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LAS VEGAS (March 16, 2019) — The US Youth Soccer National League 14U, 15U, 16U, 17U, 18U and 19U Girls continued league play Saturday at the Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex and Kellogg Zaher Soccer Complex in Las Vegas, Nev., alongside the 2019 Players College Showcase. The girls will wrap up the Las Vegas weekend with games on Sunday, and nine division titles are still on the line.
Saturday saw six teams secure their ticket to the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Overland Park, Kan., with each of those sides clinching division titles.
Teams qualify for the National Championships by winning their division (14U-18U age groups) or by finishing in the top two of their division (19U age group). Aside from earning a ticket to Nationals, the top finishers in the 14U-18U age groups also have a chance to earn their automatic return to the league for the 2019-20 season.
Two of the teams who managed to win division titles on Saturday did so for the second straight year, as 16U LVSA 03 Red (NV) and 18U TFA Elite 01 (OH-S) repeated as National League champions.
“Winning the National League division for a second time in a row is a great accomplishment for these girls,” LVSA coach Mike Madrid said. “We thought the league was much tougher this year, so to pull it out again is a great result for us.”
Each of the teams who have secured National League division titles can now begin preparations for the National Champions, as they earned an automatic berth to the event in Overland Park.
After winning a match on Saturday against a side that also had division title hopes, 18U Celtic FC Premier JR (UT) coach Jen Rawlings said the challenges her team faced during National League play will be beneficial when the team heads to the National Championships.
“We should be prepared going forward,” Rawlings said. “The competition was good. The team we played today was excellent, fierce and never gave up. They were gritty and fast and high-pressured. We were in the fight of our lives, so we should be prepared going forward.”
2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships Qualifiers via the National League
*Qualified on Saturday
White Champion: SC Waukesha 04 Girls Blue (WI)*
Black Champion: Legends IE (CA-S)*
Blue Champion: San Diego Soccer Club Academy-Navy (CA-S)*
Red Champion: LVSA 03 Red (NV)*
White Champion: Lou Fusz 03 Blue (MO)
Black Champion: Cleveland FC 02 (OH-N)
Red Champion: SJEB Rush 02 Academy Blue (NJ)
White Champion: North Shore United 2002 Blue (WI)
Black Champion: Premier Navy 2001 (MD)
Blue Champion: Celtic FC Premier JR (UT)*
Red Champion: MI Jaguars 2001 Green (MI)
White Champion: TFA Elite 01 (OH-S)*
Blue Champion: Sunrise Sting 2000 (FL)
Blue Runner-up: MapleBrook Fury (MN)
Red: Campton United Red (IL)
National League Girls play in Las Vegas wraps up on Sunday, March 17, with games beginning at 7:30 a.m. PT and the last matches kicking off at 12:25 p.m. PT (Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex) or 10:35 a.m. PT (Kellogg Zaher Soccer Complex).
Some highlights from Saturday’s matches…
Lou Fusz Geerling 05 (MO) moved to 5-0-0 in the 14U Black Division with a 2-0 win over Snohomish United 05 Black (WA) on Saturday morning. Each side had moments of promising buildup play in the first half, but neither side broke through. That changed in the 31st minute, when Amelia Martin beat the Snohomish keeper to a bouncing cross and slid in the opener to give Lou Fusz a 1-0 lead. The Missouri side added some insurance in stoppage time to seal the win. Morgan Struttmann hit the crossbar with a driven shot to the far corner, but Martin followed the shot and hit a half volley into the back of the net to cap to the 2-0 victory. With Beadling 2005 Girls South Red (PA-W) keeping pace with a pair of 1-0 wins on Saturday, the Black Division title will be decided when Lou Fusz and Beadling meet on Sunday.
Each of the other 14U Girls divisions had title-clinching opportunities on Saturday afternoon, but the challengers all did their part to keep first place in doubt heading into the final day of the season. All four 14U division titles will be settled on Sunday in Las Vegas.
Needing a win to stay in contention for the 15U White Division title, Beadling 2004G South Red (PA-W) dropped a hard fought 2-1 result to D'Feeters 04 Voutier (TX-N) on Saturday. The North Texas side struck quickly, as Samantha Courtwright put D’Feeters in front in the sixth minute. Beadling battled back and eventually tied the game in the 55th minute when Brooke Opferman found the back of the net. However, Riley Stern quickly netted a goal to put D’Feeters back in front, and they held on for the 2-1 victory. With that result, idle SC Waukesha 04 Girls Blue (WI) clinched the White Division title after it compiled 15 points during play in North Carolina and Florida.
NCFC Elite (NC) kept its 15U Red Division title hopes alive with a 2-0 win on Saturday. North Carolina received goals from Kendall Powell and Kiera Finnessy while securing its second straight clean sheet in Las Vegas. If NCFC wins on Sunday, it will lead to a game against current leader Philadelphia SC Coppa Swarm 04 (PA-E) to determine the division winner. However, NCFC’s opponent — TN United 04 Red (TN) — can also force a deciding game against Philadelphia with a win on Sunday. Should TN United and NCFC tie, Philadelphia will clinch the title.
In the 15U Black Division, Utah Celtic FC (UT) can clinch first place with a win on Sunday against Legends FC East Riverside (CA-S). Should Legends win, it will then play current leader Libertyville FC 1974 Elite (IL) in a game to decide the division winner. A tie between Celtic and Legends would result in Libertyville securing the division title.
LVSA 04 Red (NV) currently holds a one-point advantage over Sunrise Sting 2004 X1 (FL) for second place in the 15U Blue Division. Whichever of those sides finishes in second place after Sunday’s games will go on to play idle group leader GA Rush 2004 (GA) to determine the division champion.
Click here to view tiebreaker rules for the 15U Girls age group.
After capturing its sixth win in as many games, Legends IE (CA-S) clinched the 16U Black Division title. The Cal South side used a 3-0 win against Cleveland FC 03 (OH-N) on Saturday to secure first place, as it received goals from Elsie Romero, Taren Duffy and Lauryn White. With a ticket to Nationals now in hand, Legends will aim to complete an unbeaten and untied season on Sunday.
LVSA 03 Red (NV) remained undefeated in 16U Red Division play with a 5-1 win against CDA Premier 03 (OH-S), which allowed the Nevada side to secure first place in the group. Jacqueline Hillegass opened the scoring for LVSA in the 11th minute, and Olivia Garcia doubled the lead later in the half when she calmly beat a defender and slotted a shot past the keeper. Alexis Pashales pushed the LVSA advantage to 3-0 with a deft chip into the right corner early the second half before Jordan Geis pulled a goal back for CDA. However, Garcia and Samantha Nieves added insurance goals for LVSA to seal the victory and give the Nevada side its second straight National League Red Division title.
Needing just a tie to win the 16U Blue Division, San Diego Soccer Club Academy-Navy (CA-S) left no doubt, as it recorded a decisive win over PacNW 03 Maroon (WA). Elise Jabbour gave San Diego an early lead before Leiden Huber recorded a brace to give the Cal South side a 3-0 lead at the break. Jacey Farmer added a tally in the 65th minute, and Kyla Christofferson sealed the victory with a goal in the final minutes. The win marked San Diego’s fifth shutout in six games, as it claimed the Blue Division title and earned a berth to the National Championships.
With a 4-0 win over Fullerton Rangers SYL 02 (CA-S) on Saturday, Pipeline 02 Pre-Academy Spirit (MD) moved within striking distance of first place in the 17U Blue Division. The teams appeared to be heading to the break in a scoreless tie, but Baylee DeSmit netted a breakthrough goal for Pipeline to give it a 41st-minute lead. Laney Cornelius and Alexa Dragisics netted goals in quick succession to help Pipeline extend its lead to 3-0 at the hour mark. Payton Patrick added a strike in the 75th minute to cap the Maryland side’s victory — putting it just two points behind the group leader with one game left to play.
In a match that held big implications on the top of the 18U Blue Division, Celtic FC Premier JR (UT) held on for a 2-1 win against 1776 United FC 01 Xtreme (PA-E) to clinch first place. Rachel McCarthy gave Celtic a 24th-minute lead when she made a strong solo run and finished from a tight angle with a shot that flew into the far side-netting. The Utah side continued to pressure the 1776 United goal and doubled its lead later in the half. Lily Haskins cut past a defender and on to her right foot before powering a shot inside the near post. In the 86th minute, Calista Courtney pulled 1776 within a goal when she received a cross from Grace Sacchetti and placed a shot inside the right post. Celtic didn’t let the Eastern PA side get any closer, as it held on for the win that clinched the Blue Division title.
In the 18U White Division, two goals from Julia Hoffmann and a strike from Elizabeth Flower helped TFA Elite 01 (OH-S) to a 3-2 win over Fever United 01 - Penn (TX-N). With the victory, TFA secured the division title and punched its ticket to the National Championships.
After clinching a spot in Nationals on Friday, Sunrise Sting 2000 (FL) earned a 1-0 win against CDA Slammers FC HB 00 Elite (CA-S) on Saturday to claim the 19U Blue Division title. Anna Diaz Silveira netted the game’s lone goal to help Sunrise secure a first-place finish, as the Florida side will head to Overland Park, Kan., looking to defend its 2018 National Championship.
In the 19U Red Division, Legends FC South (CA-S) remained in second place thanks to a 3-1 win against Greater Seattle Surf G00A (WA). Alison Pepper put Legends in front in the eighth minute, but Keile Hansen equalized for Seattle seven minutes later to keep the teams level for the remainder of the half. Mackenzie Vehlow scored early in the second half to help Legends regain its lead, and Christine Goodman quickly followed that with a goal to help the Cal South side to the 3-1 win. Legends is still alive for the division title, but it must get past Celtic FC 00 Premier (UT) on Sunday. Celtic is just one point behind Legends and could jump into second place with a win tomorrow — meaning the winner of their matchup will punch a ticket to Nationals.
Keep up with the National League all season:
National League Home: USYouthSoccer.org/National_League
Schedule and results: USYouthSoccer.org/tournaments/2018-19-National-League/