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WILSON, N.C. (Nov. 30, 2012) –
The 2012-2013 US Youth Soccer National League
Girls season is in full swing after two days at Wilson Gillette Soccer Complex, Barton College and Fike High School in Wilson, N.C. The season is shaping up to be a long battle for the divisional titles and automatic entries to the US Youth Soccer National Championships and the third day of play should play a big role in determining the final standings, featuring three matchups between teams with 2-0 records.
All four 2012 National Champions have picked up where they left off last summer, with all four posting two wins in the first two games.
Under-16 VSA Heat 96 Blue (VA) finished third in their National League division last season before falling in the Region I semifinals by a goal to the eventual champions. After a season of National League experience and watching their older sisters, the Under-18 VSA Heat, win the National Championship, the U-16's are 2-0 and looking to make their way to Overland Park this summer.
"We wanted to get back into the National League because of the competition," said VSA Head Coach Steve Smith. "It’s a great way for the girls to get the experience of playing against the top teams and see styles of play from different parts of the country. So, I think that’s the biggest thing and the added incentive is that the top-two teams get to go onto Nationals, so that’s the big perk there.
"In the National League, players get to see different problems with different situations on the field that they don’t normally get to see. We might see a different system or a different style of play, different types of players, so we really have to adjust and really balance it out and see what we can do.
"The nice thing about our club is the older teams and the younger teams train together, so I think they see what the U-18's accomplished. Two of our players were club-passed onto the U-18 team at Nationals, so I think they were able to come back and share the experience. So, the girls have been really motivated and they want to go and experience what the older girls got to do."
The Under-18 VSA Heat not only has the National Championship to boast, but 16 players are committed to play NCAA Division I collegiate soccer, and the club hopes the Under-16's can benefit from the same exposure.
"Yesterday we had 40-50 coaches out," said Smith. "National League is a great way to get the girls to get looked at. The coaches know they’re getting a good look at quality players at one site, so it’s been really great. National League has been good for our girls."
National League teams earn their place in the league based on a proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer regional and national competitions and are among the nation's best. Competing for a league title and a spot in the US Youth Soccer National Championships
, each and every game will play into who represents the National League this summer in Overland Park, Kan.
The league is an extension of the highly successful US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (US Youth Soccer Region I Premier League, Midwest Regional League, Region III Premier League and Far West Regional League). The National League provides an avenue for teams to play in meaningful matches against top competition from across the country for continued development and opportunities for exposure at the national team, collegiate and professional levels.
Some highlights from today's matches…
Defending National Champion VSA Heat Blue (VA) is on their way to defending their title with a 2-0 (two and oh) record, beating North Shore United Blue (WI), 4-0. Auburn commit Savannah Miller paved the way with two goals in the last two minutes of the first half and Longwood commit Christina Corbin added another in the 53rd while Iona commit Alexa Wagoner finished things off with a 70th minute goal.
Lou Fusz Wipke (MO) overcame an early own goal to defeat CUP Crew Jrs Gold 94/95 (OH-S), 3-2. After an own goal gave CUP the lead in the 20th minute, Lou Fusz ran off three straight before halftime from Rockhurst commit Alexis Boschert in the 34th, Hali Long in the 43rd and Illinois State commit Hannah Leinert in the 45th. CUP got within a goal a minute into the second half from Wisconsin commit Rose Lavelle, but couldn’t find the equalizer.
Match Fit Chelsea Beat (NJ) had to fend off Tennessee SC 14 to their first win with a 4-2 victory after Tennessee erased a two goal deficit. Brianna Robinson gave Match Fit what looked like a comfortable 2-0 lead after 22 minutes. But Annie Redovian (High Point) scored a minute before the break for Tennessee and Rebecca Rolfe leveled three minutes into the second half. Match Fit fought back to grab the lead in the 74th from Kansas commit Ashley Pankey, and Victoria Ahde added the fourth in stoppage time.
Cleveland United White (OH-N) joined the top of the table with their first win by taking down PWSI Courage 95 Gold (VA), 2-0. Briana Steward scored the eventual game winner in the 55th for Cleveland and Central Michigan commit Jaycie Brown put the game away with her 82nd minute strike.
The first two games of the season have been a breakout party for Kristin Schnurr of VSA Heat 96 Blue (VA) as she matched her goal total for all of last season in one game today, scoring all four goals versus Javanon 97 Black (KY) in the 4-0 VSA win. Schnurr has opened a wide gap in the goal scoring charts with six total after scoring twice in the season opener yesterday and in the 8th, 14th, 75th and 80th minutes today.
PWSI Courage 96 Red (VA) notched their first victory of the season 1-0 against FC Alliance Black (TN). Stefanie Page scored the lone goal of the game in the 12th minute in the shutout effort from the PWSI defense.
Eclipse Elite Black 97-98 (IL) won their second straight game by defeating Oklahoma FC 98, 3-0. Alissa Gorzak led Eclipse with a brace, scoring in the 6th and 56th minutes. Lea Waddle added the second goal in the 27th as the Eclipse defense posted their second shutout.
Tennessee SC 16 grabbed a stoppage time game winner from Karlie Paschall to defeat Herndon Freedom 97 (VA) 2-1 for their first victory. Olivia Winnett put Tennessee in front 11 minutes in, but Olivia Fiegel leveled for Herndon five minutes before halftime.
National League action continues Saturday, Dec. 1. Complete standings, scores and schedules, including goal scorers and match information, can be found at the results page here
. Click on the score of each game for more information.