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ECNL Preview: Battle of Michigan

Article Written by Travis Clark
Published: December 13, 2012

With one last weekend of action before a break from action, a big matchup looms in the ECNL.

Two of the best-known clubs in the nation, and certainly the two most prominent in Michigan, Hawks and Vardar, square off in Midwest Conference action this coming Monday night in the U15-U17 age groups.

Both teams are competing against a number of quality club programs, including Sporting Blue Valley and Eclipse SC, and need to win as they in search of the edge in the standings.

The games mark the second and final time the two teams will meet this season in the regular season. The advantage goes to the Hawks in this one as well – in all five previous meetings, from U14 through U18 age groups, Hawks are 5-0 against Vardar. They’ll look to continue that on Monday.

Here’s a look at some of the other top matches in the ECNL:

U14

An intriguing clash is on the schedule down in Dallas. The most visible brand in the league, FC Dallas, will have its hands full when it hosts Solar. It’s been quite the season so far for the Chelsea affiliate, unbeaten through ten games so far, outscoring opponents 43-3 over that stretch.

Olivia Kane’s offensive production has been impressive so far for her Bethesda SC side that line ups for their only game this month on Saturday against the visiting Richmond Strikers.

U15

The second and third place teams in the Southeast Conference will duke it out, as Charlotte Soccer Academy and CASL Chelsea Ladies meet. It marks the first of back-to-back meetings between the two clubs, as they’ll play each other again a week later.

U16

Its first season in the ECNL has been pretty good for Orland City Youth Soccer at this age group. Currently holding an 11-2-2 record, good for first place in its conference; Alana Hockenhull and Ruvimbo Mucherera have been very solid so far through the first few months of the season. A game against VSI West FL Flames is on the immediate horizon this Sunday, a team Orland already beat 4-1 once this season.

Another team off to a solid start in this age group is the Minnesota Thunder Academy. Currently behind Eclipse and Hawks in the Midwest Conference, the Thunders takes on FC Wisconsin Eclipse and Sockers FC this coming weekend, two important games.

U17

The beginning of the month didn’t go too well for the Richmond Strikers, who are back on the road against this coming weekend, traveling north for games against Bethesda SC and Freestate Soccer Alliance in Maryland. Leading the Strikers is Penn State-bound forward Elizabeth Ball, who will look to add to her strong tally of seven goals from her first eight games.

Looking to keep in step with the Hawks, who don’t play on Monday, Sporting Blue Valley has a couple of tricky tests to cope with. Sockers FC and FC Wisconsin Eclipse are on the schedule, as Dorian Bailey, Haley Hanson and Savannah Trujillo aim to keep an eight game unbeaten streak going.

U18

After a little more than a month of action off, TSC Hurricane is back in action for one weekend only, facing AHFC and Challenge SC in a pair of games. Anna Beffer continues to excel in her attacking role, with 9 goals and 10 assists so far, teaming up well with team leading scorer Elizabeth Keester (17 tallies on the year).

 
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