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WILSON, N.C. (Dec. 1, 2018) — Just one more day remains in the opening weekend of the 2018-19 US Youth Soccer National League Girls season, with Sunday's matches solidifying team standings in the 16U-19U age groups until the next meeting, Jan. 19-21 at the National League Winter Showcase in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
The third day of league play in North Carolina 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. Two points or less separate the top two teams in 12 of the 14 divisions, and three of the divisions contain ties atop the standings.
The competitiveness of the league has been on full display through three days of play in North Carolina, as just two divisions feature more than one unbeaten and untied team. Combined with the fact that spots in the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships are on the line, the National League games provide college coaches the opportunity to see how the teams and players perform in an intense environment.
“We know that this is the one place that every game we play is going to be a competitive game for us. It’s one of the reasons we love the National league,” said 16U Girls Beadling 2003 – South Red head coach Rob Fabean. “We know that no game will be easy and that we’re going to be challenged in different ways in every single game and it’s going to help us become a better team. It’s what we look forward to doing, it’s a great opportunity for our girls to see players from all over the country and different talent levels and speed of play that help our girls develop.”
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 16U-19U Girls teams will wrap up their opening week of play on Sunday, Dec. 2, as they each play their fourth 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 Saturday's matches…
LVSA 03 Red (NV) defeated Arlington 2003 Red (VA), 4-0, to earn three more points and remain undefeated in Red Division play. LVSA got on the board early thanks to Alexis Pashales in just the seventh minute and then doubled its advantage as Alexis Blue sent her team into halftime up 2-0. LVSA almost increased its lead early in the second half but saw a long free kick ping off the crossbar. Olivia Garcia adder her third goal of the week late in the second half before Blue adder her second of the game right before the final whistle for a 4-0 LVSA win. The win keeps LVSA in the top two, and the Las Vegas side could spread the gap on the other teams in the group with a win on the last day of play in North Carolina.
In a battle of undefeated Blue Division teams, San Diego SC Academy Navy (CA-S) defeated CSAIU 03 Black (OH-N), 4-0, to stay perfect on the season. San Diego started the scoring in the 11th minute when Leiden Huber got behind the defense and then slid her shot under the sliding keeper. Trinity Coker doubled the advantage just four minutes later from close range and then teammate Jacey Farmer added the team’s third, as she finished a chance at the back post from a corner kick. San Diego didn’t let off the gas in the second half and continued to put CSAIU’s Liviya Fain under pressure. Despite the pressure, Fain made two crucial 1v1 stops early in the second half to give her team a fighting chance at a comeback. San Diego found its final goal in the 64th minute, as a ball bounced out of the defensive area right to Sophia Vivar, who hit a one-time strike that floated to the upper-90.
Two straight wins by a one-goal margin have Fullerton Rangers SYL 02 (CA-S) sitting on top of the Blue Division after three days of play. The Cal South side held off UFA 02 Premier (GA) to take a 3-2 victory in a tight game on Saturday. Mia Guererro gave Fullerton a 16th-minute lead when she dipped her shoulder at the top of the box and let the ball roll onto her left foot before hitting a blast past the lunging UFA keeper. Daniella Johansson leveled the score with a UFA goal later in the half, and the teams went into the break tied at 1-1. Fullerton regained the lead in the 50th minute when Melia Merritt found the back of the net, and Guererro added her second of the game to push the Fullerton lead to 3-1. Ashley Allen pulled a goal back for UFA, but the Cal South side hung on to record the 3-2 win.
Defending National Champion SJEB Rush 02 Academy Blue (NJ) picked up its third straight Red Division win to start the season with a 3-0 victory against Albion SC 02 DPL (CA-S). Mixed in among a few Rush chances on the other end, Albion’s Valeria Vargas came close to a breakthrough late in the first half. However, her low drive from a tight angle saved by the SJEB keeper, who quickly dropped down to make the stop. SJEB gained momentum shortly after halftime when Angelina Schilling put it up, 1-0. The score line held for a half hour, when Amanda Attanasi doubled the lead with a 77th-minute strike. Attanasi added an insurance goal in the closing minutes to seal the 3-0 win and remain atop the standings.
Premier Navy 2001 (MD) held off relentless pressure from La Roca PO (UT) to earn a 1-0 win on Saturday and remain on top of the Black Division. The Maryland side grabbed a lead shortly before halftime on a Madison Carr goal. Jenna Snead got on the end of a long ball into the box and headed it back across goal, where Carr met it for a tap in. It took plenty of defending, goalkeeping and help from the woodwork throughout the second half to allow that goal to hold up. La Roca’s Caroline Stringfellow caused plenty of problems for Premier Navy, and she came close to equalizing in the 57th minute when she hit the bar after a weaving run through the center of the defense. Premier keeper Alyssa Minnick came up with a couple of key saves later in the game, and each team him the crossbar as the final whistle neared. In the end, the Maryland side managed to hold La Roca off the score sheet to earn the 1-0 victory.
In a matchup of White Division teams who entered Saturday with three point apiece, TFA Elite 01 (OH-S) earned a 2-1 victory over FC Florida 2001 Elite Blue Predators (FL). Christin Speed headed in the opening goal in the 29th minute to give TFA a narrow advantage that it held deep into the second half. FC Florida pulled even in the 70th minute when Tianna Hogan found the back of the net. However, Gabrielle Reising netted an 81st-minute go-ahead goal that proved to be the difference, as TFA held on for the victory and picked up three more points in the standings to stay on the heels of the group leaders.
In a tightly contested Blue Division matchup, Princeton SA (NJ) came back from two goals behind to earn a 4-2 victory over Legends FC 00 Academy II (CA-S). Legends put the pressure on Princeton early, scoring a goal in just the ninth minute when Yannelli Chavez got on the end of a long free kick into the box. Legends increased the lead to 2-0 just five minutes later after a ball popped out of the box to Irene Zuniga, who floated a high shot that dropped over the keeper. PSA battled back and gained control of the momentum as the half continued. In the 37th minute, PSA hit a great cross into the box that was finished back post by Lindsay Wright. Just before halftime, Leanna Rebimbas received a free kick in the center of the box with her back to goal. Rebimbas spun her defender and hit a shot to the upper right side of the goal to equalize the sides before the halftime whistle. Princeton’s Rebimbas pushed the New Jersey side’s advantage to two just six minutes into the second half and then the team locked down until the final whistle to earn the 4-2 win.
Greater Seattle Surf 00 (WA) made moves in the Red Division with a 4-0 win over Austin Texans 00/01 Frontier (TX-S). With both teams coming into the game winless, each team needed a result to ensure good position in the division before moving into tomorrow’s final day of play in North Carolina. After a scoreless first half, the game was still open for a victory from every team. Seattle Surf scored a flurry of goals midway through the second half that sealed the game. Kaitlin Ben started the scoring off in the 58th minute before Keile Hansen added two goals within the next six minutes. Austin couldn’t find an answer to the Seattle defense and Emily Schwartz added a late goal in the 80th minute to bring the final score to 4-0. With three points, Seattle will need a win tomorrow against NCFC 00 Elite (NC) to keep itself in a fighting position in the division after the first weekend 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/