The Michigan Hawks continued a dominance at the U13 age group in Region II at USYSA Regionals. With the 4-0 Michigan Hawks win over CUP in the final, the club now has won three straight U13 Regional Championships and five in the last 6 years. The only year that the Hawks did not win, 2011, they lost in the finals.
Congratulations Coach Michelle and to this year's U13 Hawks!!!!
Good luck at Nationals.
CHICAGO (July 2, 2014) – U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team head coach Michelle French has named 27 players for a two-week training camp being held from July 9-23 in Seattle, Washington, that will be the final event before the USA departs for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
TopDrawer Soccer Article Written by Will Parchman
The ECNL Seattle event wrapped up on Sunday, bringing together a host of the nation’s top girls talent from across the nation. For the U14 and U18 age groups it represented the national finals, and the Michigan Hawks U14 and PDA U18 teams wrapped up successful weeks with hardware.
Here’s a look at the TopDrawerSoccer.com combined Best XI from those U14 and U18 national finals contests. Note that this represents teams and players TopDrawerSoccer.com saw in person over the course of the six-day event.
GK Heather Rolls, Michigan Hawks U18: Hawks ultimately fell a win short of a national title, but Rolls was imperious between the pipes in nearly getting them there. They shut out all three opponents in the group phase, and when Real So Cal forced penalty kicks in the semifinal, Rolls came up with two enormous saves to put the Hawks in the title game. While a tight 2-1 loss to PDA followed, the Georgetown commit did herself proud in Seattle.
Shae Holmes, Real Colorado U14: Left backs aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, so Holmes’ influence didn’t go unnoticed in Seattle. She routinely popped up on the overlap for Real Colorado, and was just as adept at tracking runners and shutting down attacks. Notably, Holmes scored an absolute screamer in the U14 championship game against the Hawks U14 side to knot the game at 2-2 late. Real Colorado couldn’t come up with the victory, but Holmes got them to the doorstep.
Courtney Coate, San Diego Surf U18: Before running into the grinder that is the PDA U18s in the national semifinals, the Surf were among the most defensively sturdy teams at a goal-happy tournament in Seattle. They shut out the explosive Lonestar SC attack in addition to an Internationals side that had scored three earlier in the week. Coate was a stabilizing force in the middle, and the Pittsburgh pledge gave them the steel to get to the semis.
D Samantha Kleedtke, Michigan Hawks U14: A defender adept at drilling free kicks? In a lot of ways, Kleedtke is a coach’s dream. Kleedtke was a solid central defender throughout the week, but her real utility lay in her ability to hit withering free kicks. She scored from a spot kick from 25 yards in the U14 final and set up another goal with a 35-yard boomer in eventual victory. Every team has a spot for a player like Kleedtke.
M Ashlynn Serepca, Charlotte SA U14: Given that she hasn’t yet been called into a YNT camp, Serepca is one of the nation’s best-kept secrets. The secret may be out after this week following a solid 2-1 showing in Seattle. Serepca is a fluid attacking midfielder who can double as a striker, and while Charlotte SA didn’t advance past PDA, Serepca was a nightmare for opposing defenders all week.
M Rachel Corboz, PDA U18: This PDA side wrapped up arguably the best run in the history of the ECNL by winning its second consecutive national title in barnstorming fashion. Corboz was the team’s beating heart in the midfield, both setting attacks and helping shut down opposing ones. She’ll join her sister at Georgetown in the fall, and that should immediately create a midfield of silk.
M Sophie Hirst, Crossfire Premier U14: As far as wingers go, it didn’t get any better in the U14 ranks over the course of the week than hometown favorite Hirst. The right winger had a huge week, contributing to Crossfire’s 11-1 goal differential in the group phase and then operating as its most dangerous threat in an eventual 5-2 loss to the Hawks in the semifinals. Speed, guile and agility for days in all-important wide positions.
M Amelia Paternoster, PDA U14: PDA was given a raw deal with its group, as it was lumped in with top overall seed Charlotte SA. Despite not being the favorites, PDA put in a massive 3-1 victory over Charlotte to help win the group. Paternoster, an influential right winger all week, scored twice in that game to set the tone for a week in which she was often the most influential player on the field.
F Alexa Spaanstra, Michigan Hawks U14: There’s no question that Spaanstra deserves the player of the tournament award. The most dangerous U14 player in Seattle scored five goals in five games, including a hat trick in the semifinal and the title-winning goal with just minutes to play. With impeccable footwork, lightning-quick speed and a poacher’s instinct, Spaanstra has quite a future ahead.
F Laila Gray, McLean U18: McLean was involved in one of the great games of this tournament, and Gray was center stage for the fireworks. In their opening game against D’Feeters, McLean trailed 2-1 with just minutes to play when Gray popped up with the tying goal. In stoppage time, the dangerous Virginia Tech commit sliced in an assist to hand McLean the full three points. They ran into PDA in the next game, but a 2-1 week with Gray leading the charge is nothing to sniff at.
F Lauren Jankowski, PDA U18: PDA is loaded with tremendous attackers, but Jankowski, a South Carolina commit, came up with the timeliest goal of all. Playing off the more physical Colby Ciarrocca, Jankowski spun into dangerous positions all week, and it was her goal against Hawks in the final that gave PDA its second title in as many years. A lasting legacy to remember on a team full of stars.
Congratulations to Coach Derek Wiliford and his U14 Hawks for winning the ECNL National Championships. The final match was a 3:2 win against Real Colorado.
The U18 Hawks ECNL ended up as National Finalists after a 1:2 loss in the Final match.
As reported in TopDrawer Soccer.com:
REDMOND, Washington - Coronations don’t get much sweeter. For the Michigan Hawks U14s, the trophy represented redemption. For the PDA U18s, the cementing of an unmatched legacy.
Both got to hoist the ECNL national championship trophy just the same.
Sunday represented the final day of competition at the six-day ECNL Seattle event, which meant the U14 and U18 championship games took center stage in the morning session. In the initial contest, the Hawks banished memories of a loss to Legends at this stage last year with much of the same roster. Just hours later, the PDA U18 won its second straight title as a group and chiseled its place in stone as arguably the greatest ECNL side in history.
“For us, this has been the last piece of our journey,” PDA coach Seth Korman said. “They’re going off to college. We wanted to do things right. They’ve done things right from the very beginning, and we wanted to end it our way, which was with a national championship. We accomplished that.”
This diaspora of this particular PDA is coming with the start of college this fall, but before it splintered apart it put in one final show of force. PDA won all five of its games in Seattle, and the finale against the Michigan Hawks represented the first time PDA had trailed since anyone on the sideline could remember. Despite giving up an early goal, which the Hawks’ Michele Manning headed goalward within the opening 10 minutes, PDA clawed back with a pair of steely goals.
Just minutes after conceding, substitute Lauren Dimes poked home the equalizer, and Lauren Jankowski was on the end of a Colby Ciarrocca cross with about 15 minutes left for the decisive 2-1 lead. The Hawks pushed for the equalizer over the final moments, but PDA’s iron back line - which had surrendered just three goals in 16 regular season games - didn’t yield.
The result was the cementing of a dynasty years in the making. PDA hasn’t lost a regular season game in over two years, a national league event game in three years and a league game in four. That now encompasses back-to-back national championships, giving rise to the question of whether this particular side is the best in ECNL history.
The answer? It very well could be.
“In every training session, every year they raise the standard,” Korman said. “To beat a team like Michigan Hawks, they’re a very talented team. I think the two best teams in the country played today. But I don’t think they feel (the pressure). I think they love it.”
The Hawks’ 2-1 loss in the later game denied the program of a title sweep thanks to events that transpired earlier that morning. The Michigan Hawks U14 team overcame a similarly hard-fought battle to prevail 3-2 over a plucky Real Colorado side that knocked out PDA in penalties in the semifinals on Saturday. The Hawks trailed early, but a team that had lost out on a title at this stage last year wasn’t to be denied this time around.
“I think we worked really hard for what we got. I think we deserve it,” said midfielder Abby Gardiner. “It’s just a really exciting moment to win a national championship. I don’t think we really know what we’re feeling right now, but we’re just excited.”
Hawks may have controlled most of the game’s meaningful passages, but Real Colorado did effective work on the counter. Lightning quick forward Sophia Smith played up top as a lone striker and troubled a Hawks back line that was caught out several times. The first was just five minutes in when Jade Gosar knocked in a header off a free kick for an early lead.
The Hawks assumed command quickly thereafter and scored two in quick succession. Fifteen minutes later, center back Samantha Kleedtke blasted a 25-yard free kick into the upper left corner to level terms, and the Hawks redirected another Kleedtke free kick in a scrum not long after to take the upper hand.
Real Colorado didn’t go quietly. With about 20 minutes to go in the game, left back Shae Holmes scored the goal of the game with a left-footed screamer that beat the keeper to the top shelf. That knotted the game at 2-2 and set it up for a frantic finish. The Hawks were on the spot, and it was none other than Alexa Spaanstra, who scored a hat trick in the semifinals, with the athletic winner. She cut onto her left and finished across the keeper’s face with a low-burner with about five minutes to go for a 3-2 lead.
A prime time play from one of the nation’s prime time players on the biggest stage.
“Last year I think we were more shocked because we didn’t expect to make it either,” Spaanstra said. “But I think this year, we thought that because we didn’t win last year we were going to get to the finals and play our hardest. I think we did that.”
Congratulations to the Michigan Hawks. One of 3 clubs in the nation with all 5 age groups playing this year for an ECNL national championship! !
Good luck to all the teams as they begin play June 24th in Seattle.
Saturday June 28th, 2014:
The U14's and U18's played in the semifinals today. The U14's playing Crossfire Premier won 5:2 and the U18's playing Real So Cal won in PK's with the Hawks Goalie saving 2. Both the U14's and U18's advance to the National Championship match.
Friday June 27th, 2014:
All three teams playing today need a good result so the U15 Hawks started the day with a 1:0 win against Albertson Fury. The U16 Hawks tied 1:1 against Concorde Fire and the U17 Hawks tied 2:2 against Washington Premier.
Thursday June 26th, 2014:
The U14 Hawks won 6:0 against the Slammers
The U15 Hawks won 3:2 against Washington Premier
The U16 Hawks lost 0:1 to Dallas Sting
The U17 Hawks lost 0:1 to San Diego Surf
The U18 Hawks won 1:0 against MVLA
Wednesday June 25th, 2014:
The U14 Hawks tied 3:3 against World Class FC
The U18 Hawks won 1:0 against Connecticut FC
Tuesday June 24th:
The U18 Hawks won 3:0 against OP Ohio Premier
The U14 Hawks won 4:0 against Solar Chelsea SC
Black & Gold renew partnership with Detroit-based CSA Wolves for two years
For Immediate Release: June 20, 2014
Contact: Alex Caulfield, 614-447-4190 or Tim Miller, 614-447-4176
COLUMBUS – The Columbus Crew today announced that the Crew Youth system has extended its partnership with its affiliate program in the Detroit metropolitan area. The new, two-year contract extends the partnership to its fourth and fifth years as a Crew Youth affiliate.
The partnership began in 2011 as a comprehensive relationship between a top youth club (No. 4 in Soccer America’s 2010 rankings) and one of the most successful MLS youth organizations (No. 8 in Soccer America’s 2010 rankings), which was the first of its kind in the country.
“The Wolves have been a great partner with us since 2011 and have long been one of the most successful youth programs in the nation.” said Andrew Arthurs, Crew Senior Vice President of Soccer Business Development and Executive Director of Crew Juniors. “Through the U.S. Soccer Development Academy platform, CSA Wolves offer top Michigan youth the opportunity to compete at the highest level of youth soccer in the United States. This partnership allows us to extend that pathway for their outstanding players all the way into the Columbus Crew First Team. We are excited to be able to enhance the support to these teams with more technical support and oversight, as well as training, friendlies and matches in both Detroit and Columbus.”
"We have enjoyed the initial years of our relationship with the Crew,” said Brian Doyle, Michigan Wolves-Hawks Director of Coaching. “We are excited to continue working together to develop outstanding players and teams."
Crew Youth and adidas will supply significant match and training gear to CSA Wolves teams. In this extension, Wolves teams will also attend Crew matches throughout the year and send numerous teams to the Crew Youth event series annually. CSA Wolves secured a National Championship in 2009 for the Under-16 squad in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
For more information on the Crew Soccer Academy please visit www.thecrewyouth.com/crewsocceracademy.
ABOUT THE COLUMBUS CREW
The Columbus Crew is Ohio's Major League Soccer club. Owned and operated by Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV), and one of the League's Charter Members, it won its first MLS Cup championship in 2008, and has also won the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. 2014 is the Crew’s 16th season at first-of-its-kind Crew Stadium, the first topflight soccer-specific facility built in the United States. Founded by the American sports pioneer Lamar Hunt, the club was purchased by PSV on July 29, 2013 as part of the privately held investment and management firm’s sports and entertainment business enterprise.