, it has become a three-way race at the top of the table. New England Surf State Navy is on 15 points, Sporting CT on 12 points, and Ginga FC on 10 points with a game in hand. The season wraps up in two weeks, with all to play for.
In the 14U Boys Premier I Division, there are four teams that have separated themselves from the pack at the top of the table. Western United Pioneers, Seacoast United Mass South, Sporting CT and CFC North are all vying for the top spot.
In the 13U Boys Premier II Division, Park Slope United 2008 National and Valencia CF Academy NY 2008 Orange had an important game for promotion to Premier I next spring, as both teams entered at the top of the table having dropped only two points so far this season. Valencia won the matchup, 3-1, and now sits level with Park Slope on 13 points at the top of the table, with one game in hand.
In the 14U Boys Premier I Division, Kings Park SC X-Treme and Met Oval 2007 East played in a matchup between first and second place teams. Met Oval was able to score the lone goal of the game to win 1-0, and now sits in first place with a few games remaining. However, three teams are within one point of the top of the table.
In the 13U Girls Premier I Division, FC Somers Lady Hammers and Lake Grove Newfield SC Thunder played in a battle between first and second place. On a cold fall morning, FC Somers came out on top, 3-0, behind two goals from Fiona Kelleher and one goal from Paige Pena.
“We had many opportunities in the first half that we did not capitalize on. In the second half our team style of play and solid passing brought us success” said FC Somers coach Milan Davidovic.
In the 14U Girls Premier I Division, Clarkstown 07 Elite faced off with Met Oval Academy 2007 in a must-win game to keep pace with NY Surf, who Clarkstown will face next week in a possible division-deciding game.
In a very competitive match, Met Oval’s Amelia Fort was able to break the deadlock with a goal scored from a corner kick. Met Oval finished the match out with some strong defending. Clarkstown played well and threatened the goal often on set pieces, but were unable to find the back of the net in Met Ova’s 1-0 victory. Clarkstown will now need some help in the last few games of the season to catch New York Surf.
“This weekend, we were able to grow into the match against Clarkstown. The opposition pressed really high, but we kept to our game plan and style,” Met Oval coach Michael Filippi said. “I am very proud of the girls commitment to the Met Oval style of play, and for showing great passion when defending.”