2013-2014 US Youth Soccer National League Girls standings shaping up as Day 3 concludes
WILSON, N.C. (Dec. 7, 2013)
— Only one more day remains in the opening weekend of 2013-2014 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. While several teams have begun to make strides in the group standings, no division has a clear favorite to claim the title. The top two teams in eight of the 10 divisions are separated by two points or less, and six of the divisions contain ties atop the standings.
BRYC 98 Elite (VA) is one of the few teams to sit alone at the top of its group after three days of play, as it holds a narrow two-point lead in the standings over Futura Academy Forte (MO). BRYC head coach Jim Abt was pleased with the way his team adjusted to some tougher conditions on Saturday — something he believes any team has to be able to adapt to in order to be successful.
"You have to be able to slop through the mud at times, so we have to be able to play under different conditions. There are some different adaptations we’ll have to make," Abt said. "But there are some core principles and things we are trying to develop — maintaining possession of the ball, controlling the game, imposing our will on our opponent. Those things don’t change, and I’m very happy with the way that we played today."
Many collegiate and national team coaches, including U.S. Women’s National Teams Technical Director April Heinrichs, were on hand to watch some of the nation’s top teams and players compete on Saturday. With spots in the US Youth Soccer National Championships up for grabs, the coaches are able to see the players compete in meaningful games as the teams fight toward their ultimate goal for the season.
Having the opportunity to compete for a spot in the National Championships is one of the reasons Abt said his team enjoys playing in the National League. Having already lost in its State Cup final, BRYC has increased motivation to get some positive results in North Carolina and position itself to finish in the top two of its division.
"To be able to get into the National Championships by doing well in the National League, that’s fantastic," Abt said. "And that’s what we’re shooting for. We want to play great soccer, but we also want to win a few matches down here, and hopefully we’re able to progress."
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…
Tophat 18 Gold (GA) and Exiles Black (CA-S) are both at the top of the Under-14 Blue Division after they each secured their third win of the week on Saturday. In the Red Division, Carlsbad Elite 99 (CA-S) has nine points and sits on top of the group, while Ponte Vedra SC JFC Storm 99/00 (FL) picked up a key 3-1 win to remain close behind with seven points.
BRYC 98 Elite (VA) has used smothering defense and timely goals to start its Under-15 Blue Division campaign with a 3-0-0 record. The Virginia side notched its third 1-0 victory of the week on Saturday, as it shut out Surf Academy 1 (CA-S). Katie Abt provided all the offense BRYC needed when she connected on a left-footed strike from 20 yards out that beat the diving keeper in the 67th minute. After pulling out wins in three tight games, BRYC heads into the final day of play in North Carolina in prime position to contend for the division title.
After winning their first two games, Pride Predators 99 (CO) looked to stay on top of the Under-15 Red Division Saturday when they took on PWSI Courage 98 Red (VA). The teams exchanged chances early but headed to halftime with the game scoreless. The Predators were able to break through in the 50th minute when Athena Kuehn found the back of the net. That lead lasted just 11 minutes, as Brianna Oliver scored an equalizer for PWSI. The defenses kept both sides off the score sheet for the final 20 minutes, and the match ended in a 1-1 tie. By earning a point for the draw, Pride Predators sit in a three-way tie atop the division after three games.
Libertyville FC 1974 (IL) stands just behind the first-place teams in the Under-15 Red Division after a 1-0 win over Legends FC 98 (CA-S) on Saturday. Libertyville started quickly, and Madeline Olson scored in the eighth minute to give her side the early lead. Olson’s tally proved to be the game’s lone goal, as the Libertyville defense kept a clean sheet in the shutout win. Both squads are still in the Red Division title hunt, with several teams bunched up near the top of the standings.
After three days of play, defending National Champions Eclipse Elite Black 97-98 (IL) are tied with Tophat 16 Gold (GA) at the top of the Under-16 Blue Division standings. Meanwhile, Albion USA 97-98 (CA-S) has come away with three close victories in the Red Division to lead the group as it heads into the final day of play in North Carolina.
Farmingdale United (E-NY) picked up an important 2-1 win against Eclipse Elite 96-97 (IL) on Saturday to remain in the hunt in the Under-17 Red Division. Eclipse jumped out in front in the 33rd minute when Samantha Villwock cleaned up a rebound by hitting a side volley into the net. Farmingdale’s Gabrielle Albano responded four minutes later by bending a well-placed shot inside the far post to level the score at halftime. In the 69th minute, Hope Quinonez found the back of the net for Farmingdale with what proved to be the game-winning goal.
Kings Hammer Academy (OH-S) remains in a tie atop the Under-17 Red Division standings thanks to a 4-0 win over 97 Louisiana Fire Navy (LA). Kings Hammer took the lead in the fifth minute when Mia Schriebeis struck a shot from the top of the box that beat a diving keeper. Haley Best and Katie Murray each added first-half goals to extend the Ohio side’s lead to 3-0. Bayley Feist capped the scoring with a 59th-minute goal, as Kings Hammer moved to 3-0-0 in the league.
Joining Kings Hammer at the top of the Under-17 Red Division is Carlsbad Elite (CA-S). The California side notched a 4-0 win of its own, as it defeated SCU/MP 96 Elite (SC). Genesis Lucero put Carlsbad in front in the 29th minute, and Sydney Yates pushed the lead to 2-0 when she scored early in the second half. Nola Prickett and Bridget Daley added goals within minutes of each other later in the game, as Carlsbad got its third win of the week. Along with Carlsbad and Kings Hammer, Bay Oaks Botafogo 96 (CA-N) is also tied at the top of the group as the teams head into a crucial fourth day of play.
MI Gators FC 96 Orange (MI) got their first win of the season with a tight 1-0 victory against previously unbeaten Match Fit Academy FC United (NJ). The teams exchanged chances early, and the Gators’ Danielle Manning converted her opportunity in the 28th minute to give her side the lead. Both squads looked likely to score in the second half, but each back line fended off the opponent’s attacks. Match Fit couldn’t find an equalizer, as the Michigan side held on for the win in Under-18 Blue Division play.
After two close wins to start its season, Beach FC Ingrassia (CA-S) put on another strong performance against AHFC 96 (TX-S) on Saturday. The California side fell behind early when Caitlyn Mortus gave AHFC the lead in the ninth minute. Beach FC answered quickly with a pair of goals by Kimberly Keever to gain a 2-1 advantage. Michelle Reed extended the Beach FC lead with a goal in the 32nd minute, and her side went to halftime up, 3-1. Beach FC added two more insurance goals in the second half with tallies by Shannon Simon and Amanda McKeegan, as the California squad won, 5-1, to move to 3-0-0.
National League girls teams will wrap up their opening week of play on Sunday, Dec. 8, as they play their fourth games of the season. 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.