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US Youth Soccer National League Girls wrap up 2014-15 season

 
 

US Youth Soccer National League Girls wrap up 2014-15 season

Seven division titles claimed on the season’s final day

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 22, 2015) — The US Youth Soccer National League Under-14, Under-15, Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 Girls completed their third and final day of matches Sunday at Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex in Las Vegas, Nev., alongside the 2015 Players Showcase. Sunday marked the conclusion of the 2014-15 season, and standings are now finalized with division titles, berths to the US Youth Soccer National Championships and guaranteed spots in the league next year decided.

The 2014-15 season was an exciting one for the girls, as seven titles were not decided until the final day of play. The top two finishers per division earned a place at this summer’s US Youth Soccer National Championships, July 20-26 in Tulsa, Okla., and those in the Under-14, Under-15, Under-16 and Under-17 age groups earned an automatic spot to compete in the league again next season. With so much on the line, games in Las Vegas carried significant meaning toward the outcome of the season.

RELATED: 2014-15 National League Boys wrap up their season

Several teams entered Sunday’s games with berths to Nationals hanging in the balance. In the Under-14 age group, South Shore Select Elite (MA) began the day with a chance to finish in first place, second place or out of the top-two entirely. The Massachusetts side made sure not to leave its fate to the other games and recorded a 2-0 victory to win the Red Division crown.

“It feels pretty amazing. I couldn’t be prouder of my girls,” said South Shore coach Liz Lima. “I couldn’t be happier with the National League and the competition. We came down here and played the best. To leave on top is a feeling I can’t describe.”

Two Carlsbad United FC (CA-S) teams captured division titles on Sunday, while Beach Futbol Club (CA-S) and Tophat SC (GA) also had two teams each secure division championships this season. Under-15 Tophat 18 Gold (GA) became the sixth girls’ team to complete a 7-0-0 National League season en route to its Blue Division title.

Meanwhile, Under-17 Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S) completed a record season of its own. The Cal South side became the first National League Girls team to finish a season without conceding a single goal. Its defensive effort helped Carlsbad 97/98 capture its third National League division title — the most by any team in league history.

Carlsbad and Legends FC (CA-S) also set a new mark for National League division titles by a club. Carlsbad’s two titles and Legends’ one crown in the 2014-15 season gave each club six division titles —  placing them in a tie for the most by any one club.

Sunday also saw some teams wrap up impressive weekends that completed unlikely runs to top-two finishes and berths to the National Championships. Both Under-14 FC Pride 01 Elite (IN) and Under-18 DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S) each needed to win all three of its games in Vegas to punch a ticket to Tulsa — an accomplishment each side completed on Sunday.

For DMCV, the second-place finish in the Under-18 Blue Division gives it a shot to defend its back-to-back National Championships this summer in Tulsa, Okla.

“I’m incredibly proud of our team. We came here in a bit of a hole. We dug a hole in North Carolina. We had to win three,” DMCV coach Felicia Kappes said. “We took it one game at a time, and now we actually get to defend our National Championship. We’re looking forward to going back and seeing what we can do.”

The full list of the 2014-15 National League Girls division winners and runners-up can be seen below.

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2015 US Youth Soccer National Championship Qualifiers via the National League
*qualified Sunday

Under-14
Blue Champion: Dallas Kicks SC (TX-N)
Blue Runner-up: FC Pride 01 Elite (IN)*
Red Champion: South Shore Select Elite (MA)*
Red Runner-up: CUP Gold 00/01 (OH-S)*

Under-15
Blue Champion: Tophat 18 Gold (GA)
Blue Runner-up: La Roca Premier PO (UT)
Red Champion: Legends FC 99 (CA-S)
Red Runner-up: Carlsbad Elite 99 (CA-S)

Under-16
Blue Champion: Tophat 17 Gold (GA)
Blue Runner-up: YMS Premier Xplosion 98 (PA-E)
Red Champion: JFC Storm 98/99 (FL)
Red Runner-up: Kings Hammer Academy Red (OH-S)*

Under-17
Blue Champion: Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S)
Blue Runner-up: Tampa Bay United 97 Premier (FL)
Red Champion: Beach FC Academy 97 (CA-S)
Red Runner-up: Michigan Jaguars 98 Green (MI)*

Under-18
Blue Champion: Beach FC Academy (CA-S)
Blue Runner-up: DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S)*
Red Champion: Carlsbad Elite (CA-S)
Red Runner-up: VSA Heat 96 Blue (VA)

The 40 Boys and Girls teams that qualified for the National Championships through the National League will be joined by 56 US Youth Soccer Regional Champions to complete the field of 96 teams this summer in Tulsa, Okla.

The National League is an extension of the highly successful US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (US Youth Soccer Region I Champions 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 plays into who represents the National League this summer in Tulsa, Okla.

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Some highlights from Sunday’s matches…

Under-14

South Shore Select Elite (MA) secured the Under-14 Red Division title with a 2-0 over OFC 01 Phillips (OK). Brooke Cavino gave South Shore an early lead when she found the back of the net in the 14th minute, and she nearly doubled the advantage in the second half but was denied by a diving save from the OFC keeper. A few minutes later, the Massachusetts side used some great team play to get its second goal and seal the victory. Cavino took the ball down the right side before squaring a pass to Kira Maguire, who slid the ball to Hannah Vogt to finish inside the right post. South Shore finished even on points with CUP Gold 00/01 (OH-S) in the standings but took the title based on the head-to-head win.

In the Under-14 Blue Division, Dallas Kicks SC (TX-N) secured the division title with a 2-0 win Sunday against PSG MI Gators 01 Orange (MI). The teams entered the game as the group’s top two sides in the standings, and that was reflected in a tight, scoreless first half. Kicks managed to break through in the 44th minute when Michelle Slater found the back of the net. Jaida Thomas added an insurance goal in the final minutes to cap the victory and give Kicks the title.

Results in the other Blue Division games allowed FC Pride 01 Elite (IN) to cap an impressive weekend with a second-place finish. The Indiana side entered Friday’s games in sixth place with four points in the standings, but managed to string together three wins and have other results finish in its favor. Pride outscored its opponents 12-3 in Las Vegas to earn its place in the National Championships.

Under-15

A 1-1 tie against Carlsbad Elite 99 (CA-S) helped Legends FC 99 (CA-S) hold on to the top spot in the Under-15 Red Division and take the title. Carlsbad had a chance to jump their Cal South foes and win the division crown, and it looked like that may happen after Emelia Owen scored in the 35th minute to give Carlsbad the lead. Minutes after Denae Antoine was denied by the Carlsbad keeper, she volleyed home a cross in the 74th minute to give Legends the goal it needed to force a tie and hold on for the Red Division championship.

Tophat 18 Gold (GA) wrapped up the Under-15 Blue Division title in Orlando after finishing with a perfect 7-0-0 record, and La Roca Premier PO (UT) secured a second-place finish on Saturday.

Under-16

A goal in the final two minutes cost Beach FC 98 Academy (CA-S) a chance to punch its ticket to Nationals, as it settled for a 1-1 draw with Pride Predators 99 (CO) in Under-16 Red Division action. The Cal South side took a 27th-minute lead when Kelly O'Neill found the back of the net. It appeared that goal would hold up to clinch the win and send Beach to Tulsa, but Jamie Burke equalized for Pride in the 79th minute. Pride held off Beach’s late push for a winner, and the match ended even at 1-1. The tie allowed Kings Hammer — a 4-3 winner on Sunday — to jump into second place ahead of Beach based on the Ohio side’s win in their head-to-head matchup.

YMS Premier Xplosion 98 (PA-E) was minutes from wrapping up the Under-16 Blue Division title, but it will have to settle for second place after drawing, 1-1, with Andromeda FC 99 (TX-N). The Pennsylvania side struck early when Caroline Foley found the back of the net in the 8th minute. That lead held up for more than an hour of play, but Mackenzie Hamilton netted an equalizer for Andromeda to force the 1-1 tie. With YMS earning just a point in the standings, Tophat 17 Gold (GA) finishes atop the group.

Under-17

Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S) became the first three-time National League champion, as it used a 4-0 victory over Albion USA 97/98 (CA-S) on Sunday to win the Under-17 Blue Division. Kerry Kuhnert scored a 16th-minute goal to send Carlsbad to halftime with a 1-0 lead. Pascale Dumesnil doubled the advantage shortly after the break, and Danielle Goad and Natallie Rocha each added late insurance goals to help Carlsbad to the 4-0 victory. The shutout wrapped up a season with zero goals conceded for Carlsbad — the first National League Girls team to accomplish that feat.

Beach FC Academy 97 (CA-S) wrapped up the Under-17 Red Division with a 1-0 win over Legends FC 97 (CA-S). Legends needed a win to earn a berth to Nationals, but it fell behind in the 41st minute when Beach’s Kaitlin Fregulia found the back of the net. Legends created some good scoring chances in the final 45 minutes, but it couldn’t find the right final touch. Beach, the defending National Champions, managed to hold off the late Legends pressure to record the shutout and clinch the division title. The Beach win also allowed Michigan Jaguars 98 Green (MI) to hold on to second place and punch its ticket to Nationals.

Under-18

Two-time defending National Champion DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S) displayed its ability to win big games this week and capped it off with a 4-1 victory over Beach FC Academy (CA-S). The win over the Under-18 Blue Division champions helped DMCV secure a second-place finish and punch its ticket back to Nationals. Gianna Montini gave Sharks an important early lead when she found the back of the net in the 36th minute. After some close calls by Beach, DMCV doubled its lead when Julianne De Armas turned around a defender and hit her shot past the keeper. Beach pulled within one after Michelle Reed settled a cross and tapped it in, but Crystal Cordova extended DMCV’s lead back to two goals with a strike inside the left post. Shelby Lee added a fourth goal to cap the DMCV victory that gives Sharks a chance to defend their National title.

A draw on Sunday helped Carlsbad Elite (CA-S) captured the Under-18 Red Division crown, while VSA Heat 96 Blue (VA) finished the season in second place.

Keep up with the National League all season:
National League Home: USYouthSoccer.org/National_League
Schedule and results: http://tournaments.usyouthsoccer.org/events/2014-15-National-League/
Twitter: @nationalleague
Facebook: Facebook.com/usyouthsoccer
Instagram: Instagram.com/usyouthsoccer
YouTube: YouTube.com/usyouth

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