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Wilson, N.C. (Dec. 6, 2018) — The top teams in the country showcased their talent Thursday as several energetic matchups got the 12th season of US Youth Soccer National League Boys and Girls play underway with 14-15U games in Wilson, N.C and Goldsboro, N.C. All of the teams in each of the 14U-15U Boys and Girls age groups began their 2018-19 National League season at the Wilson Gillette Soccer Complex, Fike High School, and Bryan Multi-Sport Complex.
The 16U-19U Boys teams are competing this week, as well, with their games taking place in Greensboro, N.C.
National League teams earn their place in the league based on a proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer’s top competitive programs 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 Overland Park, Kan.
“I think as a whole we’re looking to compete with the best,” said Pipeline SC Pre-Academy head coach Andrew Gillis. “They set the National League up to pit teams against each other in an outstanding atmosphere, with top notch facilities and there is a high level of play and intensity here that has no match for it.”
Pipeline made the most of its opportunity against a quality opponent on Thursday, as it earned a 3-0 win to start the season against a former National Championships finalist. Pipeline is looking to stay level headed as it moves forward after beating a top-notch opponent.
“I think playing a team considered one of the best teams in the country is going to be nerve wracking but our girls worked extremely hard and I’m proud of them,” continued Gillis. “I think for our group, we need to keep normal expectations and I keep preaching to them that we have to go one game at a time.”
National League action will continue Friday, Dec. 7 in Wilson, N.C. and Goldsboro, as the 14U-15U teams play their second 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 Thursday's matches…
In the Red Division, PDA Shore Flash (NJ) defeated Liverpool 05 Elite (TX-N), 1-0, to earn three points and earn its first National League win. Liverpool looked to take the lead early as Livia Dunaway finished a chance but was deemed to be offside. After a foul in the Liverpool end, PDA took a quick freekick that put the Liverpool keeper under pressure but the chance was met with a one-handed save to push it onto the bar and out. PDA used a set piece from the training ground to set up Madison DiEugenio for a one-time strike that was blasted back post for a goal. PDA’s defense held on throughout the second half to earn an important three points on the first day of play.
Pipeline Spirit PreAcademy (MD) made the most of its first ever National League game by winning its White Division match against Sunrise Sting 2005 (FL), 3-0. Finley Lavin opened the scoring in just the 8th minute of play to give the Maryland side an early advantage. Pipeline increased its lead just five minutes before half as it worked the ball down the left flank and then played a ball across the face of goal where Payton Schenning finished from close range. Pipeline’s defense kept the clean sheet through the second half and Hannah Jibril added a second half goal to give Pipeline its 3-0 win.
In their opening Blue Division game, Sporting KC Academy (KS) and United USC 05 Premier (AL) played to a 1-1 draw with both goals coming in the opening half of play. Sporting’s Lucas Jeff put the Kansas side ahead just eight minutes into the game but United didn’t stay down long. Just six minutes later, Luke Boseck equalized for United and then got a big save from its keeper to keep the teams level. Neither side could find the winning goal, despite both teams have late chances. The tie gives each team a point heading into their second games.
Rise 05 Elite (TX-S) looked to have a return to the National Championships on its mind as it defeated PSA National 05 (NJ), 5-0, in its opening Red Division game. Rise scored early and often in the first half as Marvin Rivas started the scoring in the fourth minute of play. Edvin Hasica added a brace midway through the half before Aaron Reyes completed the first half scoring in the 32nd minute. Rise’s defense held down its end while the midfield pressure kept PSA from any easy marches into the Rise half. Rise’s Ronan Corley added the lone second half goal as Rise held onto the clean sheet for the 5-0 win.
In Red Division play, Pipeline SC Pre-Academy (MD) earned a 3-0 win over 2018 National Championships finalists Philadelphia SC Coppa Swarm 04 (PA-E). After a scoreless first half, Pipeline scored the first goal of the game thanks to a deflected clearance. Kendyl Sarver put the Coppa Swarm keeper under pressure and then finished the blocked clearance into an open net. Coppa almost leveled the score a few minutes later but saw a header off a corner flash just over the crossbar. Georgia Szoke added the second of the game as she smashed a long shot towards goal that sailed by the keeper. Szoke notched a second in almost the same fashion when she noticed the keeper off the line and hit a ball from deep that floated over the keeper for a goal. Pipeline’s defense held on for the clean sheet and earn its first National League victory with the win.
Defending National Champions Michigan Jaguars 04 Green (MI) came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw against DFeeters 04 Voutier (TX-N) in White Division play. Dfeeters scored the lone first half goal thanks to a finish from Alexa Fernandez. Just seven minutes into the second half Michigan Jaguars battled back as Mariah Shaver equalized. Michigan almost took the lead shortly after as a ball popped out of the box, but the long distance strike from Brielle Phurg kept rising over the bar. DFeeters regained the lead seven minutes later as Fernandez struck again, this time with a freekick that floated over the keeper into the upper left corner. In the 59th minute, Shaver once again leveled the score and then almost gave Jaguars the lead late if not for a fantastic sliding kick save from the Dfeeters keeper, Raelyn Stone. The tie earns both teams a point heading into the second day of play.
Real Jersey FC (NJ) is already making its case for a return to Nationals after a 4-1 White Division victory over Lexington FC 2004 BW (KY). Real Jersey scored a cluster of goals in the first half to get off the ground running. Braden Short opened the scoring in the 11th minute and then Felipe Fernandez scored twice to give the Real Jersey team a 3-0 lead. The clean sheet didn’t last much longer as Gavin O’Shea put Lexington on the board before halftime. The lone second half goal came as Cade McGrath found the back of the net as the Real Jersey defense held to give the New Jersey side a 4-1 win after day one. The win earns Real Jersey three points which could be crucial moving forward.
VHSC Steamers 04 Black (AL) defeated PSA National 04 (NJ), 2-1, in its opening Blue Division match to earn three points. Steamers took the lead just five minutes in thanks to a goal from Parker Briggs but PSA battled back to equalize in the 28th minute with a goal from Alexander Bent. The tie didn’t last long as Kosi Udeh put Steamers back in the lead just four minutes later with a goal. With a halftime lead, Steamers locked down on the defensive side of the ball and held the 2-1 score through the final whistle. With the win, VHSC Steamers are now three points closer to returning back to the National Championships.
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/