2013-14 US Youth Soccer National League Girls begin final weekend of play
Day 1 of 3 complete
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 21, 2014) — The US Youth Soccer National League Under-14, Under-15, Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 Girls resumed league play Friday at Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex in Las Vegas, Nev., alongside the 2014 Players College Showcase. All Under-14 squads are competing this weekend, while half of the field is represented in the Under-15 through Under-18 age groups.
When the National League Girls’ standings are finalized on Sunday, March 23, the top two finishers from each age group division will earn a spot in the 2014 US Youth Soccer National Championships, July 21-27 in Germantown, Md., and the top two finishers in the Under-14, Under-15, Under-16 and Under-17 age groups will secure their place in the league next season. All teams displayed determination when they kicked off their weekend in Las Vegas on Friday, as many entered play with division titles and berths to the National Championships on the line.
The league standings remain tight, as Friday saw just two more teams punch their ticket to the National Championships. Carlsbad Elite 99 (CA-S) held off a dangerous Solar Chelsea Elite 00 (N-TX) attack to win, 1-0, and clinch a top-two finish in the Under-14 Red Division. With its ticket to Nationals punched, as well as spot in the 2014-15 National League secured, Carlsbad will now aim to lock up the division title.
In the Under-18 Blue Division, Beach FC Ingrassia (CA-S) continued its impressive run with a 3-0 win over PDA Ginga (NJ) to secure its place in the National Championships. The California side has used strong performances on both offense and defense to take its place at the top of the group standings with just two games left to play.
“It feels great. It’s been a few years of a lot of work for a lot of people to be here at this point," said Mauricio Ingrassia, head coach of Beach FC. “For us to be able to say that we clinched — and we have a spot at Nationals — is very satisfying and rewarding. I’m very proud of everyone involved. Not just our team and players, but parents, families and administrators. It’s a club-wide accomplishment.”
There are still several heated races for division titles and top-two finishes. Heading into Saturday’s games, 27 teams are still alive in their hunt for a ticket to the 2014 National Championships.
2014 US Youth Soccer National Championship Qualifiers via the National League
Red: Carlsbad Elite 99 (CA-S)*
Blue: Futura Academy Forte (MO)
Blue Champion: Eclipse Elite Black 97/98 (IL)
Blue: Beach FC Ingrassia (CA-S)*
Red: BRYC 95 Elite (VA)
National League Girls action continues Saturday, March 22 at Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex with games at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. PT.
The National 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.
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 Germantown, Md.
Some highlights from Friday’s matches…
Tophat 18 Gold (GA) and Exiles Black (CA-S) each put their perfect records on the line when they met Friday in an Under-14 Blue Division matchup. Tophat grabbed a 1-0 advantage before halftime when Hannah White received a cross at the back post and headed it past the keeper. Olivia DeMoraes responded for Exiles in the 48th minute, as she got behind the Tophat defense and slid her shot inside the right post to equalize the score. Neither team produced a winning goal, as they settled for a 1-1 tie to remain level atop the division standings.
With a hard-fought 1-0 win against Solar Chelsea Elite 00 (N-TX) on Friday, Carlsbad Elite 99 (CA-S) secured a top-two finish and punched its ticket to the National Championships. An Emelia Owen strike in the seventh minute gave Carlsbad an early lead that it did not relinquish. Despite several quality attacks by Solar, the Carlsbad defense maintained a clean sheet and gave the side its fifth win in five games. Carlsbad can clinch the Under-14 Red Division title with a win on Saturday.
YMS Premier Xplosion 98 (E-PA) had a chance to clinch a spot at Nationals during its first game in Las Vegas, but it fell, 1-0, to a focused Pride Predators 99 (CO) side. After an early YMS goal was called back for being offside, the Predators began to pressure the Pennsylvania squad’s net. The Predators eventually broke through in the 50th minute on a Natasha Wehner strike. That proved to be the game’s lone goal, as the Colorado side jumped back into the Under-15 Red Division title hunt with the 1-0 win.
In the Under-15 Blue Division, defending National Champion Eastside FC 98 Red (WA) earned a 2-0 win against Beadling Bulldogs (PA-W). After a scoreless first half, Joanna Harber put Eastside up with a goal in the 44th minute. Ten minutes later, Harber converted a penalty kick to double the Eastside advantage. The Washington side recorded a clean sheet en route to the victory and is in prime position to punch its ticket back to Nationals.
Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S) defeated Ambassadors FC (OH-N), 2-0, to remain in the thick of the Under-16 Red Division title race. Sunny Dunphy gave Carlsbad the lead when her left-footed chip beat the keeper, and teammate Caitlin McCarthy added an insurance goal in the 67th minute to help the California side to the 2-0 shutout. Carlsbad is now tied in the standings with Syracuse Development Academy 97/98 (NY-W), and the two sides meet tomorrow in a game that could dictate who wins the division.
In the Under-16 Blue Division, Legends FC 97 (CA-S) won to keep alive its hopes of finishing in second place. The California side must win all three games in Las Vegas to overtake MRM Coyotes (MD).
In a very competitive Under-17 Red Division, Carlsbad Elite (CA-S) moved to the top of the standings with a 3-0 win over previously unbeaten Kings Hammer Academy (OH-S). Hannah Miller opened the scoring in the 25th minute for Carlsbad, and Kings Hammer missed a couple of good chances to tie match — hitting the post twice. Sydney Yates and Sam Haynie added goals for Carlsbad to cap the 3-0 win. All four teams in the division playing in Las Vegas still have shots to qualify for the National Championships.
In the Under-17 Blue Division, Legends FC 96 (CA-S) and DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S) are tied with 12 points in the standings, setting up a crucial matchup on Saturday.
A pair of first-half goals propelled Match Fit Beat (NJ) to a 2-1 win over Legends FC 95 (CA-S) in Under-18 Red Division play. Alexis DellaPietro and Amanda Nardella each found the back of the net to give Match Fit a 2-0 lead at halftime. Legends broke through in the 83rd minute on an Alexandra Moon goal, but it wasn’t enough as Match Fit held on for the tight victory. The New Jersey side is now in control of the pursuit for a top-two finish in the group and still has a chance at the division title.
Beach FC Ingrassia (CA-S) secured its spot in the National Championships with a 3-0 win against PDA Ginga (NJ). A 13th-minute goal by Shannon Simon gave Beach FC the early lead, and Michelle Reed doubled the advantage in the 74th minute when she beat the keeper from the left side of the box. Kimberly Keever added a third goal for the California side, as it secured at least a top-two finish with the win.
Keep up with the National League all season:
National League Home: USYouthSoccer.org/National_League
Schedule and results: http://tournaments.usyouthsoccer.org/events/2013-2014-National-League/