Nothing can put a stop to the ECNL schedule, not even the cold winter months – at least in some corners of the country – that December brings.
Here’s a look at some of the key matchups on the docket for this weekend:
The first three months of the season have been very stop-start for San Juan Soccer Club’s U14s, with some impressive wins to go with some lopsided losses. This weekend, San Juan welcomes Crossfire Premier and Washington Premier to town for a pair of games that signify the start of the season for the two Pacific Northwest clubs.
Those two clubs will make the most of their trip to Northern California, as Crossfire and Washington are scheduled to take on Santa Rosa United.
The race for the Midwest Conference title, like at most age groups, is going to be a fierce one, and this weekend features a number of critical matchups. Both the Michigan Hawks and Vardar are set to face Sporting Blue Valley and Minnesota Thunder Academy on alternate days, obviously.
Starting the season in December up in the Northeast? No problem for a few clubs which kick things off, like Scorpions SC and FC Stars of Massachusetts, as their Sunday meeting marks the first game of the ECNL season for both of them.
At times, it’s difficult to preview and project games in the ECNL when the team last played at the end of October. And West Coast FC faces a unique scheduling challenge when they take on Arsenal this weekend, as it’s the only game for them in the months of November through February, likely breaking for high school soccer. Leah Pruitt will look to continue to provide some attacking spark for West Coast, which is currently in first in the SoCal Conference standings.
McLean Youth Soccer’s promising start to the season will be put to the test this weekend, as the club hits the road for a pair of matches against difficult opposition of Ohio Elite Soccer Academy and Carmel United, two prestigious clubs. Mia Hoen-Beck, with 9 goals in six games, leads McLean’s offensive attack.
Both Sporting Blue Valley and the Michigan Hawks enter Saturday’s matchup with undefeated conference records. So what’s going to give? Each club boasts some very good players, with Sporting boasting Dorian Bailey and Haley Hanson, while the Hawks have Alexandra Lowes and Megan Buckingham, to name a few. Both clubs will be very busy on the weekend, as the Hawks will also take on Minnesota Thunder and Sporting takes on Vardar.
After opening the season in impressive fashion in mid-November, Internationals SC welcome Virginia Rush SC and the Richmond Strikers to Ohio. Emily Ogle and Marissa Milazzo were the big stars the opening weekend, and will look to put in a repeat performance.
Sitting in first place in the Southeast Conference, CASL Chelsea Ladies aim to solidify that standing on the weekend against VSI West Florida Flames, which are making the trip up to the Carolinas for games against Carolina Elite Soccer Academy and CASL.