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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Majestics Lead 12-Team Field To Tampa

Majestics Lead 12-Team Field To Tampa
USL Feature

TAMPA, Fla. -- The 12-team field for the Girls U14 Division of United Soccer Leagues’ Super Y-League North American Finals has been completed, with reigning U13 champions the Northern Virginia Majestics returning to try and add a second title at the tournament scheduled for November 19-23 in Tampa, Fla.

The Majestics picked up where they left off in 2009 over the summer, going 9-1-0 in the South Atlantic Division, the only tie a 1-1 draw in their opening game against fellow qualifier the Richmond Kickers. The goal the Majestics conceded in that contest was the only one they allowed throughout the season, outscoring their opponent 47-1 in 10 league games. Annah Lindberg led the Majestics offense with 16 goals.

While falling in their second contest with Northern Virginia, Richmond also had a strong summer, going 8-1-1 to finish three points behind the Majestics. The Kickers balanced squad saw eight players finish with multiple goals, Katherine Cousins leading the way with seven.

The side Northern Virginia defeated in last season’s U13 final also returns, with the Rage SC from Reading, Pa. winning Group B of the Mid Atlantic Division with a 9-0-1 record. Emily Diehl scored 10 goals in as many games for the Rage, who edged out fellow qualifier the Washington Freedom (8-1-1) by two points.

Match Fit Chelsea from Bayonne, N.J. won Group A in the division, losing only once in its 16-game schedule to finish with a record of 11-4-1. In a highly competitive group, MFC won almost half of its games by just a goal, including a 2-1 victory against group runner-up the Long Island Rough Riders on June 13.

Long Island also finished with only one loss, but finished six points behind MFC thanks to a large number of draws to leave the Rough Riders with a record of 8-7-1. Both teams will be joined in Tampa by the Perugia Grifos, who finished third in Group A. The Grifos finished ahead of Quickstrike FC on goal difference within their own group and held a higher point percentage than Group B third-place finisher Real Maryland FC to advance.

Coastal FC, which advanced to the U13 semifinals in 2009, won the Pacific Northwest Division, but it came down to the final day of the season for the club as it edged out Coquitlam Metro-Ford by a point as both sides drew in their final contests.

CMF earned four points from its contests with Coastal, but a run of draws allowed to Coastal to capitalize and take a one point lead for the only qualification berth from the group. On July 18, Coastal played to a 0-0 tie with Mountain FC, giving CMF an opening to jump them with a victory, but CMF were held to a scoreless draw on the same day by third-placed Thompson-Okanagan FC to send Coastal through.

Single teams also advanced out of the New England and Southeast Divisions, with Seacoast United claiming the berth from the New England Division with a 2-1 victory in their penultimate game against the MPS Lady Knights. Goals from Kendall Ham and Courtney Benson gave Seacoast victory and a seven-point cushion over the Lady Knights, who had only two games remaining.

West Pines clinched the berth from the Southeast Division in style, winning all eight of its games without conceding a goal. Melanie Monteagudo led the team with nine goals in eight games as 10 different players found the scoresheet throughout the season.

Rounding out the field are the two qualifiers from the competitive Midwest Division, which was won by the Chicago Fire Juniors from Michigan. The Fire finished with a record of 6-3-1 as eight points separated the top five teams in the division. The Cleveland Internationals finished a point behind the Fire, going undefeated through the season with a record of 5-5-0.

Both sides also had a pair of players who finished with six goals apiece, the Fire’s Isabella Fiorenzo and Mariah Otolski and the Internationals’ Marissa Milazzo and Emily Ogle all finishing tied for the league lead.

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