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US Youth Soccer National League EDP Conferences - Week 8 Feature Games

By Michael Lewis, 11/07/18, 7:15PM EST

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WEEK 8 HIGHLIGHTS: 
US Youth Soccer National League
North Atlantic, Mid Atlantic EDP & South Atlantic EDP Conferences


US YOUTH SOCCER NATIONAL LEAGUE
NORTH ATLANTIC EDP CONFERENCE - PREMIER I

Parsippany 14U girls Take Down Stony Brook with 3 goals in opening 17 minutes

(Team V. Team)
 
Sometimes teams will surprise their coaches in the best way possible.
 
That was the case for Parsippany SC this past weekend.
 
With the team on the verge of clinching the first place crown, Parsippany scored three goals in the opening 17 minutes of its 3-2 victory over Stony Brook at Parsippany High School in New Jersey on Saturday.
 
The surprising part is that Parsippany is better known as a second-half team. Not that head coach Stefanie Zalewski was complaining.
 
"To be completely honest I was shocked," she said with a bit of a laugh. "We're usually a second-half team. So, I think to come out hard in the first half, we were pretty excited to play this game. We knew if we won this game, we would win the division."
 
Parsippany finished the season with a 5-1-1 mark after starting 0-1-1. "We didn't think we were going to do very well at all," Zalewski said. When Zalewski took over the team four seasons ago, the squad played in the EDP Championship Division. Then it worked its way up to Division 3, then Division 2 and finally to the US Youth Soccer National League EDP Conferences.
 
"No one was expecting us to come in first place," Zalewski said. "So, it was a pretty huge accomplishment. That's the one thing that was evident with my team, their perseverance and their wanting to win attitude," the coach said. "It showed this season because we were playing against a lot of better teams, better, bigger, faster teams that we've played against. It's just exciting to see the girls step up and prove themselves."
 
On Saturday, the New Jersey side proved itself by striking early and often. Only five minutes into the match, Maria Holevas converted a Jackie Walsh corner kick for a 1-0 lead. Then Kate Loncar took center stage, putting home a pair of through balls as the hosts grabbed a 3-0 advantage by the 17th minute.
 
"I was pretty confident that we were going to do something," Zalewski said. "The girls were pretty motivated ... I don't think they would have accepted a tie or a loss."  Of course, Stony Brook had some other ideas, striking twice to knot the game up at 3-2 at halftime.
 
"So we had a good 17 minutes and then we had a not-so good 17 minutes," Zalewski said. With five goals having hit the back of the net by halftime, it looked like it was going to be a high-scoring affair, but incredibly, the match was scoreless over the final 35 minutes of the 70-minute match. "It was very exciting," Zalewski said. the girls have been really playing well lately and been gelling as a team. I think you can tell from our recent results we've been scoring some nice goals."
 
On the opposite end of the field, two key players have made sure the opposition hasn't scored some nice goals of their own -- center back Amelia Niziolek and goalkeeper Ella Clausi.
 
"She had a very, very good weekend," Zalewski said of Niziolek. "She was very solid in the back, stopped lot of opportunities of both teams." Which made life easier for Clausi, who made all the saves that she was called on. "She didn't have to come up too big," Zalewski said. "For the Stony Brook game, she came up with a couple of decent saves. She and Amelia led the backline."
 
There will be no rest for the champions or the weary. Parsippany will participate in the EDP Fall Classic this weekend and another tournament over Thanksgiving Weekend before getting a much deserved and needed rest in December and over the Christmas holidays. The team will return to indoor-futsal training three times a week starting in January.
 
Needless to say, this has been one incredible and memorable season for Parsippany and Zalewski, who has been coaching since 2008.
 
"It's a very special group of girls," she said. "They all get a long very well. They work hard. They generally like being there and each other. It's one of the best groups I've coached."
 
And it definitely shows in the standings.

For more information, visit the US Youth Soccer National League North Atlantic EDP Conference page.


US YOUTH SOCCER NATIONAL LEAGUE
MID ATLANTIC EDP CONFERENCE - PREMIER I

SUSA Boys Complete Week 8 with dominant wins in US Youth SocceR National League Mid Atlantic

(Club V. Club)

 

Sometimes you just need to focus on the task, or rather game, at hand. That was the case for SUSA Soccer Academy this past weekend.
 
The Long Island, N.Y.-based Under-13 team had two vital Mid Atlantic Club v Club games scheduled within a 24-hour period. Head coach Eddie Hackett knew exactly what he had to do -- worry about the first game on Saturday, then concentrate on the Sunday match.
 
It could not have worked out better for SUSA, which completed a weekend sweep. The team defeated GPS New York, on Saturday, 5-1, before recording a 3-1 victory over FC Copa Academy in a top of the table clash on Sunday.
 
"We take it one game at a time," Hackett said. "You can't get ahead of yourself. You can't think, 'We've got to win Sunday because you've got a Saturday game first. So I never really get ahead of myself. This weekend, I didn't talk about Sunday's game until Saturday was over."
 
SUSA acquitted itself well in both games.
 
In Saturday's game at the Baymen Soccer Complex in West Sayville, N.Y., Owen Carafitis and Luca Berlingieri scored two goals apiece to lead SUSA.
 
Carafitis started things off with a goal in the 15th minute, latching onto a through ball to give the hosts a 1-0 edge. After GPS equalized on the half hour behind a free kick, Jake Siegel lifted SUSA into the lead for good at 2-1, in the 32nd minute. That score came off some fine build-up.
 
Carafitis gave SUSA some breathing room in the 45th minute, connecting on yet another through ball. "Own's quick and he makes good runs behind," said Hackett, who is the technical director of the club's boys program. "That was one of his better games, for sure."
 
Berlingieri closed out the scoring with a brace as he converted a penalty kick in the 55th minute and put home yet another through ball about five minutes later.
 
"We played very well," Hackett said.  In Sunday's contest at St. John the Baptist High School in South Huntington, N.Y., Sam Palmer struck for a hat-trick in the 3-1 win for first-place SUSA against second-place FC Copa.
 
Palmer's 25-yard free kick in the 20th minute boosted SUSA into a one-goal lead before FC Copa equalized on a free kick of its own -- from 40 yards -- on the half hour. "The kid just smashed one," Hackett said. "He was a very dominant player for them."
 
Seven minutes into the second half in the 42nd minute, Palmer snapped the 1-1 deadlock as he finished Ryan Gillon's cross from the left side for a 2-1 margin. Palmer finished off his fabulous afternoon by putting home an insurance tally off yet another free kick in the 33rd minute for the final score.
 
"Sam was excellent," Hackett said. "Ryan, especially in the second half, once he got wide, and went 1 v 1 with their fullback. he did a very good job."
 
Like many U-14 sides, SUSA must meander through its fall season with many players performing for their respective middle school soccer teams. That means an overload of soccer -- training and games -- for players.
 
"It's a challenge with this age group because they play middle school ball," Hackett said. "Even though we have been winning, they have not always been executing. They did.
 
Between two teams -- which means two sets of training and middle school games usually during the week and club ball on the weekends, the players face a heavy schedule of playing the beautiful game. Remember, they are students as well and there is this little something called homework.
 
"It's definitely tough for them," Hackett said. "That's why we approach it as intelligently as possible. My team practices are light, more about them bonding." During the school soccer season, SUSA trains twice a week before moving to three sessions in the winter and spring. "I expect us to be flying in the spring, a lot sharper than we are now," Hackett said.
 
Right now, SUSA is doing quite nicely.

Quick Touch 13U Boys progressing well under "Total Football" style of play

(Team V. team)

 

Before every game, players, coaches and parents from Quick Touch Futbol 2006 might want to play the classic song, "On the Road Again."
 
Because that has defined the team's season.
 
Quick Touch, which is based out of Metuchen, N.J., doesn't have a field to call home, at least not yet. So, the squad is forced to play all of its matches away. The club trains out of the Sportsplex at Metuchen. "For us in youth soccer, I actually like it. It's really not that important," said Quick Touch co-founder and director of operations Innocent Buule. “I think people love the home part of it because of the distance of going to the game, I guess. That's how pretty much people think about it.
 
"But us having players who travel over 40 miles every practice, I feel like playing an away game doesn't matter. So, it's like saying a home field doesn't really change whether a player goes to a game or not at this age because players are traveling over 20, 30, 40 miles to practice all week long."
 
Quick Touch has players who live up to 40 miles away travel to Metuchen for practice several times a week. That includes players as far south as Trenton, N.J., as far north as Monroe, N.Y., including closer towns such as Montclair and Montville, N.J.
 
Sounds like that challenge will help tough up the team. "Right." Buule said. "A new field every single time, it's a good challenge for the boys because other teams do that. Hopefully, when we do get that home field, let's see if it's really an advantage of playing at home at this stage in their career."
 
So, at the team's eighth road game of the season at Agusta Field in Philadelphia, Pa., Quick Touch (2-6-0), coached by Aderson Cenoble, recorded its second victory, a 3-2 result over the Philadelphia SC Coppa.
 
"Mostly it was about effort," Buule said. "Everyone was giving that extra in a close game like that. Everyone was supposed to be hands in. The coach did say the effort from everyone was up to par. Everyone was it in. Everyone wanted to win that because we had a lot of very mental breakdowns in games. Players are not really focused all the way through, but this game, they wanted it -- they wanted it for themselves. That's why they were able to pull out that result."
 
Quick Touch has several players born in 2007 playing up a year, which has been challenging because of the size and strength of some of the players. "They are very impressive playing," Buule said. "They play very well. They're lacking the physical part of the game in size, but they are slowly coming together.
 
"I guess we have later developers with our group. They're still coming along. We focus most of the technical on the IQ game, but overall, the players are happy and doing well on what they have."
 
At time it has been difficult, going from a 9 v 9 game to an 11 v 11 encounter of the new season. It can take some time to get accustomed to the larger field.
 
Buule noted that the team has made progress elsewhere, such as qualifying for the next round of the EDP Open Cup in March against Arsenal, of the Arsenal Soccer Schools.
 
"So that was a good thing for them," he added. "So, it's slow progress." A pair of 2007 players have stood out this season -- Angelo Giuiliano and Kyler Richards. Giuiliano is a natural midfielder. "He's been doing really well," Buule said. "He has been looked at by the [New York] Red Bulls. He is a very good prospect for soccer in our region. Very good player." Richards plays pretty much everywhere.
 
"We don't have any particular positions for any players," Buule said. "We move them around a lot."
 
Despite being younger than several players the squad the pair has become leaders.
 
"They have helped a lot with the team, with goals, assists, energy," Buule said. "They've been leaders. They're the youngest ones on the team and being the biggest leaders on it. It's been great."
 
Asked what has made this team so special, Buule said you would have to watch Quick Touch in a few games first.
 
"You realize the difference between that style [and others]," he said. "It is a different style of soccer we play. Every team we play against, and the coaches, the parents and refs, they are always in awe of how the kids play the game -- from the back all the way to the front. Everyone gets to touch the ball a lot. It's a very technical soccer team. Everyone can see it. Everyone knows us, that kicks the ball a lot. We've very technical, keep the ball on the ground. Everyone is IQ and the ball, IQ and the ball, IQ and the ball. Movement off the ball. Those little intricacies of the game that we focus on a lot."

For more information, visit the US Youth Soccer National League Mid Atlantic EDP Conference page.


US YOUTH SOCCER NATIONAL LEAGUE
South ATLANTIC EDP CONFERENCE - PREMIER I

Philadelphia Ukrainians find keys to success with solid defensive unit

(CLub V. Club)

 

In soccer, many times the goal-scorers get the headlines and defenders and goalkeepers get pushed into the background.
 
Not necessarily with Philadelphia Ukrainians Nationals.
 
It has been the team's defense that has made it so successful in the US Youth Soccer National League EDP South Atlantic Conference.
 
The Ukrainians have outscored their foes, 16-0, in its five matches this season.
 
Their latest shutout and win was a 2-0 victory over Bethesda Soccer Club at Baltimore Polytechnic High School in Baltimore, Md. on Sunday.
 
"The game went really well," head coach Roben Qawasmy.
 
Especially on defense, which made sure goals by holding midfielder Colin Conway and left back Michael Monser. 
 
Goalkeeper Rohan Shetty backstopped the clean sheet. He was aided by center backs Robert Myrick and Ian Alicea, right back Joseph Turano and Monser.
 
"Those two center backs are brilliant working together so well," Qawasmy said. "Robert looked really, really good. He's clean in the back. He stopped a lot of attacks. ... I was happy with that."
 
And of course, happy with both goals, both off of long shots. Conway lifted the visitors into a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute, firing home a 35-yard drive to the lower left corner.
 
Monzer doubled the advantage in the 23rd minute, connecting from 30 yards. Qawasmy said his 4-3-2-1 formation allows his outside backs to be a part of the attack.
 
"We liked to attack with six guys," he said. "We defend with six guys. We like that system a lot."
 
Actually, Qawasmy likes closer games rather than 5-0 or 6-0 routs. The former keeps his team on its toes -- literally and figuratively. "When there are four or five goals scored by a team, it's a boring game," he said. "When its 0-0 and there's a last-minute goal, that's a game. People might not agree with that. 
 
"Coaches stay on their toes, players are giving everything they got. Goalkeepers stay in the game. In a 0-0 games, you're still working, still scratching your head. 'What do I do?' "
 
The Ukrainians have two games remaining in the fall season. The team meets Pipeline SC Pre-Academy Sunday before concluding this part of the schedule against SJEB Rush on Dec. 1. "Pipeline is supposed to be a really good team," Qawasmy said.
 
In the U-13 match-up, the Ukrainians had conceded only one goal in a month, so when Bethesda struck for two goals within a 10-minute span in the second half to equalize the match at 3-3, it was a reality check for the team.
 
"They were a little shell-shocked," head coach Dan Harmon said, adding that the team said to itself, " 'OK, somebody can score on us. What do we do?' I'm proud of their composure and integrity and to commit to finishing out the game."
 
His team did, scoring off a corner kick with 10 minutes remaining to recorded a 4-3 victory on Sunday.
 
The Ukrainians had won its last four games by an aggregate total of 8-0, so it wasn't accustomed about having anyone celebrating a goal.
 
"I told them after the game, that they showed complete integrity," Harmon said, "being tied 3-3 and all of the momentum swung, especially without allowing a goal over the last month, being able to persevere, buckle down, go back to the game plan and execute it and walk away with a win against a good club that has showed some decent results this year."
 
As it turned out, it was a game defined by goals scored off of set pieces. Three of the Ukrainian goals were scored from dead-ball situations -- two corner kicks and a free kick.
 
"It's nice to see a play come to fruition, for sure, especially at these young ages," Harmon said.
 
Two of Bethesda's goal came via a penalty kick and a free kick.
 
"I don't know, other than the World Cup, did we see any more set pieces than that, that resulted in a goal?" Harmon asked.

HMMS EAgles 13U take down Bethesda with two SEcond half goals

(Team V. team)

 

In many ways, the first half of HMMS Eagles FC's game with Bethesda SC South 06 on Sunday was a microcosm of its season.
 
Many scoring opportunities, not many goals.
 
HMMS, however, got its act together in the second half, striking twice early on to register a 2-0 victory at Hidden Creek Park in Mechanicsburg, Pa.
 
"We put a lot of pressure on," HMMS head coach Andrew Otterson said. "The field is a little bit bumpy this time of the year. It was a little bit beat up. There were some mistakes made by Bethesda on the built out. We won a lot of balls. We just didn't put in in the net."
 
It was a difficult opening 35 minutes of the 70-minute match.
 
"It was frustrating absolutely in the first half," Otterson said. "When you look down all our score lines, they've all been within a goal. We probably had the better of play and more chances in the majority of the games. If we would have put a few in here and there, we probably would be sitting at the top of the table."
 
Thanks to Jack Miller and Vekaz Tihic, they were sitting pretty on Sunday.
 
Miller gave HMMS a 1-0 lead when he won the ball inside the penalty area and slotted it past the goalkeeper. After Ross Kluger was fouled in the area, Tihic converted the ensuing penalty kick to give HMMS some breathing room. 
 
"We just needed to start finishing and when we did early in the second half, it was very relieving for us," Otterson said. "It was well deserved by the team and the boys. They worked very hard. We've trained very hard. It's a good group of kids. They finally got the result they worked for. It was a good feeling for them."
 
Otterson has been quite pleased with the play of striker-turned-goalkeeper Drew Cover.
 
"The team needed a goalkeeper," he said. "We lost our goalkeeper to other sports and he volunteered. I think he wanted to be part of the group and it's pretty cool that he did it." Cover was on an HMMS travel team and was promoted to the Eagles. "He's trained hard and he played very well in that game," Otterson said. "It's kind of cool for a coach to see the kids put that kind of effort and work in and having it show in the game."
 
HMMS had a slow start to going from 9 v 9 to 11 v 11 this season. Otterson, who is new to this team, said it was ranked No. 2 in the state last season. "We made a big jump," Otterson said. "They were very successful in 9 v 9. They won a bunch of tournaments. We had some rough spots at the beginning of the season in August and September, but their mindset has allowed them to overcome those obstacles. I tell them all the time if you put the team before yourself, if you use the accountability, those pieces of our character, you get through the rough spots.
 
"Against Bethesda was turning the corner on the rough spots. We've played some real good soccer. We just haven’t had the bounces and the luck that that we needed in a few games."
 
Otterson said he was most impressed with his squad's mental toughness. "The kids, they are tough," he said. "They have a good mindset. Their mentality is good and they're tough kids and they don't give up. And that's what I respect most about that group of boys right now."

For more information, visit the US Youth Soccer National League South Atlantic EDP Conference page.


For more on the US Youth Soccer and EDP Soccer partnership, visit our US Youth Soccer homepage.

To find all of this year's Fall League schedules, visit our 2018 Fall Schedules page.