SAN DIEGO – Battling tough opposition, some unrelenting wind, and fatigue, teams returned to the San Diego Polo Fields on Sunday for the second day of the ECNL National Event.
There were a number of quality games on the schedule. Below is a recap of a few of the games.
Crossfire Premier U15 2-1 Colorado Rush U15
It only took 40 seconds for Crossfire to take the lead on Sunday, which might have been the fastest goal on most days but So Cal Blues U15 scored on the opening kickoff against Utah Avalanche to claim that honor on the way to a 7-0 win.
Crossfire’s start, sluggish by unrealistic comparison, came off a lofted ball forward from right back Kai Henderson. Striker Kelsey Turnbow turned with the ball and raced at the defense. Turnbow cut in onto her right foot and then placed her shot over the keeper and into the upper corner of the net for her 12th goal of the season. Rush was left chasing the game from the first minute on.
Fifteen minutes later, Crossfire doubled the lead when Rush’s defense struggled to clear a cross from Brooke Chandler. The ball fell kindly to Jamie Rita who side volleyed the ball past the Rush keeper and into the net.
Rush had a chance to cut the lead in half right before the halftime whistle when Madison Johnson escaped her mark and had an open header in front of the goal off a brilliant cross from Sage Digiulio. Johnson could not direct the effort onto frame though.
Crossfire had a golden chance to put the game to bed early in the half when Henderson popped up inside the 18-yard box with the ball on her foot and the goalkeeper out of the picture. However, Rush’s defense stood tall and blocked the shot off the line.
Rush had the better run after the chance, but bad breaks kept the Colorado squad from finding the back of the net. Taylor Steinke had a golden chance in the 57th minute when she tried to poke in a shot from six yards out. However, Crossfire swarmed and kept the shot out.
Kuhlmann, who was active all game but hardly had any space in the attack, had one more scoring opportunity with nine minutes left in the game. The forward saw her shot head wide of the post.
Crossfire did an effective job of killing off the final minutes of the game and improved to 2-0 at the event. Crossfire concludes play on Monday against Eagles Soccer Club. Rush fell to 0-2 at the event with the loss and wraps up in San Diego on Monday against De Anza Force.
FC Stars of Massachusetts U17 2-0 MVLA U17
In the land with hundreds of teams, there is a lot of common ground among formations from game to game. However, Stars is a black sheep in a snow of white. The squad from the New England Division used a 3-5-2 with resounding effectiveness against the talented group from Northern California.
The extra bodies on the wing proved to be the difference on the day as Allison Wiggins and Alexa Elworthy scored from wide roles.
Wiggins notched the opener after 19 minutes when she tapped in a cross from a brief scramble in the box.
Six minutes later, Gabriella Carreiro had a golden opportunity to double the lead when Wiggins provided a perfect cross for the center forward. Goalkeeper Melissa Ma blocked Carreiro’s initial effort with a sliding challenge, but the rebound popped up in the forward’s path. Her second shot was an acrobatic attempt from a tough angle before the ball crossed the end line, but the shot hit the outside of the post.
Substitute Natalie Perreault threw herself onto the end of the cross and nearly pulled MVLA back to level terms with 10 minutes left in the first half. Perreault’s shot escaped the keeper, but Pietra Sweeney cleared the ball off the line.
Shaelan Murison Brown was a terror at the start of the second half as she turned her mark inside and out. Brown’s best chance came in the 52nd minute when she skated past her mark and whipped in a cross. The cross was blocked but it landed right on Rebecca Andrews’ foot. Her shot fell right into the lap of goalkeeper Julia Schneider though.
Elworthy put the game away with her goal that came with only nine minutes left in the game. Dorrie Varley-Barrett provided the assist as she played it to Elworthy out on the wing. The first touch was sublime and the defender was left in the dust. Elworthy made quick work of the goalkeeper and slotted home the goal.
Stars improved to 2-0 at the event while MVLA fell to 1-1. Stars close out the event against Strikers FC on Monday.
San Diego Surf U16 2-0 Real Colorado U16
With Mallory Pugh on duty with the U.S. U20 Women’s National Team, Real Colorado lacked that special talent in the attack but still have plenty of quality players on the field to go toe-to-toe with Surf for most of the game.
The local side took the lead after 28 minutes when Taylor McMorrow slotted home a corner kick from Anissa Dadkhah. Real Colorado’s goalkeeper put her fingertips on the initial service but not enough to clear the danger and the ball fell for McMorrow who hit it into the open net.
Real Colorado’s best chance of the opening half came with only three minutes when Tatum Barton broke free of the defense on a burst of speed and skill. Barton’s shot went high of the goal though and Surf took the lead into the break.
The visitors had the better chances to start the second half, but nothing really threatened the Surf goal. San Diego put the game away when Taylor Porter tucked in an easy finish at the far post after Real Colorado had pushed some numbers forward.
The Surf defense did well to cut off any movement toward goal from Real Colorado and improved to 2-0 at the event.
Check out all of the scores on the TDS ECNL Scoreboard.