Published: January 9, 2012
If you want to play with the U18 Michigan Hawks, you better score goals. Their ECNL competition is learning that the hard way this season, and yet another lesson was taught at the recent ECNL National Showcase Event in Sanford, Florida.
Not only did the Hawks win all three of their matches but they did it in typical potent fashion, which included a punishing 6-2 victory over FC Virginia.
There’s a reason Michigan sits in third place in the ECNL Flight A standings, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be falling off anytime soon.
“I think the key to our success has been how well and fast we move the ball around to switch the point of attack, which has helped us in scoring so much,” said striker Mallory Weber, one of team’s many scoring threats.
“We play really well up top together and create a ton of scoring chances.”
Sanford, a new addition to the squad this season, has given the Hawks even more firepower. They’re led by the always dangerous Allyson Krause, who treats goals like shooting drills. She netted four in Sanford, to pace the group.
Eliza Van de Kerkhove
stepped up with a hat-trick in the win against FC Virginia, leaving a strong impression on her teammates.
“All of my teammates really impressed me,” said Vanessa LaCosse. “We really possessed the ball and worked it around under high pressure. To do that can be hard and I think everyone did a really great job doing that. Since it's our last year, we want to go out with an incredible last season, a lot of wins and possibly a championship to show for it!”
The Hawks are far from alone in that quest.
The current pole leader in the ECNL is Albertson SC, and they too held court with a 3-0 stint in Sanford, beating CASL, Carolina Elite and Charlotte Soccer Academy.
Should shape up for an interesting race when the ECNL shifts to its third national event of the year February 24-26 in San Antonio, Texas.
Five total events will precede the ECNL National Championship in June.
In Flight B action, the cream also rose to the top four teams in the standings: FC Delco, Scorpions SC, Freestate Soccer Alliance, and SoccerPlus Connecticut all went undefeated.
FC Delco couldn’t have been better, holding its three opponents scoreless. Freestate was also impressive, led by Abbey Ritter, Amira Walcott and Gabby Moreno, among others.