SC del Sol stands in the middle of one of the fiercest rivalries in the ECNL. But the talented U18 team isn’t there to mediate, they want in on the battle.
Through the first half of the season the Arizona club has proven it belongs. With a record of 7-2-0, SC del Sol is right in the thick of a Mountain West Conference race that features Real Colorado and Colorado Rush.
They’ve defeated both teams this season, giving the unsung group reason to believe that they could unseat the Colorado couple.
“They are both strong teams,” said SC del Sol coach Les Armstrong. “Both teams have exceptional players that really put us in a tough bracket. It’s a matter of us being organized at the right time. We’re confident we can do well and we like our chances to reach nationals.”
SC del Sol is highlighted by one of the top goal-scorers in the country, Cali Farquharson who has a whopping 18 scores and six assists this season.
She is complimented by fellow attackers Emily Paxton and McKenzie Berryhill and U.S. U18 camp goaltender Laura Glew.
But then, all the contenders are loaded with talent, aren’t they?
The Colorado Rush have one of the most devastating scorers in the country, in U.S. U18 star Lindsey Horan, while Real Colorado has Layla Brown and company.
The Mountain West U18s are set to return from their two-month break in action later this month. It’s the final hurrah for this age group, many of whom have already ironed out their college plans as they enjoy the twilight of their high school careers.
The degree to which coaches can keep their players’ minds from wandering could end up being the difference in who emerges on top.
For coach Armstrong, that challenge will be tackled with a team retreat.
“We’ll take a couple days and have an outing. We put together a curriculum that we’ll go over just to cover the basics of what we want tactically as a group,” he said. “We have to keep good team unity and buy into the fact that it’s not just about getting into college, but representing your club and trying to develop. I told the team, ‘let’s see if we can finish the job.’
"It would be unusual to see a team from Arizona win the whole thing.”