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2013-14 US Youth Soccer National League Girls season set for exciting final day

March 22, 2014 07:51 PM
 

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2013-14 US Youth Soccer National League Girls season set for exciting final day

Eight National League titles and nine berths to Nationals to be decided Sunday

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 22, 2014) — The US Youth Soccer National League Under-14, Under-15, Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 Girls continued league play Saturday at Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex in Las Vegas, alongside the 2014 Players Showcase. The girls will wrap up their season on Sunday, as the standings will be solidified and the final tickets to the US Youth Soccer National Championships will be secured.

After just two berths to the National Championships were determined Friday, six teams secured their ticket to Germantown, Md., on Saturday. However, the top of most group standings are still in question, as nine tickets to the National Championships are still to be punched, and eight National League division titles will be decided on the season’s final day.

Aside from earning an automatic ticket to the 2014 US Youth Soccer National Championships, teams in the Under-14, Under-15, Under-16 and Under-17 age groups are also vying for a top-two finish to earn their automatic return to the league in the 2014-15 National League season.

Carlsbad Elite (CA-S) became just the second National League Champion of the season after it clinched the Under-17 Red Division title on Saturday. While several other squads had chances to secure titles, the league showed its depth as several results prevented the teams near the top of the standings from pulling away.

Three defending National Champions were among the six teams to secure berths to the 2014 National Championships on Saturday. Eastside FC 98 Red (WA) is heading to Germantown thanks to a 2-0 win, and the Washington side has a chance to clinch the Under-15 Blue Division title with a win or tie on Sunday. Fellow 2013 National Champion Cleveland United White (OH-N) is in a similar position after it punched its ticket to Nationals but has a chance to win the Under-18 Blue Division with a victory on Sunday.

DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S) also clinched a return trip to Nationals and chance to defend its title after securing a top-two finish in the Under-17 Blue Division. The Sharks defeated fellow Cal South side Legends FC 96 (CA-S), 1-0, in a game where a loss for either side meant that team no longer would have a shot at punching its ticket to Nationals. DMCV avoided the fatal loss and is now set on defending its National Championship after navigating a difficult National League schedule.

“The National League really is unbelievable — the competition day in and day out,” said Felicia Kappes, head coach of DMCV. “Going to North Carolina, we lost a game. Every game counts. It’s incredible. It’s such an incredible challenge for the girls.”

Kappes and DMCV now have a chance to make a run at another title before some of their players begin their college careers. Kappes said the type of teams her players face during the National League season has helped prepare them to play at the next stage of their soccer careers.

“What I love about it is that they’re getting ready for the next level. It’s not about youth soccer anymore. It’s about getting ready for the next level and setting the foundations,” Kappes said. “This kind of competition at this level is giving you everything to be prepared. I’m thrilled with the National League and what it has to offer.”

Other teams to secure berths to the National Championships on Saturday were Under-18 Match Fit Beat (NJ) and Under-17 NSA Jaguars (IL), which clinched because of Legends FC 96’s loss to DMCV.

2014 US Youth Soccer National Championship Qualifiers via the National League
*qualified Saturday

Under-14
Red: Carlsbad Elite 99 (CA-S)

Under-15
Blue: Futura Academy Forte (MO)
Blue: Eastside FC 98 Red (WA)*

Under-16
Blue Champion: Eclipse Elite Black 97/98 (IL)

Under-17
Blue: DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S)*
Blue: NSA Jaguars (IL)*
Red Champion: Carlsbad Elite (CA-S)*

Under-18
Blue: Beach FC Ingrassia (CA-S)
Blue: Cleveland United White (OH-N)*
Red: BRYC 95 Elite (VA)
Red: Match Fit Beat (NJ)*

**Four teams qualify for the National Championships per age group

National League Girls action concludes Sunday, March 23 at Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex with games at 7:30 a.m., 9:20 a.m. and 11:10 a.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 Saturday’s matches…

Under-14

An entertaining game between Legends FC 99 (CA-S) and Tophat 18 Gold (GA) left the Under-14 Blue Division title up for grabs heading into the final day of the season. Legends opened the scoring with an early goal by Alexandra Jaquez. Tophat, which could have secured a spot in Nationals with a win, responded in the 28th minute with a Pace Stephenson goal. The Georgia side took the lead in the 61st minute when Rachel Jones chipped the keeper and saw her shot cross the goal line before a defender could clear it. However, Legends responded by drawing a foul in the box, and Emily Knous converted the penalty kick to force a 2-2 tie. The result leaves Tophat in first place with 14 points, while Legends has 13 points and is tied for second with Exiles Black (CA-S).

Under-15

Defending National Champion Eastside FC 98 Red (WA) used a pair of second-half goals to defeat NASA 17 Elite (GA), 2-0, and punch its ticket back to the National Championships. After a scoreless first half in which Eastside hit the crossbar, the Washington side eventually broke through on a 61st-minute tally by Ellie Bryant. Eastside doubled the lead five minutes later with a Makaylie Moore goal to secure the win and a top-two finish in the Under-15 Blue Division. A win or tie Sunday will give Eastside the division championship.

Under-16

Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S) and Syracuse Development Academy 97/98 (NY-W) will have to wait until Sunday’s games conclude to see which sides advance from the Under-16 Red Division. Carlsbad took a 15th-minute lead when Hayley Mayne slid her shot inside the left post after the keeper came off her line to cut down the angle. Pascale Dumesnil doubled the lead two minutes later, and Mayne added a third Carlsbad goal in the 53rd minute. Syracuse pulled a goal back when Kimberly Dieroff found the back of the net, but it couldn’t get any closer as Carlsbad hung on for the 3-1 win. An Albion USA 97-98 (CA-S) victory prevented Carlsbad from securing a top-two finish, and the top two spots in the division will be decided on Sunday.

The hope of a second-place finish in the Under-16 Blue Division is still alive for Legends FC 97 (CA-S) after it defeated Tennessee SC 16 (TN), 1-0. Samantha Guzman netted the game’s lone goal when she beat the keeper in the 37th minute. The Legends defense recorded a clean sheet, as the California side picked up its second of three necessary wins in Las Vegas. A victory on Sunday would help Legends overtake MRM Coyotes (MD) for second place via the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Under-17

A 1-0 win over familiar foe Legends FC 96 (CA-S) helped defending National Champions DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S) secure a top-two finish and trip to Germantown in July. In the crucial Under-17 Blue Division matchup, the California rivals went back and forth for much of the contest. Legends hit the post off of a corner early in the game, while the Sharks were denied a goal later in the half when the Legends keeper made a point-blank save. Crystal Cordova finally broke through for DMCV in the 80th minute when she followed up her own shot to put the ball in the goal. The result guaranteed idle NSA Jaguars (IL) a top-two finish, but DMCV can clinch the division title with a win or draw Sunday.

Kings Hammer Academy (OH-S) moved into second place in the Under-17 Red Division with a 2-1 win over previously unbeaten Bay Oaks Botafogo 96 (CA-N). Botafogo took an early lead thanks to an Aerial Chavarin tally, but Katie Murray hit a left-footed strike inside the far post to equalize for Kings Hammer shortly before halftime. In the 67th minute, Dipasquale Patrice received a low cross and hit a first-touch shot past the keeper. Bay Oaks nearly tied the game minutes later, but its attempt at goal was punched off the crossbar and Kings Hammer held on for the win. Both teams are fighting for second place after Carlsbad Elite (CA-S) clinched the division title with a win on Saturday, but Botafogo has the disadvantage of being two points behind Kings Hammer in the standings.  

Under-18

Match Fit Beat (NJ) earned a hard-fought 1-0 win against Beadling Thunder (PA-W) to punch its ticket to the National Championships. The Under-18 Red Division matchup remained scoreless until the 71st minute, when Kelsey Burke found the back of the net to give Match Fit the late lead. The New Jersey side’s defense held on for the clean sheet, as Match Fit clinched at least a second place finish in the group. BRYC 95 Elite (VA) holds a significant edge in goal differential and will likely hold on to clinch the division title.

Defending National Champion Cleveland United White (OH-N) put on a dominant display to earn a trip back to Nationals — beating PDA Ginga (NJ), 5-0. Rachel Schirripa opened the scoring for Cleveland, and Nicolette Griesinger doubled the advantage with a goal shortly after halftime. Katherine Zalar, Alissa Lisi and Natalie Coury each added goals to cap the victory. The result sets up an Under-18 Blue Division championship game between Cleveland and Beach FC Ingrassia (CA-S) on Sunday.

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/
Twitter: @nationalleague
Facebook: Facebook.com/usyouthsoccer
Instagram: Instagram.com/usyouthsoccer
YouTube: YouTube.com/usyouth

 

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