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PDA, Scorpions dominate in RI playoffs

Published: May 13, 2010

What do you do when you’ve already won one regional championship and have a chance at another?

You put your head down and keep winning, of course.

That, at least, is what the U14 PDA Slammers and the U15 Scorpions Elite had in mind in this weekend’s Region I playoffs.

Here’s a first look at how the action went down:

U14 Girls: In Saturday’s semi-final, PDA’s U14 Slammers met Match Fit Chelsea Beat, to whom they had lost just a few weeks ago in the New Jersey state cup.

In an emotional game, the Slammers’ Caroline Chagares had compete control of the midfield and Natasha Ntone Kouo was able to create some dangerous chances up top, but were forced into overtime after a Slammers own-goal made it 1-1 near the end of regulation.

In overtime, Meghan MacDonald and the Slammers’ defense refused to buckle, and goalkeeper Casey Murphy was stellar in the shootout that followed, allowing only one goal while her team scored four.

elite girls club soccer player Madison MeehanMadison Meehan, Scorpions Elite
With that, the Slammers punched their ticket to the final.

They met their archrival Stars of Massachusetts in the final, and as usual, this was an extremely tight contest. The only difference was a goal by Julianne Minutillo, which she scored by beating the Stars’ keeper to the ball on the near post in the second half.

Defenders Michelle Wiltse, Rebecca Giordano, and Madison Kenny were impenetrable, and Casey Murphy was nearly flawless in goal.

It was a huge victory for the Slammers, who will be back at the Region I Championships this summer with a chance to defend their 2009 Regional title.

U15 Girls: Scorpions Elite met Bethesda Freedom for the first time in two years in Saturday’s semifinal, and were slightly taken aback by what they found.

They looked somewhat overwhelmed by Freedom’s size, athleticism and superior organization, and it took them a while to break the Freedom defense down. But the Scorpions finally went ahead when Courtney Maguire found goal late in the first half.

The Scorpions were fortunate to win this game after the ref disallowed a Freedom goal on a very questionable call late in the game, and their second goal was a fluke. Madison Meehan scored after a clearance by the Freedom goalkeeper bounced off her head and landed in the goal, making the score 2-0.

Still, the Scorpions’ defense, led by center backs Kendall Andrew and Meg James and holding midfielder Sarah Warjas, was very stout, and the dynamic McKenzie Meehan was a constant threat attacking from the midfield.

In Sunday’s final, the Scorpions faced PDA Celtic, who had beaten them 4-0 just a few short weeks ago.

Celtic possessed well the entire game, but couldn’t penetrate the Scorpions defense. Their best opportunity was squandered when Scorpions goalkeeper Bridget Conway made a great save after a missed clearance led to a one-on-one for a Celtic attacker.

The Scorpions, meanwhile, couldn’t possess the ball on offense, but they created a number of chances on goal and scored two of them to secure the win.

On the first, midfielder Lauren Berman slipped a ball to Ashley Harwood at the top of the box, who struck a beautiful left-footed one-touch shot into the far side netting for a 1-0 advantage.  

Late in the second half, Andrea O'Brien and McKenzie Meehan combined well to create a two-on-one situation with the Celtic goalkeeper, and O’Brien scored to seal the victory for the Scorpions.

Although the Scorpions had already qualified for the Region I Championships and Nationals by virtue of a second place finish in the National League, it was an excellent end to a dominant season, and we’re sure to hear more from these girls in the future.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at the winners of the U16, U17, and U18 Region I girls – where the words “PDA Dominance” might come to mind – as our coverage of the Region I playoffs continues.

See you there.

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