Five teams solidify berths to the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships
Day 3 of 3 complete
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 2, 2016) — The US Youth Soccer National League Girls teams competing this week wrapped up their 2015-16 seasons on Saturday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla., playing alongside the Disney Soccer Showcase. The 48 remaining girls teams will finish their seasons and solidify the league standings March 18-20 in Las Vegas, Nev.
The top two finishers per division earn a spot at the 2015 US Youth Soccer National Championships, the oldest and most prestigious National Championship in the country, as the four National League representatives will join the four Regional Champions in the Under-14 through Under-18 age groups.
Just five girls teams were able to secure their spot among the top two in the standings this weekend, with just three division titles secured — leaving a lot to play for when the remaining teams meet in Las Vegas.
Among the five teams qualifying, Under-15 Midwest United FC 01 Royal (MI) became just the seventh girls team to finish a National League season 7-0-0. En route to posting a perfect record, Midwest United scored the fourth-most goals (25) by a girls team in a single season.
2016 US Youth Soccer National Championship Qualifiers via the National League
Blue Champion: Midwest United FC 01 Royal (MI)*
Red: FCKC Pink Panthers Elite (MO)
Red Champion: YMS Premier Xplosion 98 (PA-E)
Red Champion: Maryland United Coyotes (MD)*
Red: NJ Stallions Dynamite (NJ)*
Needing a win on the last day of play to clinch a top two spot in its division, FCKC Pink Panthers Elite coach Tim Richardson talked about how tough the competition was and how proud he is of his girls for doing just that.
“Today we played a Solar Chelsea team and we knew it would be a tough game,” Richardson said. “We knew we had to get a good result in this game to advance. I thought it was the toughest game of the tournament our girls have performed in and we stepped up to the challenge. The girls played hard in a physical game and created great chances that our girls were able to turn into goals.”
With the win, FCKC advances to the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships after falling just short of making the semifinals in 2015.
“We’re going back to Nationals, and we’re extremely proud of our group of players,” continued Richardson. “The hard work they put it, the investment of their time and time to training they make, it’s a remarkable accomplishment for these young ladies for able to make it to Nationals two years in a row.
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 Frisco, Texas.
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.
Some highlights from Tuesday’s matches…
OFC 01 Phillips (OK) and Dallas Kicks SC 01 (TX-N) played to a 3-3 draw in the final day of National League girls Under-15 Blue Division play in Orlando. Dallas’ Jaida Thomas opened the scoring in just the 5th minute to give Dallas a 1-0 lead. Samantha Meza increased the Dallas lead to 2-0 as she got in front of her defender and finished a cross sent into the box. OFC cut the lead in half with a Shyann McClary goal early in the second half but Dallas’ Thomas added her second of the game in the 64th minute to bring the advantage back to two goals. OFC pressed late and found two goals in the last eight minutes from Carsyn Smittle and Peyton Vincze to equalize the score at 3-3 before the final whistle. With OFC only sitting four points ahead of the teams playing in Vegas, it will wait and hope its 14 points is enough to get them into the US Youth Soccer National Championships.
In Under-15 Red Division play, Sunrise Sting 00/01 (FL) defeated 00 TFCA Alliance (NC) 2-0 on the final day of play to give the Florida side a great chance of advancing to the National Championships. Sunrise’s Taylor Dobles scored once in each half, and her team’s defense did its part to claim the 2-0 victory. Sunrise will now await the results from Vegas to see if its 12 points will be enough to advance.
In the Under-16 Blue Division, Midwest United 00 Royal (MI) defeated FC Pennsylvania Strikers (PA-E) 1-0. A Riley Tanner goal in the 68th minute was enough for Midwest United as Penn Strikers could not find the back of the net. With the loss, Penn Strikers only sit three points ahead in first place and will need a lot of help in Vegas to keep their top two spot.
FCKC Pink Panthers Elite (MO) clinched a top two spot in the Under-16 Red Division after defeating Solar Chelsea Elite (TX-N) 2-0 on the final day of play. After a scoreless first half, FCKC took the lead in the 46th minute when Katie Leach tapped in a rebound that ricocheted across six-yard box after hitting the post. Kassidy Newsom added an insurance goal in the 56th minute and the game would end 2-0. With the win, FCKC clinch a spot in the 2016 National Championships and will wait for the Vegas results to see if its 16 points are enough for first place.
Sunrise Sting 98/99 (FL) did all they could to remain in the top two in the Under-17 Blue Division with a 5-0 victory over Loudoun 98 Red (CA). Loudoun held Sunrise to a lone first half Isabella Dorosy goal in the 24th minute but couldn’t contain the Florida side’s attack in the second half. Morgan Hawes and Emily Vasquez scored in the 60th and 65th minutes and Dorosy added her second goal of the game just after. Julia Grosso finished the scoring in the 88th minute of play. Sunrise will need a lot of help from teams in Vegas as it sits in second just two points ahead of the teams left to play.
YMS Premier Xplosion 98 (PA-E) clinched the Under-17 Red Division title after defeating ABGC Annandale United FC 98 (VA) 3-0. After failing to clinch yesterday, YMS seemed determined not to make the same mistake twice as it scored two goals in the first 10 minutes of play. Andrea Amaro started the scoring in the 9th minute and Maddie Elwell scored just a minute later to bring the score to 2-0. The game’s final goal would come in the second half as YMS’ Brynn Skelly found the back of the net. With the win, YMS now advances to its fourth consecutive US Youth Soccer National Championships and will be looking to win its first title after finishing as finalists each of its past three trips.
In the Under-18 Blue Division, Syracuse Development Academy (NY-W) defeated VSA Elite 97 (VA) 2-0 to hold on to the top spot in the division with 15 points. Syracuse scored both its goals in the first half as Jade Gentile opened the game’s scoring for Syracuse in the 15th minute and teammate Hailey Bicknell scored in the 30th as the first half finished 2-0. The second half had no goals as neither team could find the back of the net and the game finished 2-0 in favor of the New York West side. Despite sitting in first, Syracuse must wait for the teams in Vegas to finish as it only holds a three point advantage on the teams left to play.
The match between New Jersey Stallions Dynamite and Maryland United Coyotes pitted the top two teams against each other to decide the top spot in the Under-18 Red Division. Stallions came into the match needing a tie or win to earn the title with the Coyotes needing a win in order to claim the title. Coyotes started the scoring late in the first half when Tess Sapone found the back of the net. Tomison Kennedy equalized for Stallions just three minutes later to take the teams into half at 1-1. Coyotes once again claimed the lead when Drew Kesterman got the ball in behind her defender and finished her chance to bring the score to 2-1. Stallions scored a goal in the 89th minute to level the sides at two goals apiece when Juliana Mascelli whipped a cross in on goal. Mascelli’s cross went through both teams’ players untouched and crept into the back post for the goal. Just before time expired in the 90th minute, Coyotes Amanda Wilson controlled a ball just inside the Stallions side of midfield. Wilson let a shot rip and the ball sailed over the Stallions keeper and under the crossbar for a stunning goal and a dramatic 3-2 victory. With the win, Coyotes claim the Under-18 Red Division title and both teams will advance to the National Championships as the top two finishers in the division.
National League Girls action continues March 18-20, at the Players College Showcase in Las Vegas, Nev. 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.
Keep up with the National League all season:
National League Home: USYouthSoccer.org/National_League
Schedule and results: http://tournaments.usyouthsoccer.org/events/2015-16-National-League/