Especially during a league-wide showcase event, it’s nice to be the home team.
At this past weekend’s ECNL Showcase in San Diego, no doubt partly due to playing so close to home, it was a very successful outing for the San Diego Surf.
With five teams entered across all five ECNL age groups, the Surf posted a strong record of 10-2-3, picking up a total of 32 points on the weekend.
“There’s definitely an advantage,” Surf U15 head coach Jose Ocampo told TopDrawerSoccer.com of playing close to home. “I think top teams easily learn how to deal with it because they use experience to overcome the traveling. But overall I think being here in San Diego it definitely helped us as a club to be successful this weekend.”
Two of the teams went a perfect 3-0 – Ocampo’s U15s and the club’s U16s, each holding off strong opposition. The U16s won in dominating fashion, with a 4-1 win over FC Stars of Massachusetts, a 2-0 win over Ohio Elite Soccer Academy, and a 5-1 win over Freestate Soccer Alliance. Brittany Doan and Kyra Carusa inflicted most of the damage for the 16s, scoring three and four goals respectively in the three games.
Meanwhile, the U15s were firing on all cylinders in their three wins, winning 5-1 versus Scorpions SC, 1-0 against FC Stars of Massachusetts, and wrapping the weekend up with a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rush. Kelsi Dantu scored the game winner against FC Stars, while forward Jessi Clegg added a goal and an assist on the weekend.
“Overall I was very happy with the kids’ performance,” Ocampo said. “I think they’re really starting to understand what this league represents, seeing all the college coaches and representing women’s U.S. Soccer.”
The offense, which scored nine goals in the three games for the U15s, enjoyed a banner weekend for the Surf. But Ocampo was just as impressed by his back line.
“The defense was super impressive, they played I would say 99 percent of every game and only allowed two goals,” he said.
After starting off the showcase with two impressive wins, Penn Fusion slipped on the final day. Winning big against San Juan Soccer Club and Irvine Strikers (both by a 5-0 score), Fusion then fell against the So Cal Blues on Monday 4-1.
So Cal just missed out an undefeated weekend of its own. Along with the win over the Fusion, it won 5-1 against Ohio Premier Eagles, but lost 1-0 against Northern Cal side Mustang SC.
Sereno Soccer club won all three of its games over the weekend without conceding a goal – defeating Pleasanton Rage 3-0, Washington Premier 1-0 and FC Bucks 3-0. The defense on the whole was a star on the weekend, for the Phoenix-area club, much to the pleasure of coach Paul Taylor.
“They’re very well organized,” he told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “They hold their shape well, and we look to play out from the back, and they’re very comfortable on the ball.”
It was a strong weekend for So Cal Blues, picking up all nine points at the showcase. Running the show was the attacking quarter of Nicole Faris, Nicole Miyashiro, Stephanie Malherbe and Kassidy Gorman in wins over Freestate Soccer Alliance (2-1), FC Bucks (4-0) and Colorado Rush (2-0).
Eagles Soccer Club also completed a weekend without blemish. Alexandra Marquez scored twice in a 4-0 win over Penn Fusion; Arianna Dugas scored the game’s only goal in a 1-0 defeat of Challenge SC, before Eagles finished the weekend with a 1-1 draw.
Heat FC put together a strong weekend in San Diego, picking up seven points. After beginning the weekend with a 1-1 draw against SoccerPlus Connecticut, a goal each from Meghan Cordero and Falon Miller powered them to a 2-0 win over Ohio Elite Soccer Academy. Miller added a brace on the final day in a 3-1 win over Penn Fusion.
McLean Youth Soccer enjoyed a fruitful trip out west, winning two of three. Nisrene Tabbara scored the game’s only goal in the opener against Slammers, before McLean exploded for five goals against Pleasanton Rage, winning 5-0. Lindsey Sawczuk and Morgan Reuther each scored twice in the win. A 2-1 loss to West Coast FC was the only blemish on the weekend.
Scorpions SC picked up three impressive wins in San Diego. Starting off with a 2-1 defeat of Utah Avalanche, they followed up with a 4-1 defeat of Freestate Soccer Alliance, before wrapping up the trip with a 3-0 win over Sereno SC on Monday…Enjoying a strong year in the standings, Arsenal FC won two of three games in San Diego. After a 4-1 loss to FC Stars of Massachusetts, Arsenal rebounded with two straight wins, a 3-1 defeat of Crossfire Premier and a 4-0 win over San Juan Soccer Club.