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ROCKFORD, Ill. (October 9, 2016) – Teams battled for position in their division standings at the US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional League (MRL) Girls Fall Showcase on Sunday at the Mercy Sportscore II complex in Rockford, Ill.
A total of 80 Premier I and II girls teams in the 15U through 18U age groups, who are competing in the MRL’s fall season, took the fields for competition. The list of teams also included teams from the MRL 18U First Red division as well as from the 19U age group.
Paul Tinnion, Michigan Jaguars executive club director and assistant coach of 17U Michigan Jags 00 Green, talked about the benefits of the MRL for the club.
"I think the competition is great," Tinnion said. "MRL has always provided the right competition for our individual teams, so I think with the tier system and promotion and relegation within the MRL, it suits our club."
A few highlights from Sunday’s matches:
15U Premier I: Libertyville FC 1974 (IL) 0-0 FC United 02 Select 1 (IL)
The 15U Premier I division matchup between Libertyville FC 1974 (IL) and FC United 02 Select 1 (IL) resulted in scoreless draw. FC United inched close to the goal throughout the first half, but the ball never touched the back of the net. FC United continued to build plays in the second half, and Lexi Burns nearly scored a header goal off of a bouncnig ball in the 18-yard box, but the ball landed wide right of the goal. While Libertyville also had a few dangerous opportunities within the final minutes of the game, the match ended with a score of 0-0.
16U Premier I: Michigan Jaguars 01 Green (MI) 4-1 NSA Twisters (IL)
Michigan Jaguars 01 Green (MI) claimed a 4-1 victory over NSA Twisters (IL). Danielle Wolfe and Gabrielle McCaslin each added two goals as the Michigan Jaguars earned the lead within the first 25 minutes of the game. Right before halftime, NSA's Sarah Scoles followed up a shot inside the 18-yard box and scored to cut into Michigan Jaguars' lead. In the second half, Michigan Jaguars maintained possession of the ball, but NSA gained two close offensive chances when Mackenzie Anthony shot the ball after a 1-v-1 battle with a Michigan Jaguars defender and when Katie Murphy took a shot which bounced off the crossbar. The score remained 4-1 in Michigan Jaguars' favor until the final whistle.
16U Premier II: Sporting J.B. Marine SC - Schneider (MO) 0-0 North Shore United 2001 Blue (WI)
Sporting J.B. Marine SC - Schneider (MO) and North Shore United 2001 Blue (WI) entered Sunday tied for first in the 16U Premier II Division, and little could separate the two on the field. The sides exchanged near-misses midway through the first half, beginning with North Shore heading a free kick service just over the bar. Minutes later, Sporting saw an attempt on a counter slide just outside the right post. North Shore continued to threaten on set pieces in the second half, but it couldn’t find the right final touch to break through. The match finished in a scoreless draw, as the sides each settled for a point.
17U Premier I: LSC EGA 00 Maroon Omaha (NE) 0-5 Michigan Jags 00 Green (MI)
Michigan Jags 00 Green (MI) went on a scoring spree to defeat LSC EGA 00 Maroon Omaha (NE), 5-0. Five different Michigan Jags players added to the score as Carly Schwinke, Alicia Shatrau, Rachael Sweigard, Rayna Edwards and Isabella Quane each tacked on a goal for the shutout.
17U Premier II: SLSG Premier 00 (MO) 0-2 Team Chicago Academy 2000 Elite (IL)
Team Chicago Academy 2000 Elite (IL) defeated SLSG Premier 00 (MO) with two first half goals in a 17U Premier II Division matchup. After a quiet first 30 minutes with a few opportunities at goal from both teams, Riley O'Brien took the ball down the line and cut it back across the goal for Alyssa Bombacino to run onto and finish the goal. Hungry for another one two minutes later, Team Chicago's Erin Sweda ran onto a through ball in the middle of the field and slipped the ball past the goalkeeper. Team Chicago continued the momentum and held onto the possession in the second half as well, but SLSG showed that they wanted to get back in the game. SLSG's Alex Eyler nearly scored off of a breakaway and Madeleine Nicholson had a close shot from the top of the 18-yard box, but neither shot landed in the goal. Team Chicago claimed the victory, 2-0.
18U Premier I: FC Kansas City Academy Blues Elite 1999 (MO) 1-0 Libertyville FC 1974 (IL)
FC Kansas City Academy Blues Elite 1999 (MO) took a 1-0 win over Libertyville FC 1974 (IL). FC Kansas City scored the only goal of the game in the first half when Makayla Martin headed the ball off of a cross. Although Libertyville had some close calls and nearly scored the equalizer, FC Kansas City held onto the 1-0 win.
18U First Red: KC Blaze Blue Angels (KS) 2-1 Rockford Raptors 99 (IL)
KC Blaze Blue Angels (KS) came back to record a 2-1 victory on Sunday against hometown side Rockford Raptors 99 (IL) in the 18U First Red Division. The Blue Angels held an advantage in shots and possession in the opening 30 minutes, but Rockford managed to break through in the 35th minute when Magdalena Woods curled a shot from distance that flew just inside the left post. Woods nearly doubled her side’s lead midway through the second half, but the KC keeper pushed the attempt over the bar. Just minutes later, Lindsey Edmonds equalized for the Blue Angels when she hit a blast from 25 yards that dipped under the crossbar. Shortly after, KC’s Faith Branson dribbled into the box and slotted her shot into the left side-netting to give her team a 2-1 lead. A stoppage time penalty kick for Rockford slid just wide, as the Blue Angels held on for the 2-1 win.
19U Premier I: Team Chicago Academy - 1998 Elite (IL) 1-0 Alliance 99 Black (MI)
Team Chicago Academy-1998 Elite (IL) withheld substantial pressure from Alliance 99 Black (MI) to claim 1-0 victory on Sunday in 19U Premier I Division action. Chicago goalkeeper Samantha Sample came up with a couple of big saves to deny point blank opportunities for Alliance, including a save on a Madison Alexander attempt in the 50th minute. A few minutes later, Team Chicago’s Izabel Pina followed up a teammate’s shot and slid home the rebound to give her side a 1-0 lead. Sample denied another prime scoring chance for Alliance in the 75th minute, and Team Chicago held on to secure a 1-0 victory.
The MRL provides an opportunity for the most competitive teams in Region II to play each other on a scheduled basis while also competing for placement in the prestigious US Youth Soccer Regional Championships, as well as the highly-competitive US Youth Soccer National League.
The National League is an extension of the highly successful US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (Region I Eastern Regional League, Region II Midwest Regional League, Region III Southern Regional Premier League and Region IV Far West Regional League). Each league provides the best localized matchups and an opportunity for advancement to play at the national level – giving players great opportunities for development while offering college coaches a chance to see the top players in the region compete in meaningful games.
- Defending US Youth Soccer National Champions, 16U Nationals Union 01 Black (MI) [three games] and 17U Midwest United FC 00 Royal (MI) [one game], combined for a 2-0-2 record at the showcase. On Sunday, Midwest tied its lone match of the weekend while Nationals won twice.
- Nationals Union 02 Black Girls (MI) recorded its third shutout of the weekend on Sunday to move to 8-0-1 and secure a first-place finish in the 15U Premier I Division.
- FCKC Academy Blues Elite 02 (MO) handed Nationals Union 02 White (MI) its first loss of the season with a 2-0 result on Sunday — helping FCKC remain in first in the 15U Premier II Division.
- EGA 01 Maroon Omaha (NE) came away from the showcase with two wins and a draw to move to the top of the 16U Premier I Division standings.
- A tie between Sporting J.B. Marine SC - Schneider (MO) and North Shore United 2001 Blue (WI) allowed Gretna Prima Green 2001 (NE), a 4-0 winner on Sunday, to jump into first in the 16U Premier II Division.
- Midwest United FC 00 Royal (MI) earned a point in a scoreless tie against North Shore United (WI) to remain in first place in the 17U Premier I Division.
- After the results this weekend, Gretna Prima Green 00 (NE) remains on top of the 17U Premier II Division.
- Iowa Rush (IA) tied Midwest United 99 Royal (MI) to finish its 18U Premier I Division campaign with 18 points — currently most in the group. However, Midwest now has 13 points and four games left to play.
- A win on Sunday helped FC United 1999 Select 1 (IL) maintain its place at the top of the 18U Premier II Division standings.
- A win on Sunday helped KC Blaze Blue Angels (KS) pull even on points with Sporting J. B. Marine SC Bozesky 99/00 (MO) in the 18U First Red Division. Sporting is the only side between the two with a game remaining.
- With wins on Friday and Sunday, Team Chicago Academy-1998 Elite (IL) pulled within three points of first place in the 19U Premier I Division and it has at least one game in hand on the co-leaders.
- A win Saturday and a tie on Sunday helped Lou Fusz - Wipke (MO) remain unbeaten and extend its lead at the top of the 19U Premier II Division to seven points.