Sunday brought a second day of exciting girls club soccer action at ECNL San Diego, as teams from around the country met for another round of high-level games. With more than 500 coaches from colleges around the country in attendance, every contest was a chance for America’s elite U14 to U18 players to shine.
For some teams it was a chance to build on the success of the day before, while for others it was an opportunity to shake off a disappointing first match and start anew. The day saw a wide range of results, from a 0-0 draw between West Coast FC U17 and Orlando City YS U17 to one-sided finals for So Cal Blues SC U15 against Utah Avalanche U15 (7-0) and San Juan Soccer Club U15 and SoccerPlus Elite U15 (6-0).
“ECNL is very important,” said Slammers SC U15 assistant coach Scott Kelsey. “It exposes the girls to highest level of play, against the best talent in the United States. It’s great exposure.”
For last year’s ECNL National Champion De Anza Force, the day continued a weekend they will undoubtedly like to forget. After dropping a hard-fought 3-1 decision to West Coast FC on day one, De Anza Force faced an early morning match with another Southern California power, San Diego Surf SC.
Coming into the weekend, Force, coached by Andres Deza, had only given up one goal against 52 scored in ten matches. They are finding Southern California is less than hospitable, so far.
Surf SC U15, coached by Colin Chesters and Paul Dolinsky, feature Catarina Macario, a Brazil-born scoring machine who had amassed 17 goals and 10 assists going into the weekend. De Anza Force quickly learned why she has been called one of the best young female players in the country.
Attempting to shake off the previous day’s loss, Force played an attacking-style of soccer which Surf SC was able to penetrate and create opportunities. The game was not a show of elegant soccer, rather a case of players finding teammates on the field to capitalize on scoring chances. By the end of the game, Macario had netted two goals and assisted on three others as Surf SC dominated Force in a 6-2 final. Also finding the net for Surf SC were Yasmin Ahooja, Bianca Caetano-Ferrara and Arlie Jones (2).
Across the Polo Fields, another U15 match saw Walid Khoury’s Slammers FC and Paul Dixon’s Santa Rosa United go toe-to-toe in a very physical match that left several players bruised and battered. In the end, Slammers walked away 4-1 winners on goals from Hailey Zerbel (2), Sianna Siemonsma and Haley Hopkins.
U14 Recap: Southern California continued to shine in competition as George Sipa’s Arsenal FC shut out James See’s Minnesota Thunder Academy and Tad Bobak’s undefeated So Cal Blues SC blanked Robert Fite’s Utah Avalanche by identical 2-0 scores.
On Monday, Minnesota Thunder will take on TSC Hurricane from Texas and Utah Avalanche will face Slammers FC as they try to turn their weekends around.
U16 Recap: In a hard-fought match, Midatlantic Conference leader Maryland United took a 1-0 win over Penn Fusion SA from the Northeast Conference. Coach Mellanie Nai’s side continued their strong defense that has seen them allow only four goals in conference play.
After defeating SC Del Sol on Saturday, Crossfire Premier defeated Northeast Conference leaders East Meadow Soccer Club 4-1 in a bicoastal battle of conference leaders. Tim Reynolds’ squad showed why they are undefeated against the toughest teams in the Northwest.
U17 Recap: It was not all West Coast, as Dave Clarke’s Connecticut FC took a 4-1 win over Jeff Leigtman’s De Anza Force in an afternoon match. Elsewhere, Northwest Conference leader Mustang SC, coached by Patrick Uriz, fell to Randy Dodge’s So Cal Blues SC by a 1-0 score.
The Blues will close out ECNL San Diego with a match against PDA on Monday morning, while Mustang SC will look for better results against New York’s Albertson Fury. De Anza Force will look for a winning combination against Continental FC Delco, and Connecticut FC will go for three when they take on Arsenal FC.
U18 Recap: After dominating FC Bucks 6-0 on Saturday, host San Diego Surf SC dropped a 2-1 decision to De Anza Force, who were coming off a 2-1 loss against So Cal Blues. The Southern California sun has not been kind to PDA, who came into the weekend having given up no goals in conference play. After a 1-1 draw with Maryland United FC on Saturday, MVLA played them to a 2-2 stalemate.