Playoff implications continue to ramp up for teams across the ECNL, as clubs hopeful of postseason play know that it’s now or never to turn things up if they want to be playing into June and July.
Here’s a look at some of the bigger games happening this weekend:
Within striking range of the first and second place teams, Bethesda SC can improve its position in the Midatlantic Conference with full points from this weekend’s matchup against Internationals SC and Ohio Premier Eagles. Olivia Kane and Jamie Fink have provided the offensive punch for Bethesda, each with 12 goals on the season so far.
Things are very close at the top of the Mountain West Conference between the Colorado Storm, Real Colorado and Colorado Rush. The Storm and the Rush are set to meet on Saturday as well, with the third-place Rush able to close the gap if they can find a way to win that encounter. Elisabeth Geraghty leads the Storm attack, with 20 tallies in 16 games played.
PDA puts its 11-0-0 mark in the Northeast Conference on the line, playing Penn Fusion on Saturday.
The regular season is winding down for Lonestar SC, and the outfit will look to consolidate its playoff position with a tough matchup against Albion Hurricanes FC on Sunday. Also looking to solidify its spot are the Dallas Texans, which take on Challenge SC this weekend.
Another team looking to cling to a perfect conference record is the San Diego Surf (8-0-0). A game against West Coast FC awaits this weekend, as midfielder Olivia Erlbeck looks to continue her solid form on the season (9 goals, 10 assists).
Important matchups loom this weekend in the Pacific Northwest as well. Washington Premier, currently in first in the Northwest Conference, hosts Northern California sides Mustang SC and De Anza Force, two teams not far behind in the standings.
It’s been a very solid start to the season so far for Internationals SC, first place in the Midatlantic Conference via its points per game. A big road trip is on the slate for this weekend with games against Maryland clubs Bethesda SC and Freestate Soccer Alliance. Halle Stelbasky, Zoe McCormick and Jenna Dorchock have all played significant roles in the positive performances so far.
The SoCal Conference has three teams within two points of each other vying for first place. So Cal Blues will look to close that gap behind West Coast FC with the full three points against Arsenal FC. Slammers FC, equal on points with the Blues, face Strikers FC, and West Coast FC has a tricky test against the San Diego Surf.
Kelcie Hedge (5 goals, 2 assists) will look to lead her Washington Premier side closer and closer to first-place MVLA, with two games against Mustang SC and De Anza Force on the schedule.
MVLA, meanwhile, takes on Santa Rosa United in a bid to consolidate its top spot in the Northwest Conference.
Crossfire Premier is another first-place team that will look to use this weekend as a chance to assert itself in the Northwest Conference. De Anza Force and Mustang SC are both coming to town, with Calisse Crisler and Sierra Bilginer two of many players looking to lead Crossfire to full points.
Wins at this stage of the season are all vital for teams with playoff hopes, and Connecticut FC is another fringe team looking to move towards more solid ground. A meeting with FC Bucks provides the next opportunity on Sunday.
A spot in the postseason is all but locked up for Lonestar SC, which boasts a conference record of 15-0-2. That will be put on the line in a Saturday matchup against Albion Hurricanes FC.
A long road trip looms this weekend for Ohio Premier Eagles, traveling to Maryland for games against Freestate Soccer Alliance and Bethesda SC. The two matches will see the Eagles put their 7-0-0 Midatlantic Conference record on the line.
Despite a loss last weekend against PDA, FC Stars of Massachusetts still holds first place in the Northeast Conference, and the dynamic duo of Morgan Andrews and Hayley Dowd will look to help and keep them there.