US Youth Soccer ODP Girls Thanksgiving Interregional Day 1 Recap
BOCA RATON, Fla. (Nov. 19, 2017) — The annual US Youth Soccer ODP Girls Thanksgiving Interregional began Sunday in Boca Raton, Florida, with the 2003 and 2004 age groups starting the action.
The six-day event, which will take place Nov. 19-24 at Spanish River Athletic Park and Florida Atlantic University, will feature the teams in the 2000-2004 age groups comprised of some the top female players in the country.
The nearly 300 participating players were selected from US Youth Soccer State Association and Regional level evaluations. Throughout the week, players will attend training sessions and compete in matches against other Regions, in front of U.S. Soccer national staff and collegiate coaches to maximize their exposure for selection to the next level of play.
U.S. Soccer’s Womens Youth National Teams Director, April Heinrichs, was among those in attendance on Sunday, checking-in briefly at one of the games.
“One thing I said many years ago is that ODP stands for the opportunity to develop as a player,” Heinrichs said. “Playing here at this ODP event takes these girls our of their comfort zone and puts them in with players that are their equals athletically, technically or tactically.”
ODP Girls Thanksgiving Interregionals takes these players out of their comfort zone of club play which helps college scouts and U.S. Soccer scouts alike see what these players are like in a different element of play.
“These players are very aware of who’s sitting on the sidlines, and watching a player play under that stress is a little bit better for us than watching them in their club environement where they’re comfortable,”Heinrichs continued. “We like seeing players out of their comfort zone.”
Highlights from Day 1:
2003s | Midwest 0, West 2
An Olivia Garcia brace was the difference on the scoreboard as West beat Midwest 2-0 on the first day of play. Garcia made her way through the Midwest defense in the 17th minute and finished her chance to give West a 1-0 lead. The West defense held strong through the first half, and kept the clean sheet through the second. Garcia added her second goal late in the second half. Breaking through with speed, Garcia again got by the Midwest defense and slotted her shot left of the keeper making the final score 2-0.
2003s | East 2, South 1
An early penalty kick by Megan Morgan put South ahead 1-0 in just the fifth minute of play. After conceding early, East pushed hard for an equalizer for the rest of the half but couldn’t find the back of the net. South’s defense finally cracked in the 65th minute as Payton Patrick found the back of the net. South looked like they were going to take the lead shortly after as it worked the ball deep into East’s half of the field. The attack got through but Michela Auguadro made a close range save to keep the game level. South again pushed on the break and Olivia Lebdaoui got on the end of a pass and rounded Auguadro but was quickly shut down by an East defender. East fought back and earned what would winning goal in the 75th minute. Kaylee Armenia latched onto the end of a driven cross and finished her chance for a 2-1 lead. East’s defense held on through the final whistle to earn its team a victory on day one.
2004s | East 1, South 3
South got on the scoreboard in the 11th minute as Zoe Susi broke through the defense and shot far post beyond the diving keeper. East almost had its equalizing goal soon after but had a chance cleared off the line. Jordan Dudley increased the South lead in the 27th minute of play, placing her shot into the upper left corner. East had another great chance, late in the first half, but South’s Amanda Waggoner tipped the shot over the bar. Ava Morales cut South’s lead in half early in the second half beating the keeper to bring the score to 2-1. South’s Ashlyn Fernandez put the game away in the 66th minute as she slid to beat the keeper to the ball and snuck the ball under the keeper.
2004s | Midwest 2, West 2
The 2004 Midwest and West teams played to a 2-2 draw in their opening match. All of the game’s goals were scored in the first half with West taking the lead in the 11th minute thanks to a Dolce Villaflor goal. Kennedy Josephs took advantage of a penalty kick opportunity to level the score and bring Midwest back into the game. Just three minutes later, Kennedy Alberty gave Midwest the lead. Alberty received a through ball and slotted her chance far post for the 2-1 advantage. West didn’t even wait 60 seconds to score, taking the ensuing kick-off directly down the field with Villaflor scoring her second of the game to equalize the sides. After a thrilling first half, both teams’ defenses held strong to keep the score level at 2-2 through the final whistle.