The US Youth Soccer National League Conferences, managed by EDP Soccer, saw teams in the 13U and 14U age groups play their third weekend of the Fall 2020 Season on September 26-27. With the season progressing towards its midway point, teams are looking to separate themselves at the top of the table as they make a run to a first place finish.
The USYS National League Conferences are part of each team's pursuit of a place at the 2021 US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships, this season being held June 25-July 1, 2021 at Tuckahoe Turf Farms in Hammonton, NJ.
Some of the key matches in the conference over the weekend were:
In the 13U Boys Premier I Division, NJ Premier FC 2008 Boys Blue looked to get its third win in three games when it traveled to play Torpedoes SC Red. The game ended in a 1-1 draw as both teams were evenly matched and scoring opportunities were very hard to come by. The lone goal for NJ Premier was scored by Dylan Michalski on a header off a corner kick taken by Logan French.
“Their high press gave us some problems in the beginning of the game,” NJ Premier FC Director Jordi Meijer said. “But in the second half, we were able to find our way through and create some better possession.”
In the 14U Boys Premier I Division, New Jersey Youth Soccer State Cup Champion SC Vistula Garfield Lewandowski traveled to take on Ironbound SC Raiders in a battle of two of the most accomplished teams in the state. SC Vistula Garfield was able to come out on top, 5-0, behind two goals from Christopher Tenecela, and goals by Krystian Malkowski, Brian Garcia and Eric Moroz. Despite the scoreline, it was a tough, well-played matchup, with SC Vistula able to finish off its chances.
“We always come ready for a fight with Ironbound teams. It is a great rivalry and we are happy that we were able to take a win,” said Vistula coach Peter Sala after the game. “Our boys came prepared and motivated expecting a tough opponent and that is what we got. We keep working hard every weekend to maintain our position in the state and country.”
In the 13U Girls Premier I Division, Lehigh Valley United 2008G Black looked to continue its impressive start to the season, as it looked for its fourth win in as many games when it hosted FC Europa 2008 Elite Girls, who are unbeaten through two games. In the first half, LVU scored twice as Elayna Kocher scored in the 9th minute on an assist from Karina Goetter, and again in the 22nd minute to lead the team to a 2-0 win.
“I think we started off a little slower than usual, but we definitely stepped it up,” said LVU goalkeeper Kayla Kennelly after the clean sheet victory. “We had a lot of shots and a lot of opportunities. Our defense does a really good job.”
In the 14U Girls Premier I Division, FC Europa 07 Elite traveled to Warrington SC Red Fury, as FC Europa looked to separate itself at the top of the table. The first half of the match saw FC Europa looking the more likely to score early, but it was Warrington that was able to strike first. FC Europa quickly leveled the score, and the teams went into the half tied 1-1. The second half saw Warrington again take the lead, but FC Europa once again responded to quickly tie the game at 2-2. Brennan Corr and Kate Dente scored the goals for FC Europa in the draw.
In the 14U Girls Premier I Division, Eagle FC 07G Pride looked to get its third win in three games when it hosted Old Line FC 07 Pride Black. Eagle FC’s one loss last season was to Old Line FC, but this season it was Eagle FC that was able to come away with a 4-0 win. Ella Frey, Cameron Noll, and a brace from Alex Dreihaup proved to be the difference in the match.
“Our defense did a great job today,” Eagle FC player Said Dreihaup said. “They put the ball in some great places for us and we were able to finish.”
“We’re glad to be playing, and playing well,” Eagle FC head coach Mike Lemarca said. “Thanks to EDP and USYS for getting us back on the pitch by putting forth strong guidelines for a safe return to play.”
In the 13U Girls Premier I Division, Harford FC United Navy Lightning and SYC Pride 08 Blue both entered the match on four points in the standings. Sydney McLaughin and Addison Weaver both scored in the first five minutes for Harford FC, and SYC scored just before halftime to cut the Hartford FC lead to 2-1 at the break. In the second half, it was all Harford FC, as Reagen Kolego scored twice and Lily Annunziato scored the final goal to seal the 5-1 win.
“HFC came to play today and it started with the first goal being scored off a beautiful through ball to the wing player,” HFC coach Heidi Weaver said. “Despite the downpour of rain, the girls were on their game.”
In the 14U Boys Premier I Division, two of the biggest clubs in Maryland kicked off their season when SAC/BA Pre Academy hosted Bethesda SC Blue 07. After a tight opening 35 minutes, SAC scored three times in the second half to come away with the 3-0 win. The first goal was scored on a header from Christian Byun off a free kick by Issac Chun. The second goal was a penalty kick taken by Shalom Adja after the penalty was set up by a great through ball by Byun who sent Adja in on goal. The final goal was scored by Noah Blankensop when Adja hit a perfect diagonal ball into Blankensop, who beat the two center backs and slid his shot by the goalkeeper for a great individual effort.
“It was great to get our South Atlantic Conference campaign underway today against one of the premier clubs in the region,” SAC coach Paul Capodanno said. “After a scoreless first half, I thought our high press began to pay dividends allowing us some quality opportunities from which we capitalized on. I also was thrilled with our back four and goalkeeper Luke Tegeris, who played a great match. After what happened in the spring, I know that all of our boys are so thankful to be out and playing this fall and know that every game is such a gift.”
In the 13U Boys Premier I Division, Coppermine Boys 2008 Premier hosted Old Line Football Attack and both teams entered the game unbeaten. Coppermine was the better side on the day, and came away with a 4-0 win. Goals were scored by Judah Pritchett in the 6th minute, Marco Taylor in the 15th minute, Samuel Oluyemi in the 25 minute, and Leandro Llosa in the 52nd minute. Goalkeeper Trevor Gattus kept the clean sheet.
“We were fortunate enough to start the game very fast and get an early goal from Judah Pritchett, which set the momentum for the rest of the game,” Coppermine coach Yassine Iguidre said. “I was very impressed with our center midfielders. Baber Toure gave us great energy in the center of the pitch, winning tackles, breaking up plays and being a threat going forward.”
“We knew it was going to be a good match because of the way we had been training,” Toure said. “We won the game with a clean sheet and will now prepare for the next upcoming match.”
In the 14U Girls Premier I Division, Ginga Girls 2007 Elite hosted CFC North Regional 2007, as both teams looked for their second win of the season after they each won their first game of the season.
The game was very evenly played throughout the contest. In the first half, Ginga created a couple of goal opportunities with crosses from Alexa Kudasik into the box that her teammates couldn't put it in the back of the net. The teams went into half with the game scoreless, and both sides came out eager to win in the second half of the game. Ginga pushed its lines up, and CFC took advantage on a counter attack to score the first goal with about eight minutes left in the game. CFC looked to put the game away with another counter attack but couldn't find the back of the net. With two minutes remaining, Ginga FC took a corner kick and after a scramble in front of goal, it was able to find the back of the net. The game ended in a 1-1 tie.
In the 14U Boys Premier I Division, Western United Pioneers FC Boys 07 Elite won both of its games over the weekend, taking the side to 4-0 and putting it at the top of the current standings.
In the 14U Boys Premier I Division, SUSA B07 EDP NL hosted Dix Hills Harbour View. Both sides came into the game after tough battles the previous week, when Dix Hills defeated Valencia CF Academy, 2-1, and SUSA tied Long Island Premier, 2-2, in the EDP Game of the Week.
This weekend’s game was a tough match from the start. Both teams had scoring chances but Dix Hills Harbour View was able to strike first. The goal started from right back Nick Mackin making a pass to right midfielder Jackson Dillon, who was able to send the ball to striker Hunter Croke for an excellent finish. The first half ended with Dix Hills up 1-0. A few minutes into the second half, SUSA was able to score the equalizer off a free kick. It was an exciting battle the rest of the game, with both teams having chances to score the winning goal. With less than five minutes left, Dix Hills' Jackson Dillon was able to find the back of the net for the winning goal. Dix Hills coach Olando Evan praised defenders Preston Podlas, Maurcio Oviedo and Brayden Lane for their efforts in the win.
"We played a solid game, and we were defensively very solid as a team,” Evan said. “We created a lot of chances, but we lacked composure in front of the goal. Overall, it was very good to see our boys compete against a good quality team and come out with a victory in the end.”
In the 13U Boys Premier I Division, Bethlehem SC 2008 Eagles hosted Auburndale SC Blast, and Bethlehem won, 4-2, to move to 1-0 in the season.
In the 14U Girls Premier I Division, New York Surf G07 Academy Blue looked to continue its dominant start to the season when it traveled to play East Islip Scorpions. The Surf kept a clean sheet in a 5-0 victory over a tough East Islip team. Mia Bratti and Jadyn Hsu each tallied two goals and Rachel Nasshorn put one in the back of the net. Defense has been a strength this season and that trend continued with big efforts by defenders Chloe Bergen and Isabella Taylor, as well as keeper Katie Powder.
"It was a team win,” said Surf defender/midfielder Samantha Friedman. ”We always work hard and have fun when we're on the field."
In the 13U Girls Premier I Division, Long Island SC G2008 Academy visited Auburndale SC Strikers 2008, as both teams looked to remain unbeaten in conference play. Long Island SC’s system of play had it pressing high and looking to move the ball quickly and into the attacking third by utilizing balls in and behind Auburndale’s back four. The attacks down the flanks resulted in several services in and around the box. Auburndale used its strength and size in midfield, and looked to play diagonal balls over top to its quick wingers. Late in the first half, Auburndale went up 1-0 on a penalty that resulted from a hand ball in the box off a cross. In the second half, Long Island SC equalized on a shot from outside the box that drifted over the goalkeeper’s head. In the battle between two of the conference's top teams, the game finished tied at 1-1.
In the Club vs. Club Division, Inter Connecticut FC hosted Brentwood in the 13U and 14U Boys age groups. At 13U, Brentwood came away with a 3-2 win a close match. In the 14U age group, Brentwood’s attack was too much for Inter Connecticut to handle, and the match ended 5-1 in favor of Brentwood.