Day 2 of 4 complete
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Dec. 2, 2011) –
Day two of play at the US Youth Soccer National League
continued, showcasing the top Under-15, Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 Girls teams in the nation as they compete in the first weekend of league play.
The National League teams are club soccer teams with an individual proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer regional and national competitions and are among the nation's best, which creates another significant opportunity for the nation's collegiate, professional and national team staffs to see players in an environment of meaningful play.
Under-16 Girls Grand Rapids Crew Juniors (MI) coach Remco Bergsma is a veteran of the National League, having coached the Grand Rapids Crew Juniors 94 boys in the past three National League seasons, twice qualifying for the National Championships through the league and finally leading them to the Under-17 National Championship last year in their fourth straight trip.
""These are not teams just playing to play nice soccer, the teams that are here know how to play and get results. I don't think it's known enough yet, how competitive National League really is. We play in the (US Youth Soccer) Midwest Regional League (MRL) and a lot of people in Region II think MRL Premier is great but we're trying to tell people; National league is the best players from the MRL and all of the regions, and it's just a whole different ballgame. There are other competitions out there and the National League has as good of competition as any, and you know every team is going to be the very best. There are no weak teams here.""
""Look at all the college coaches! I've seen it with the boys but this goes beyond anything, I've never seen so many college coaches. I have a dad that gives out the profile books and he made 150 copies. After two games we are almost out, so more than 50 coaches a game. That's a benefit for these girls""
The first place team from each division (blue and red) age group will earn a ticket to the 2012 US Youth Soccer National Championships in the Under-15, 16 and 17 age groups, making each match valuable to the team's fate as it could make or break their chance at competing for a National Championship.
Some highlights from today's matches…
Two teams with opening day victories met up in the Under-15 Girls to take the early lead in the division, and Kings Soccer Academy (OH-S) took the top spot with a 2-1 win over NSA Jaguars (IL). Lauren ""Nemo"" Nemeroff lead the way for Kings with goals in the 46th and 71st minutes. Alison Kincaide pulled one back for NSA just before the final whistle, but KSA assumes top spot just two days into league action.
Last summer's Region I champion Match Fit Colchesters (NJ) moved to 2-0 after the first two games, defeating South Texas state champion AHFC 97 1-0. After a foul just outside the penalty area in the 56th minute, Match Fit worked a nice set play for Julia Ashley who blasted the direct kick past the wall and into the near post for the winner.
The Under-16 Girls groups may come down to the final day as only one team stands at 2-0 and all 16 teams have at least a tie through two games. Cleveland United White (OH-N) and BRYC 95 Elite (VA) both sit with two draws after playing to a 1-1 stalemate on the second day. Seyla Perez scored what looked to be the game winner for Cleveland with five minutes to play, but Annaugh Madsen equalized for BRYC in stoppage time as it looks to be a battle to take the top spot in the U-16 Girls.
With a 2-0 victory over Legends 95 (CA-S), Grand Rapids Crew Juniors Gold (MI) jumped atop the U-16 Girls Blue division with a 1-0-1 record. Natalie Knauf gave Grand Rapids the early advantage with a 7th minute goal, and that stood up until Madison Pollard added a second in stoppage time.
2011 Ohio North state champion Internationals SC 94 (OH-N) defeated NASA 13 Elite II (GA) 2-0 to stay unbeaten in the Under-17 Girls. Sarah Sivic gave Internationals the lead just 10 minutes into the match and Kaitlyn Semelsberger extended the lead to two in the 30th.
CUP Crew Juniors Gold 94/95 (OH-S) and Eclipse Select 94/95 (IL) battled to a 1-1 draw with second half goals. KC Morris scored first for Eclipse in the 61st minute, but Michele Christy equalized just three minutes later as neither team could pull away for a victory.
The Under-18 Girls kicked off their season Friday with a huge matchup between 2011 National Championship finalist Kolping St. Louis Schmitt (MO) and Region III semifinalist United FA 94 Elite (GA) facing off. United rose to the occasion with a 77th minute goal from Cheyna Williams to take the 1-0 win as Kolping faces an uphill battle to repeat as league champ.
2010-2011 National League participant LaRoca PT (UT) gave newcomer CSUFC Lady Renegades (FL) a rude welcoming to the league, defeating CSUFC 2-0 to start the season. Marissa Yamane's 58th minute goal broke the deadlock before Stacy Bair added an insurance goal in the 66th to give LaRoca a winning start.