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WILSON, N.C. (Nov. 30, 2018) — The 2018-19 US Youth Soccer National League Girls season continued Friday with a second day of 16U-19U games at the Wilson Gillette Athletic Complex and Rocky Mount Sports Complex in North Carolina. The season is shaping up to be a long fight for the divisional titles and automatic entries to the US Youth Soccer National Championships, and Saturday’s games should play a big role in separating some teams in the standings.
After two days of play, four of the seven teams who competed in their respective 2018 National Championship finals have come away unscathed with two wins. Meanwhile one the sides who dropped points — 16U Cleveland FC 03 (OH-N) — bounced back from an opening day loss by picking up a big win on Friday.
“Even though we weren’t in the National League last year, this year we’re coming into this competition with a lot of accolades. With that being said, the competition here is super fierce,” Cleveland coach Dave Sidloski. “For us to really rise to the occasion and perform not only for ourselves, but in front of the college coaches, the experience for the kids here is an amazing time.
“The way the National League is set up is so exceptional for these kids. Regardless of their age group, they’re getting great exposure and really finding they come away from this as better players altogether.”
The National League provides an avenue for teams to play in meaningful matches against top competition from across the country for continued development. In addition to recruiting opportunities, National League teams compete for the National League title and one of four slots from each gender age group to the annual US Youth Soccer National Championships. Teams in the 14U-18U age groups are also competing for a chance to re-qualify for the National League’s 2019-20 season.
National League action will continue Saturday, Dec. 1, as the 16U-19U Girls teams play their third game 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.
Some highlights from Friday's matches…
After falling to SC Waukesha 03 Blue (WI) on the opening day, 2018 National Championship finalist Cleveland FC 03 (OH-N) rebounded with a big win on Friday against LMVSC Patriots Red (VA). Cleveland opened the scoring in the Black Division matchup when Elizabeth Majka ran onto a ball behind the defense and rounded the charging keeper before calmly sliding her shot into the open net. Nicole Sidloski doubled the lead shortly after, and Peyton Cook pushed the Cleveland lead to 3-0 before the break. Majka sent the keeper the wrong way on a 55th-minute penalty kick to extend the advantage, and Delaney Matriano capped the 5-0 win with a late goal.
Keystone FC Premier 03 (PA-E) picked up its first Red Division win, as it pulled away late for a 6-1 victory against Sunrise Sting 2003 X1 (FL). The Eastern Pennsylvania side grabbed a 39th-minute lead when Emily Mashinski chipped the keeper from a tight angle — hitting a shot that fell into the far side netting. After halftime, Keystone extended its advantage with goals from Emma Ahl and Jaxton Gerhart. In the 75th minute, Sunrise pulled within 3-1 on a play set up by a nice run by Megan Morgan down the left wing. Morgan played a low ball to the back post, and Guilianna Johnston time her run well to finish into the net. However, Mashinski immediately responded to push the Keystone lead back to three goals. Gerhart and Elena Hinkson each added late insurance goals to cap the big victory for Keystone.
In a back and forth game in the Black Division, Cleveland FC 02 (OH-S) came from behind to beat New Jersey Rush 02 Grey (NJ), 3-2. Rush had a chance to take the lead early, but a breakaway chance was foiled as Cleveland FC defenders smothered the opportunity. Shelby Sallee put Cleveland ahead in the 9th minute as she broke up the right flank and scored near post. Rush didn’t stay behind for long as they intercepted an errant pass and then Jiselle Daniels finished a solo effort to level the teams. Rush’s Victoria D’Imperio put the New Jersey side ahead in the 58th minute, but the Ohio-North side battled back furiously. Cleveland’s pressure was met by equally good defense and saves by Nicole Rende. Rende’s goal was finally breached in the second half as Julia Pangonis hit a rocket from deep to equalize. Cleveland didn’t let off the pressure and Haley Anspach gave her team the lead late in the 88th minute to seal the 3-2 victory. The win leaves Cleveland FC as one of just two teams left with a perfect record in the Black Division.
PSA National 02 (NJ) and LVSA 02 Red (NV) played to a thrilling 3-3 draw in their Day Two Blue Division matchup. PSA’s Julia Eichenbaum gave the New Jersey side an early lead, scoring in just the 2nd minute. LVSA almost leveled right after but its chance was saved at the near post. LVSA finally leveled the score at 1-1, as the ball was worked in to Jaden Terrana for a goal. PSA added to the score before the end of the half as the ball was worked around the keeper at the top of the box and then finished by Eichenbaum for her second goal of the game. PSA extended its lead in the 75th minute thanks to a Mary Clare Langan goal, but LVSA fought back and added two goals to level the score. Heidi Smith got to the end line and played a pass across to Jada Grance, who finished with a first-time strike to make it 3-2. Just two minutes later, Taylor Crouch hit a blast from deep that dipped under the crossbar to level the score. Neither team could find a game winner and both left with a point for their efforts.
After a tough loss on Day One, Lonestar FDL (TX-S) earned a 2-1 victory over CDA Premier 01 (OH-S) in Black Division play. CDA looked the aggressors throughout most of the first half with great chances coming in through dangerous crosses from the wing. CDA almost took the lead but had a chance cleared off the line by Caylee Cooper after the Lonestar keeper couldn’t get to the whipped in ball. Lonestar made good with one of its limited opportunities, and Kiara Gonzales put her team in the lead late in the first half. After absorbing more pressure in the second half, Gonzales again made good with a chance, finishing from the center of the box to increase the lead to 2-0. CDA’s Brooke Harden pulled one back for her team just seven minutes later, but CDA couldn’t convert any more of its chances as time wound down and the South Texas team earned an important three points.
North Shore United 01 Blue (WI) fought to a 1-0 victory in its match with Legends FC 01 (CA-S) to push its record to 2-0 in the 18U Girls White Division. North Shore almost took the lead early in the first half has Salamawit Caldart blocked a clearance from the back but Legend’s keeper, Brooke Innis, made a slide save to stop the chance in on goal. Legends got close to getting one of its own but its counterattack was saved by North Shore keeper Brittney Bentheimer. North Shore earned another close chance when Courtney Hoppe beat a defender to a ball over the top and lobbed a chance over the keeper but sailed just over the crossbar. North Shore kept pushing for a goal and saw a chance hit the post and bounce out and then Innis made another great save to push a chance wide. The only goal of the game came in the second half as a ball whipped in from the corner bounced around in front of the goal and was called to have crossed the line. The goal, credited to Catherine Patterson, held on as the winning goal despite Legend’s attempts to press for a late equalizer.
In the Blue Division, CDA Slammers FC HB 00 Elite (CA-S) came back from a close loss on Thursday to record a 4-1 win over Sporting Omaha FC Elite 2000 (NE) on the second day of play. It took less than a minute for Lily Slater to register the game’s first goal, as she gave the Slammers an early lead. Karli Slater extended the advantage with a ninth-minute goal — giving the Cal South side plenty of early momentum. Omaha created a good amount of pressure late in the first half, including some dangerous free kicks, but it couldn’t break through. Just before the break, Sierra Moore scored to push the Slammers’ lead to 3-0. Grace Thede pulled Omaha back within a couple of goals when she found the back of the net in the 81st minute, but Slater netted her second of the game a couple minutes later to seal the 4-1 win.
After an early flurry of goals, Legends FC South (CA-S) held on for a 2-1 victory over CDA Premier 00 (OH-S) in Red Division action on Friday. Legends jumped in front in the sixth minute, as Joey Kerestes found the back of the net. However, CDA, which looked to start the season with two straight wins, replied immediately behind a Morgan White goal. Demi Scibetta netted a 16th-minute goal for Legends, as the Cal South side regained its lead. After the break, both sides generated quality sequences of possession in the attacking third. Legends looked to extend its lead with sustained build-up play, while CDA had a few good chances on quick counter attacks. Neither side managed to change the score line, as Legends held on to improve its total to four points in the standings after two days of play.
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/