The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series Eastern Regional Championships will take place from June 27-July 2 in Barboursville, WV. Leading up to the event, EDP will be profiling several of the qualified teams and looking at their journey to this point. The next team featured in the “Road to Regionals” series is the 13U Girls team from Pipeline SC Pre-Academy (MD), which earned its Regionals berth through its performance in the US Youth Soccer National League EDP South Atlantic Club v Club Conference.
One of the biggest adjustments players have to make moving up from the 12U level to 13U is going from the 9v9 game to 11v11. It becomes even more of a challenge when implementing that change with an already-successful team.
Pipeline SC Pre-Academy’s 13U girls’ team, however, took that change and ran with it. And the result was a second-place finish in the inaugural US Youth Soccer National League EDP South Atlantic Club v Club Conference season and a berth in the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships.
“Our group has had a fantastic year of growth and development as we’ve transitioned to the 11v11 game,” Head Coach Geoff Bowman recalled. “To see so much success and growth directly from our (training) sessions really speaks volumes to our club’s growth and development philosophy.”
Bowman was also quick to credit the level of play in the National League Conference as a key piece in his players’ successfully making the adjustment. And facing top competition throughout the season is something that he only sees as a benefit moving forward.
“The quality in this league is unmatched,” he noted. “Being able to play high-level teams all season should keep us in top form and ready for any challenge going into the Regional tournament.”
This will be the first Regionals experience for most of the Pipeline players, so Bowman is tempering his expectations. He still has plenty of confidence in his team and its ability, though.
“We’re really looking forward to going and competing against some of the best players, teams and clubs in the region,” Bowman said. “For most of my kids, it’s their first visit to the Regional competition, so I know the excitement is there. The ability to spend extended time together and bond as a team is an added bonus.”
Founded in 1999, Elite Development Program Soccer (EDP) is one of the largest organizers of youth soccer leagues and tournaments in the U.S. EDP operates youth leagues for boys and girls ages 9-19, conducts a Futures program for players ages 7-11, and operates U20/23 men’s and women’s leagues. EDP also runs over 20 tournaments each year. One of the major priorities of EDP’s leagues and tournaments is to enable soccer players to reach their full potential, with an emphasis on attending college. More than 3,500 teams participate in EDP’s leagues and more than 170,000 players compete in EDP tournaments annually. For more information on EDP, visit www.edpsoccer.com.