Last weekend, many of the clubs in the ECNL headed to New Jersey to take part in the PDA Showcase, the final Showcase event before the Championship in June. TopDrawerSoccer.com was on hand to take in the action and provide a first hand account of how the teams stacked up at the competition.
But, there is no break for elite club soccer, so teams are back to the daily grind this week with games across the country to kick off the final month of play in the ECNL.
Check out some of the highlights from this weekend’s slate:
There is a mini-Showcase in Utah this weekend for the U14 age group. Utah Avalanche hosts the rest of the Mountain West Conference with Colorado Rush, Heat FC, Sereno SC, Colorado Storm, SC Del Sol, Las Vegas Premier SC, and Real Colorado all heading to the Beehive State.
So far, Real Colorado has been the class of the conference with a perfect 6-0-0 record. Tatum Barton and Mallory Pugh have led the charge on offense with 13 goals and 8 assists between the two this season. Goalkeeper Brittany Wilson has been tough to beat with only three goals conceded in six games.
Eclipse Select Soccer Club, the second place team in Flight A Standings, wraps up the regular season this weekend with games against Carmel United and Minnesota Thunder.
Kayla McCoy (6 goals, 6 assists), Maya Neal (5 goals, 1 assist), and Riley Sykes (5 goals, 5 assists) have been the focal point of the attack for the Illinois club.
Out in California, So Cal Blues and San Diego Surf square off on Sunday. Blues, currently second in the conference, would move into the top spot in the conference and third place in Flight A with a win. Surf is mainly playing for pride with no prospect of moving up the standings in either conference or Flight A.
However, revenge is on the mind for Surf, which lost the first meeting of the season between these clubs 3-1 in April. Anika Rodriguez, who leads the team with 18 goals on the year, scored twice for Blues in the win. Jessica Clegg claimed the tally for Surf in the loss.
Players Development Academy kept its undefeated season alive with three wins at the PDA Showcase last weekend. Now, PDA faces FC Stars of Massachusetts for the second time this season.
The two teams played to a 1-1 draw in March, the only draw so far this season in conference play for Stars. The Massachusetts clubs is top of the conference with a 11-1-1 record, but PDA would draw level with a victory on Sunday.
The New Jersey club is led by U.S. Youth National Team standouts Caroline Chagares and Schuyler DeBree.
In Maryland, Freestate Alliance takes on Bethesda SC in a Midatlantic Conference showdown. On top of the local rivalry, both teams are also fighting for a playoff spot in the final games of the season. Freestate is currently in 16th place and holding the final playoff spot in Flight while Bethesda is in 17th. A win for Bethesda would push Dave Nolan’s squad into 16th place.
Antonia Urovksy and Eliza Doll will be looking to get Bethesda on mark, as the two leading scorers for Nolan’s side have combined for 10 goals this season.
Dallas Texans have rolled through teams for much of the season, especially in conference play where the Texans have a 9-3-1 record. Surprisingly, one of those draws came against Solar-Chelsea Soccer Club last month.
Solar is currently in Flight B, although in line for promotion to the top flight for next season, and has struggled in the competitive Texas Division with a 3-5-7 record.
Saturday’s rematch will be another big test for Solar keeper Claire Wheatley, who recorded a shutout in the first meeting between the teams this season.
Also on Saturday, Carmel United and Eclipse Select meet up for an important Flight A meeting. Carmel is 19th in Flight A, which means the Indiana club needs a win (and only a win) to grab a spot in the playoffs. On the other side of the spectrum, Eclipse Select is trying to hold onto the top spot in Flight A in the final games of the season.
Victoria Doss has been the catalyst of the Carmel attack this season with 11 goals and 10 assists to her name. Emma Dwenger has also helped carry the load with 13 goals in 24 games.
Defender Taylor Schissler has been one of the top weapons on offense for Eclipse. Schissler has eight assists on the year.
Colorado Rush enters its final stretch of the season on Sunday with a game against San Juan Soccer Club.
Rush, after taking a brief break during May, play four games in seven days to finish the regular season. The Colorado club is led by U.S. U20 Women’s National Team forward Lindsey Horan who has 17 goals in 10 games this season.