WAUKEGAN, ILLINOIS – The entire event at the ECNL Nationals being played here for U14 through U18 teams (the older three age groups begin play Wednesday) is high intensity, but with semifinals played Tuesday in the U14 and U15 age groups, a crunch time atmosphere was prevalent.
So the 1-0 matches observed here seemed quite fitting.
(Scroll down for complete Tuesday results)
U15 Championship Semifinal: Rush talent shines through in 1-0 victory over PDA
There were so many talented players on the field for both teams in the U15 semifinal match between New Jersey club PDA and Colorado Rush, but a particular moment of magic described by its manufacturers in the above video made the difference in Rush’s 1-0 victory.
As they explained, Jordan DiBiasi made a strong run down the right wing in the 1st half and then hit an accurate cross that teammate Rylie O’Keefe met at the far post with a well-timed run and a textbook downward header that found the back of the net for what would be the only goal of the game.
PDA still nearly forced overtime when Kristy Cotter’s good long-range serve found a teammate’s head in the area in the closing minutes, but the headed effort went over the goal. Montana Sutton was lively in attack for William Bustamante’s New Jersey side.Aspen Robinson proved to be a dangerous and intelligent frontrunner for Rush, while the diminutive Jamie Brunworth seemed the most unlikely of holding midfielders, but played the role with aplomb both in winning the ball and playing intelligent, simple passes to help her team keep possession. Breahna Robertson provided gritty defensive coverage for Rush.DiBiasi and her U15 Girls National Teammate Betsy Brandon were practicing the intricate art of weaving in the offensive end for Wes Hart’s Rush team. The two clearly have a strong mutual understanding on the field, with DiBiasi’s power running and Brandon’s skillful dribbling and passing serving as perfect complements for one another.
U14 Championship Semifinal: Arsenal midfield key in win over PDA
In Monday’s quarterfinal win over Eclipse Select, Noah Kooiman’s Arsenal side surrendered possession for much of the match and relied on resolute defending and goalkeeping. On Tuesday, central midfielders Leah Pruitt and Nicole Leggio really stamped their impression on the match and it was a big reason the Southern Californians defeated Meghan Ryan’s New Jersey side 1-0.
Leggio was directly involved in the goal as well, sending in a good corner that Carly Gamble met at the far post and lifted the ball into the net sending Arsenal into the final.
Ayana Robles was also an important factor in Arsenal having a lot of possession, teaming with Pruitt and Leggio to cover acres of ground in the middle of the field and keeping PDA on its back foot for large portions of the match.
Cassidy Overstreet and Marissa Everett were effective attacking players for Arsenal, while PDA had some dangerous moments in attack, particularly early in the match, from Frankie Tagliaferri and Gabriella Bair.
Arsenal will face Southern California rivals San Diego Surf in Wednesday’s U14 Final, Surf defeated Mustang SC on penalties after playing to a 1-1 draw through regulation and overtime.
Full Tuesday Results:
Arsenal FC 1, PDA 0
San Diego Surf 1, Mustang SC 1 (Surf advances on penalties)
FC Dallas 2, FC Virginia 1
Stars of Massachusetts 2, Atlanta Fire 0
KCFC 3, Colorado Storm 1
Ohio Premier Eagles 2, Eclipse Select 1
Crossfire Premier 2, Dallas Sting 1
Real Colorado 3, Charlotte Soccer Academy 2
FC Bucks 1, Real So Cal 1
Scorpions 2, CESA Premier 1
So Cal Blues 3, Penn Fusion 2
Carmel United 1, Sereno SC 0
TSC Hurricane 2, Mclean Youth Soccer 1
Dallas Texans 0, San Juan SC 0
Utah Avalanche 1, Michigan Hawks 1
Freestate SA 2, Slammers 0
FC Milwaukee 3, Colorado Rush 2
Challenge SC 0, Washington Premier 0
St. Louis Scott Gallagher 3, Las Vegas Premier 0
West Coast FC 0, FC DELCO 0
Connecticut FC 3, GSA Phoenix 0
Lonestar SC 2, Pleasanton Rage 2
Richmond Strikers 2, SoccerPlus CT 1
Albertson Fury 1, Birmingham United 1
De Anza Force 4, Solar Chelsea 0
Ohio Elite 4, Blue Valley SC 0
Heat FC 3, Bethesda SC 1
D’Feeters 4, Sockers 0
Irvine Strikers 1, Vardar 0
Concorde Fire 3, East Meadow SC 1
World Class 3, CASL Chelsea Ladies 0
A Flight Championship Bracket
Dallas Sting 4, Crossfire Premier 1
A Flight Consolation Bracket
Ohio Elite SA 2, Real So Cal 1
Eclipse Select 2, Dallas Texans 0
Gwinnett SA 3, TSC Hurricane 1
FC Stars of Massachusetts 2, Mustang 0
So Cal Blues 2, Michigan Hawks 0
San Diego Surf 1, West Coast FC 0
B Flight Championship
Washington Premier 4, Minnesota Thunder 3
FC Dallas 2, Freestate SA 0
Penn Fusion 3, McLean YS 1
Sereno 1, Vardar 0
B Flight Placement
World Class FC 4, Atlanta Fire 1
St. Louis Scott Gallagher 1, Concorde Fire 0
Solar-Chelsea 1, San Juan SC 1
Connecticut FC 1, Heat FC 1
FC Bucks 2, FC Milwaukee 0
Irvine Strikers 3, SoccerPlus CT 1
Las Vegas Premier 3, Blue Valley SC 3
FC DELCO 1, Pleasanton Rage 0
Utah Avalanche 1, Eagles SC 0
Birmingham United 1, East Meadow 1
De Anza Force 3, Richmond Strikers 0
Carolina Elite SA 4, SC Del Sol 1
Slammers 3, KCFC 0
D’Feeters 3, Arsenal FC 0
FC Virginia 4, Albertson Fury 1
CASL 2, Ohio Premier Eagles 0
Lonestar 1, Charlotte SA 0
Scorpions SC 1, Colorado Storm 1
Sockers FC 1, Virginia Rush 0
Real Colorado 2, Challenge SC 0
Carmel United 2, Bethesda SC 1