ECNL Florida 2022 Recap
Scorpions U16, U17 and U18 teams traveled to Florida in early January to compete in the ECNL National Winter Showcase which was attended by over 900+ College Coaches. Our U17 and U18 Regional teams participated Friday through Sunday in Sanford Florida, while our National U16, U17 and U18 teams competed at Lakewood Ranch. Both facilities were in great condition, and while they were flooded with college coaches, we really enjoyed the competitive games that allowed our girls to showcase themselves against some of the most prestigious teams in the country. We saw over 370 + College Coaches attending Scorpions Games over the course of the weekend and below is a short recap regarding each team, along with a video highlighting some of the best moments of the weekend.
U16 (2006) ECNL National
Head Coach Bob Meals
“The biggest take away from this week as the new head coach of this talented group of players is that they do not give up no matter what the score. Now that I have a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses as individuals and as a team we can get to work over the winter to prepare for a tough 06 New England Division.”
First Game vs NC Fusion
Unfortunately, this group was hit with last minute roster withdrawals due to positive covid cases. Even with a depleted squad, the 06's showed, as they always do, the proper resilience and fight to claw their way back into games and that was evident through the first two matches. Saturday vs NC Fusion saw them concede the lead on two occasions and after being down 3-1, showed a valiant effort to work their way back into the game against a strong, well conditioned NC Fusion team to make it 3-3 to only let up a last minute goal to lose 4-3. Improved performance over the course of the game set the tone for the rest of the weekend.
Goals by : Anya Zub, Anya Zub, Olivia Avellar
Assists By : Izzy Reidy, Kylie Fuller
Second Game vs South Carolina United
Second game, the team was in a familiar position in being down 3-1 even though they were playing well throughout the first 60 minutes of the game. In the last 20 minutes, the team went on the attack and pinned back a very organized South Carolina United team. In doing so, they created more chances and found 2 goals in the last 12 minutes of the game, along with multiple other chances to win the game, but were content to at least earn a point form the well deserved tie.
Goals by : Autumn Simon, Olivia Avellar, Nadia Cassamajor
Assists By: Cal Elder, Kylie Fuller, Anya Zub
Third Game vs Dallas Texans
With losing another player due to injury, the already depleted squad struggled on the third day to gain a good result, however their performance did not reflect the scoreline. There were many opportunities through Nadia, Anya and Olivia to capitalize on early chances in this game, but as the game continued and the heat continued to be a factor, tired legs weighed on the players and led to open chances for the strong team from Dallas.
U17 (2005) ECNL National
Head Coach Kyle Bak
"The team should be proud of their overall performances throughout the weekend with a short handed roster. Playing against very strong opposition, they showcased themselves well in front of over 120+ schools. The team demonstrated that they have the ability to compete with future champions league teams when they are consistent with their performances."
First game vs Penn Fusion
Great overall team performance by the girls. Started the game strong by dominating possession and creating chances going forward from both wide and central areas. Great turn and finish by Kendyl Peterson to open the scoring in the first half, while Bria Abbiati added a wonderful header just before the end of the half through a great cross from Abby Giordano. A late goal by Penn Fusion caused a few concerns to close out the game, but Scorpions maintained control for the majority of the game.
Goals by Kendyl Peterson, Bria Abbiati
Assists by Abby Giordano
Second game vs Kings Hammer
A very unfortunate start to the game where we didnt get off on the right foot and against a strong, direct and physical team, it showed both on the field and on the scoreboard after conceding 3 early goals in the first half.
In the second half, a smart change in tactics, team shape helped Scorpions dominate the second half in possession and attacking phases. They were unfortunate to only get one goal back but certainly were up against a strong team that was firing on all cylinders that day.
Goal by Bria Abbiati
Third game vs Saint Louis Scott Gallagher
Conceded a PK in the first 2 minutes of the game and a second goal shortly after from a flank service and header. Unlike the previous day the team grew into the first half and dominated sequences of play that lead to good attacking options and the comeback was on when Shea Kheller scored from a tight angle to make it 2-1 just before half. In the final minutes of the game, after multiple chances on net, the game tying goal was disallowed and we were unfortunate not to gain a result from a game in which we dominated.
Goal by Shea Kheller
U18 (2003/2004) ECNL National
Head Coach Evan Burokas
"A very good weekend of performances for these players. Getting better with each passing game, playing organized,team soccer while seeing great improvement in individual performances within the team.We competed well against tall, strong and physical southern teams and most importantly, the players showcased themselves well in front of 140 + College coaches who came out to see them play. A lot more room for development and growth with this team, but promising start to the year to come out of two ECNL showcases with 3 wins, 2 ties and 1 loss"
First game vs Orlando City
After coming off 3 wins in Tennessee, the 03/04 team has taken a positive step in their development as a team in which we can noticeably see them prioritizing team shape and principles in each passing game. Due to flight changes and cancellations, many players arriving in Florida an hour before gametime didn't help set the tone for this game as we were outmatched vs a strong Orlando team. With 14 players available, we struggled to find rhythm in our possession however, we have always had the mentality to compete. In doing so, we scrapped our way through the first half, pieced together some good sequences in the second half, and got the tying goal through Mallory Lucas. Chances for both teams in the second half, but Maddie Dion in goal came up big with 2-3 saves to keep the team in it for a tie.
Goals by : Mallory Lucas
Assist by: Ella Pisani
Second Game vs Tampa Bay
Very unlucky to go down 1-0 through a defensive slip on top of the ball, and then 2-0 down due to some miscommunication in the backline. Nevertheless, the girls' performance through the first half was so much better compared to day 1 and their character was never in question so we knew the second half was ours. A small switch in formation allowed the girls to pin back Tampa and create 4-5 chances in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Annie Renz assisted Ella Pisani with a great through ball and a cool finish, for then Ella to return the favor by assisting Annie Renz with a great through ball to go 1v1 with the keeper to make it 2-2. So many more chances and much more composure from the girls in the second half saw us dominate the majority of the game. In the last 5 minutes, an unlucky deflection allowed a big ball over the top and Tampa unfortunately grabbed the win in the last minute but the performance and character that was shown was unbelievable
Goals by : Ella Pisani and Annie Renz
Assists by : Ella Pisani and Annie Renz
Third Game vs Tulsa SC
Third game against another team from the south showed early on. We were not conditioned for the heat, the playing surface (grass) and the intensity of the game. However, as our legs tired, we let the ball do the work and by playing simple 2 touch soccer, we gained an edge on a very dynamic Tulsa team which saw us come back on two occasions. Mallory Lucas with a great goal from the left side, and Riley Grable with a free kick from just outside the top of the 18. Maddie Dion also made three big saves in the second half to ensure Scorpions did not concede late.
Goals by : Mallory Lucas and Riley Grable
Assists by : Ella Pisani
U18 (2003/2004) ECNL Regional
Head Coach Andre Reis
“The 03/04 girls had a solid weekend after dealing with a lot of adversity heading into the tournament. Some last minute health and safety issues resulted in making the trip with a very small roster. That being said, the girls worked very hard in all 3 games and were unlucky not to get 3 wins. Although we scored 7 goals in 3 games there is definitely room for improvement with our decision making in the final third in order to be more efficient and clinical in and around the goal.”
Game 1 vs NC Fusion RL (3-1 Win)
Very gutsy performance from the girls. Due to flight cancellations, we only had 12 players available for the game. Started the game off the best way possible, scoring directly from a Jessie Lee corner in the first 5 minutes of the game. Due to lack of numbers and playing in the heat we approached the game relatively conservative. The main focus was to stay compact, keep the game in front of us and counter efficiently. The girls were able to carry out the game plan very well. We were very dangerous on the counter attack, taking advantage of the opponents expansive shape. Our 2nd and 3rd goal came from well executed counter attacks in transitional moments. Lauren Calabro also had a very good performance in goal.
Goals: Jessie Lee, Abby Cushing and Arianna Georgantas
Game 2 vs West Side Alliance RL (Oklahoma) (2-2 Tie)
In the second game the girls started the game off on the front foot going up 2-0 in first 15 minutes. 1st goal coming off a corner put away by Allison Jenkins who was playing her first weekend back from wrist surgery and the 2nd goal came off of a great collective pressing moment by the team. The opponents were trying build out but we were able to lock them in their own third and forced them to go clear the ball where we were able to win the header which fell to Arianna Gerogantas who beat the center back on 1v1 with a great piece of skill and a great bottom corner finish from the top of the box. West Side Alliance was able to come back in the game to tie it up after they had the better run of play for a good 20 minutes. In the last 10 we were able to find another wind to really put pressure on the opponent and create numerous quality chances but were not able to finish.
Goals: Allison Jenkins and Arianna Georgantas.
Game 3 vs Great Falls Reston Soccer Club (Virginia) (2-2 Tie)
On Day 3 fatigue had taken a toll as it usually does especially only having 13 players for the last game. However, the girls battled till the end and could have walked away with a win if it wasn’t for some unlucky goals. Much like the other two games we were very dangerous on set pieces, scoring both goals on corner kicks. 4 of the 7 goals scored were on corner kicks due to consistently dangerous service and desire to score and win individual battles in the box.
Goals: Julia Tavares and Ashlyn Aguiar
MVP’s : Catherine Smith (winning midfield), Jessie Lee (set piece service) and Arianna Georgantas (playmaking in final third)
U17 (2005) ECNL Regional
Head Coach Bob Meals
“A very strong performance from 05 ECNL Regional team playing against strong competition from different regions of the country. As the competition got stronger so did the teams play on the field.”
First Game vs Pride ECNL
The 05 ECNL Regional team started off on the front foot dictating play all over the field. They were able to move the ball and create a lot of quality chances. Pride did a very good job in their defensive third not allowing goals but giving up a lot of corner kicks. The girls were able to get on the board by pressing the back line to create a turnover in the middle of the defensive third and a goal by Abby Cushing. The second came on a corner kick that was cleared back to the corner and noce half volley by Claire past the keeper on the near post to go up 2-0 to end the half. Second half was very similar to the first half with Scorpions dictating play. Emily McCabe was able to get off a nice left footed shot that just went under the keeper to finish the game 3-0.
Abby Cushing first goal
Second game vs Concord Fire
The second game was very similar to the first with Scorpions 05 ECNL Regional team dominating possession, creating great chances in the final third. Took a bit longer than we would have liked but in the 37th minute Emily took a free kick into the box which went off one of the defenders into the goal. 5 minutes later Claire was able to get another goal off a corner kick from a rebound from the keeper to end the half 2-0. The girls scored another goal off a great cross to the far post and put it back into the box for one touch finish by Giovanna. The girls played almost another scoreless game but Concord Fire was able to get a late goal on a well passed ball in for a breakaway to finish the game 3-1.
Goals by : Emily McCabe, Claire Chase and Giovanna Francesconi
Third Game vs Indiana Fire
The girls came out playing well but found themselves down 1-0 10 minutes into the game on a misjudged ball for a breakaway. The girls continued to play well and with a well placed shot under the keeper from Abby to tie the game 1-1. The girls went into the half tied 1-1. The girls came out in the second half to prove that they were the better team. High pressing and creating a lot of scoring chances they were able to score 3 more goals. Abby scored her second of the game on a well placed shot off a corner kick from the far post. Emily was able to get one dribbling into the box and beat the keeper on the near post. The 4th and final goal came from Emily from distance chipping the keeper to finish the game 4-1.
Emily McCabe 2 goals
Abby Cushing 2 goals