Day 4 of 4 complete
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National League Girls play resumes Dec. 31-Jan. 2 in Orlando, Fla.
ATLANTA, Ga. (Dec. 4, 2011) –
After four days of play, the US Youth Soccer National League Under-15, 16, 17 and 18 Girls have solidified their spots in the standings until they meet again Dec. 31 – Jan. 2 in Orlando, and March 23-25 in Las Vegas where they will continue competing for their ticket to the 2012 US Youth Soccer National Championships
in Rock Hills, S.C., July 24-29.
Under-18 Girls United FA 94 (GA) is back in the National League for the second straight year, coming off a loss to fellow National League participant Brentwood 94 Premier (TN) in the Region III Championships semifinals. All 18 players for United are committed to play collegiate soccer, but United FA Executive Director of Coaching, Iggy Moleka, stressed the benefit of participating in the National League before they head to their college teams.
"Because each team has to qualify to be in the National League is what makes it what it is. You have to deserve to be here. It's not just that you have a big club or you have big numbers, it's the idea of how has your team been competing? And this is a good way to reward them for their hard work.
"This is our second year playing in the National League and the U-18's are getting ready for college, so for us it was great to be back in the National League. They're all committed (to college programs) and it was like 'Okay, we're ready to go,' and I had to remind them they're not done yet. They still have this last year where their college coach is going to come and assess them and make sure they made the right choice, and see if you can be an impact player going in. So now we're trying to prepare them for that preseason level of intensity (that they'll see in college). You don't want to send them to these big schools like Auburn and Florida and they're not ready or not bringing something to the team. Those are competitive schools so these players need to be ready, and I think this is going to help prepare them the best. I love this system."
The first weekend of National League Girls' play welcomed 60 of the country's top teams to Atlanta, Ga., in the Under-15 through Under-18 age groups in which each game held great significance and meaning as teams were competing for a strong position in the standings and an eventual chance at earning advancement to the National Championships.
Adding to the exposure of the league's premier talent, games were held alongside the NCAA Women's College Cup and the Atlanta Final Four College Showcase, drawing close to 600 collegiate
and National Team scouts from across the nation.
Demonstrating the competitiveness of the National League, just two of the 60 teams competing escaped the opening weekend with a perfect record, and just one team suffered all defeats. The next meetings will be held in Orlando, Dec. 31 - Jan. 2, and then in Las Vegas March 23-25. For a complete US Youth Soccer National League schedule, go to http://tournaments.usyouthsoccer.org/events/2011-2012-National-League/
Some highlights from today's matches…
JB Marine Wipke (MO) knocked Internationals 96 Red (OH-N) from the ranks of the unbeaten and a chance to share top spot in the Under-15 Girls Red with a 1-0 victory. Bethany Coons knocked in the game winner in just the 10th
minute as neither team could find the net again.
Legends 95 (CA-S) exit the first weekend of play on top of the U-16 Girls Blue after overcoming a two goal deficit in the second half versus BRYC 95 Elite (VA). BRYC was looking for their first win of the weekend and it looked good as Rachel Moore put them in front in the 18th minute and Carlyn Baldwin made it a two goal lead in the 50th. But Amanda Ball led the Californians back into the game with strikes in the 54th and 69th before Hanna Isidoro-Oropeza turned into the hero with a stoppage time winner for Legends.
Michigan Football Club 95 had a chance to move into first place in the Under-17 Girls Red, but Legends Breakaway (CA-S) overcame a third minute goal from Vija Veinbergs to win 2-1. Nicolette Martino notched the equalizer in the 19th and then the winner with nine minutes to play to put Breakaway in the top half of the table after the opening weekend.
Eclipse Select 94/95 (IL) jumped into the top spot of the Blue division thanks to goal differential with a 4-0 victory over Players SC (NV). Cory Levels got things started with a 30th minute goal and Abigayle Gearing grabbed a second half double before Katherine Treankler finished off the scoring with five minutes to play.
The Under-18 Girls matchup of the day featured last year's Region I champion, FC Pennsylvania Strikers (E-PA) and the Region III runner-up, Brentwood 94 Premier (TN), both tied atop the Blue division standings. The game did nothing to separate the two as neither team could turn the tables in a 0-0 draw, but FC Penn holds a significant advantage in goal differential.
NSA Premier Fury (IL) is playing with a target on their backs as defending National Champion and National League division champ, and they settled for 1-1-1 on the weekend as Toro Bravo (NE) moved into a tie for first in the group after a 1-1 draw. Alexandria Massey gave Toro a one goal lead in the 8th minute to head into the break, but Jennifer Korn leveled in the 54th to keep NSA in contention to repeat as league division champion.
Returning National League competitor United FA 94 Elite (GA) stayed within striking distance of the top spot in the group with a 1-0 victory over CFJ Red-11 (IL). Alexa Allen notched the winning goal in the 75th minute as the teams take a break before heading to Orlando at the end of the month.