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WILSON, N.C. (Dec. 1, 2012) –
Only one more day remains in the opening weekend of 2012-2013 US Youth Soccer National League
Girls play, with Sunday's matches solidifying team standings until the next meeting in Orlando, Fla., Dec. 31 - Jan. 2, alongside the Disney Showcase.
The third day of league play tends to separate the field as teams settle in after an anxious start to the season. Just eight teams have been able to win each of their first three games, and each division in the Under-15 through Under-17 Girls has exactly one team with a 3-0 record. Both Under-18 divisions have two teams tied atop the standings.
Under-18 Team Chicago Academy Botafogo (IL) has come out victorious in their first three games and sit atop the Red Division standings alongside defending National Champion VSA Heat Blue (VA), also at 3-0. The defending Region II Champions were put to the test today against Albion SC White (CA-S), but came out on top of a competitive and entertaining game.
"Albion came out and we were not prepared for the intensity they brought, and it took us off guard. We got out of playing our game, but once we settled in we took care of business and scored two spectacular goals," said Team Chicago Academy Botafogo Coach John Rizzo. "We want to get back to the National Championships. These girls have worked so hard and if they can just take care of business in the National League and earn that automatic bid, it would be fantastic."
Botafogo has three current U.S. National Team pool members and 17 players have committed to play collegiate soccer, 10 of which are headed to programs that advanced to the 2012 Division I NCAA Tournament. They are not only hoping to earn a spot in this summer’s National Championships, but to continue to develop and prepare the players for their college programs next summer.
"We have kids going to Wake Forest, UCLA, Kentucky, Ohio State, Miami (Fla.), Illinois, to many of the top programs in the country," said Rizzo. "Playing in the National League for the players is great. We’re playing the best competition from around the country and when they go to the next level they’re going to be prepared from day one to hopefully step on the field as freshman and play. In the National League you’re going to face a tough team every game and you have to be prepared."
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….
Under-18 Team Chicago Academy Botafogo (IL) defeated Albion SC White (CA-S) 2-0 to stay perfect and give Albion their first loss in the Red Division. Illinois commit Hope D’Addario put Team Chicago in front just before halftime and Katilin Johnson (Toledo) slammed a header into the back of the net in the 70th to get the win in a tough matchup.
Legends FC 94 (CA-S) and Lou Fusz Wipke (MO) had a chance to take a firm stance in the Blue Division as both teams entered with 2-0 records, but neither could take control in a 1-1 draw. Long Beach State commit Meilessah Rangel gave Legends the lead in the 19th minute, but Caroline Militello scored a 71st minute equalizer for Lou Fusz to share the points. Both teams are trying to get back to the National Championships for a second time; Legends earning their way last season as National League champs and Lou Fusz as Region II Champions in 2009.
Defending National Champion BRYC 95 Elite (VA) is rolling in the Red Division as they moved to 3-0 after defeating Pride Predators 96 (CO), 4-0. Carlyn Baldwin (Tennessee) scored the game winning goal in the 12th minute and Kahla Seymour (Wake Forest) hit in the 23rd before Adrienne Maday added a third in the 30th. Shea Newman completed the scoring in the 83rd.
Sporting BV Supersport (MO) and FC Alliance 96 Black (TN) battled to a 0-0 stalemate for each teams’ second draw in three days. FC Alliance moved to two points on the season while Sporting sits at five as BRYC is pulling away with nine points atop the division.
Defending National Champion Legends FC notched a crucial win and took control of the Red Division as they defeated Match Fit Chelsea Colchesters 3-0. Michelle Alozie scored a brace with goals in the first minute of each half and Angela Mitchell added one in between to hand Match Fit their first loss.
Carlsbad Elite (CA-S) dropped VSA Heat 96 Blue (VA) from the ranks of the unbeaten to get their first win, 1-0. Megan Grant scored the lone goal of the game 14 minutes in to move Carlsbad to 1-1-1 and keep in contention in the Red Division.
Defending National Champion MSC Coyotes Green (MD) took a huge step toward returning to Nationals as they defeated Tampa Bay United 97 Premier (FL) 1-0 to take sole possession of first place in the division. With both teams at 2-0, MSC grabbed the upper hand in the Blue Division with Elizabeth Coletti’s 35th minute goal.
In the Red Division, Eclipse Elite Black 97-98 (IL) has assumed top spot with their third straight victory, 5-3 over San Diego SC Academy Navy (CA-S). Eclipse took their first lead through Breanna Robbins in the 12th, but Madison Samilo equalized for San Diego in the 31st to go into halftime at 1-1. Two minutes after the break Eclipse again went in front, this time from Lea Waddle, but San Diego leveled again through Courtney Strode five minutes later. Eclipse took the lead for good in the 54th on an Abby Dein goal and padded the lead in the 57th and 68th from Foster Ignoffo and Alissa Gorzak. San Diego pulled one back in the 75th, but that was all the scoring as Eclipse took the 5-3 win.
The opening weekend of National League Girls action concludes Sunday, Dec. 2. 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.