What do you do when you’ve already won one regional championship and have a chance at another?
You put your head down and keep winning, of course.
That, at least, is what the U14 PDA Slammers and the U15 Scorpions Elite had in mind in this weekend’s Region I playoffs.
Here’s a first look at how the action went down:
U14 Girls: In Saturday’s semi-final, PDA’s U14 Slammers met Match Fit Chelsea Beat, to whom they had lost just a few weeks ago in the New Jersey state cup.
In an emotional game, the Slammers’ Caroline Chagares had compete control of the midfield and Natasha Ntone Kouo was able to create some dangerous chances up top, but were forced into overtime after a Slammers own-goal made it 1-1 near the end of regulation.
In overtime, Meghan MacDonald and the Slammers’ defense refused to buckle, and goalkeeper Casey Murphy was stellar in the shootout that followed, allowing only one goal while her team scored four.
The Scorpions, meanwhile, couldn’t possess the ball on offense, but they created a number of chances on goal and scored two of them to secure the win.
On the first, midfielder Lauren Berman slipped a ball to Ashley Harwood at the top of the box, who struck a beautiful left-footed one-touch shot into the far side netting for a 1-0 advantage.
Late in the second half, Andrea O'Brien and McKenzie Meehan combined well to create a two-on-one situation with the Celtic goalkeeper, and O’Brien scored to seal the victory for the Scorpions.
Although the Scorpions had already qualified for the Region I Championships and Nationals by virtue of a second place finish in the National League, it was an excellent end to a dominant season, and we’re sure to hear more from these girls in the future.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at the winners of the U16, U17, and U18 Region I girls – where the words “PDA Dominance” might come to mind – as our coverage of the Region I playoffs continues.
See you there.