ECNL Preview: Texas, Virginia going strong
Slowly, ECNL has been gearing up for a full return to force since the calendar changed to 2014. With a smattering of games this upcoming weekend, it is starting to look like ECNL is back to action one week ahead of the national showcase in Texas.
Below are just a handful of the games on the slate for this weekend.
Charlotte Soccer Academy is hoping to keep pace with Concorde Fire in the Southeast Conference as the top two teams head into the home stretch of the season. CSA is six points back but has two games in hand. Charlotte takes on Carolina Elite Soccer Academy on Saturday. CSA won the first meeting of the season between the teams 4-0 thanks to a hat trick from Mackenzie Chewning and a goal and two assists from Courtney Walker. Walker and Chewning have combined to score 20 goals this season.
In the Texas Conference, FC Dallas returns to the field for the first time in 2014 with a game against Challenge SC. FC Dallas won the first meeting this season 3-1 behind goals from Gabriella Gamboa, Ashley Friedrichs, and Kyla Crawford.
The marquee game of the weekend comes from the U15 age group where Solar Chelsea Soccer Club takes on cross town rival Dallas Texans on Saturday. Solar sits in first place in the conference and has not lost a game this season. Dallas Texans sit in second and are undefeated as well.
In the Chesapeake Division, FC Virginia will be looking to continue its roll through the opposition with games against Richmond Strikers and Virginia Rush this weekend. FC Virginia is 9-0-1 in conference play this season and only conceded four goals.
Dallas Sting is trying to climb back into the top three in the Texas Conference with a win on Sunday against TSC Hurricane. Cyera Hintzen has been the main threat for Sting with eight goals to her name. Hurricane’s talented trio of Jordan Langebartels, Madison Verge, and Jennifer Byers will be the ones to watch for the Sting defense.
The Scott Gallagher clubs square off on Sunday when SLSG hosts SLSG-Metro. SLSG is holding onto one of the final wildcard spots and needs a win to keep hold of it. SLSG-Metro is playing the spoiler role as results have eluded the Missouri squad.
McLean Youth Soccer’s perfect record in conference play is on the line this weekend when the Virginia club takes on Virginia Rush and Richmond Strikers. Mia Hoen-Beck leads McLean in scoring with 10 goals in 12 games. Kentucky commit Katelyn Jensen has only let in three goals in those 10 conference games.
Dallas Sting is using the weekend to prepare for the showcase event next weekend, which the Sting hosts. Sting takes on TSC Hurricane on Sunday, which is a battle between first and fourth in the conference. Hurricane’s attack has been potent this season with Marlo Zoller scoring 13 goals and Kaylee Dao dishing out 14 assists. Sting has only let in five goals during this campaign thanks to the goalkeeper player of Alyssa Palacios and Katherine Lund.
There is no showcase on the horizon for the U18 age group, which means there are only a few games left before the playoffs for most teams. McLean Youth Soccer, the top team in the Chesapeake Division, is in action this week with games against Virginia Rush Soccer Club and Richmond Strikers. McLean should be wary of Strikers, as Penn State(w) bound striker Elizabeth Ball is capable of beating even the best defenses in the nation.
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