SAN DIEGO, California – Day one of the ECNL National Event in San Diego is in the books, and great soccer from teams around the country ruled the day.
Here is a recap from some of the games Top Drawer Soccer watched from day one.
Eagles SC U14 4-2 FC Nova U14
Eagles ended up commanding the game, but they took the long way to get there. They opened the scoring inside the first 10 minutes against the run of play through Kaitlyn McKeown following an offside call ruled off by the referee because the ball touched a Nova defender before reaching her. From there, Nova took over the rest of the first half, scoring two goals in about a minute, courtesy of a tap-in by Kaitlyn Ramon and a nice shot off a long ball by Kayla Soto.
But Eagles came out the second half very much regrouped and completely dominated the rest of the way. Though Nova had an early chance that deflected just wide, they lost the traction they had in the first half as Eagles completely controlled the ball. Eagles tied the match about 15 minutes after the break off a corner kick, as Grace Williams sent a terrific ball into the box that was headed in at the far post. Five minutes later, Madison Demijohn took a ball down on the right hand side of the penalty box, and sent an angled shot past the Nova ‘keeper to take the lead.
They then added to their tally with about 10 minutes to go, as they successfully converted another corner, with Sarah Hernandez heading this one across the goalmouth and in off the post.
Just one goal separated the two teams on the scoresheet in this match, as FC Stars nabbed a 1-0 win courtesy of a first half goal from Jenna Barnes. Stars were the stronger team throughout the game and had the lion’s share of chances. After an early chance that forced a save from Bethesda goalkeeper Danielle Katz, Stars forward Gabrielle Brummett initiated the goal about 12 minutes in, as she poked a shot towards goal at a tough angle, with Barnes ensuring it made it over the line with a tap-in from inches out.
Stars picked up where they left off in the second half, as goalkeeper Talia Klimes and her defense were put to the test time and again to save or clear opponents’ chances. Overall, that defensive performance was the strong point of Bethesda’s game, as despite allowing the game’s lone goal, they held firm otherwise despite being peppered with chances.
Bethesda’s best chance of the game came in the final 10 minutes, as Nicole Bautista drilled a rocket from distance that Stars ‘keeper Taylor O’Connor had to save. In the end, the save was made, and Stars walked away with full points.