Print Page Share

2014 U19 Girls Preview



Group A

The Defending Champ

The 2012-13 season was a special one for Team Chicago Academy Botafogo (IL). The campaign began by becoming just the third girls team to finish a US Youth Soccer National League season with a perfect 7-0-0 record. Along the way, Team Chicago outscored opponents by 20 goals, with Zoe Swift claiming eight tallies. It was much of the same at the 2013 National Championships, as Swift finished tied for the lead with three goals, and Team Chicago ended its run on top after a 2-1 overtime win over VSA Heat Blue (VA) in the final. With two 2013 Best XI players returning — Jenna Romano and Gianna Dal Pozzo — Botafogo has its sights set on claiming back-to-back titles in Germantown.

The Veterans

If not for Team Chicago, VSA Heat Blue (VA) could be eyeing its third straight National title in 2014. The Virginia side won the National Championship in 2012 with a dominant 6-0 win before coming up just short in overtime last year against Team Chicago. With two-time Golden Ball winner Meghan Cox and two-time Golden Glove winner Taylor Kerxton leading the experienced team, VSA will be very dangerous in Germantown. The team that VSA defeated in the 2012 final, Legends FC (CA-S) is also making its third straight trip to Nationals. The California side has experience playing the top teams in the country, as evidenced by its National League Blue Division titles in 2012 and 2013, and will add to the high level of competition in the Under-19 Girls group.

The Newcomer

SSA Chelsea 95 Elite (GA) is going to have its hands full going up against three experienced teams in Germantown. The Georgia side features the top goal scorer from the 2014 Region III Championships in Necee Jones, who found the back of the net four times in Baton Rouge. They’ll look for more of the same as they travel to Maryland for their first National Championships.

VSA heat

Region I: VSA Heat Blue

How they got to Nationals

VSA Heat Blue put on a dominant display in the preliminary round of the US Youth Soccer Region I Championships before coming away with a pair of one-goal knockout round victories, including a 3-2 win over FC Frederick (MD) in the final, to claim the Region I title. The Virginia side has a chance to reach its third consecutive US Youth Soccer National Championships final and is out to reclaim the National title that it won as an Under-17 side in 2012. VSA fell, 2-1, in overtime to Team Chicago Botafogo (IL) last year, and with both sides competing as Under-19s this season, a rematch in the final could be in the cards.

National Championship Series History

State Champs: 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014

Regional Champs: 2007, 2012, 2014

National Champs: 2012

National Championship Finals: 2013

National League Red Runner Up: 2013

National League Blue: Runner Up: 2012

National League 6th Place: 2010, 2011

Key Players

2013 Best XI: Taylor Kerxton, Meghan Cox, Daniela Neves

2012, 2013 Golden Ball Award: Meghan Cox

2012, 2013 Golden Glove: Taylor Kerxton

2012 Best XI: Megan Cox, Taylor Kerxton, Vanessa Kovar

College Programs

Autumn Berry East Carolina University
ALLISON BUNNER James Madison University
Victoria Burress Virginia Commonwealth University
Meghan Cox University of Virginia
Lindsay Egbers University of Richmond
BERGEN ELKJER Indiana State University
Susan Ferguson University of Tennessee, Knoxville
ASHLEY HERNDON James Madison University
Caitlin Hite East Carolina University
Taylor Kerxton Wake Forest University
Vanessa Kovar University of South Carolina, Columbia
Anna McClung University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Cassidy Mercier George Washington University
Daniela Neves West Virginia University
Morgan Reuther University of Virginia
Quincy Slora University of New Mexico
Madison Smith University of Massachusetts, Amherst
MACKENZIE T STELLJES North Carolina State University
Jacqueline Stengel North Carolina State University
IVANA SZWEJKOWSKI George Washington University
Alexa Wagoner Iona College

Coach Info

Steve Smith  

Helped lead PWSI Cardinals to the National Championship Finals in 2007


U19G_VSA Heat Blue_VA

Region II:  Team Chicago Academy Botafogo


How they got to Nationals

Defending US Youth Soccer National Champion Team Chicago Academy Botafogo (IL) has a chance to repeat its National title run this year in Germantown. The Illinois side outscored its opponents, 21-2, during the Region II Championships to claim its third straight Regional title. Ashley Handwork scored six goals for Botafogo in Beavercreek, Ohio, to lead all Under-19 girls. The Team Chicago players now have a chance to finish their youth careers with back-to-back National titles, but they’ll be facing some talented and familiar foes when they travel to Maryland.

National Championship Series History

State Champs: 2012, 2014

Regional Champs: 2012, 2013, 2014

National Champion: 2013

National Championship 3rd Place: 2012

Key Players

Region ODP: Jenna Romano, Gianna Dal Pozzo, Megan Geldernick

2013 Best XI: Bryce Banuelos, Jenna Romano, Gianna Dal Pozzo

College Programs

Bryce Banuelos West Virginia University
Elizabeth Bartels Marquette University
Katie Ciesiulka Marquette University
Hope D Addario University of Illinois, Champaign
Gianna Dal Pozzo University of Miami (Florida)
Karla Di John Notre Dame College
Kiley Dunning Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne
Megan Geldernick Ohio State University
Zoey Goralski University of California, Los Angeles
Heather Handwork Marquette University
Ashley Handwork Marquette University
Kaitlin Johnson Michigan State University
Brooke Ksiazek Illinois State University
Mary Gracie Lachowecki University of Miami (Florida)
Rose Lavelle University of Wisconsin, Madison
Kaela Leskovar Lee University
Hannah Parrish Baylor University
Jenna Romano Wake Forest University
Mary Rounce Michigan State University
Zoe Swift University of Kentucky
Angela Widlacki Pennsylvania State University

Coach Info

Phil Nielsen  

2012 Illinois Youth Soccer Association Girls Coach of the Year

US Youth Soccer Region II ODP Senior Staff Coach


Girls U19 CHAMPS (0096)------Team Chicago Academy-Botafogo (IL) (SC)-L


[top of page]


Region III: SSA Chelsea 95 Elite (GA)


How they got to Nationals

In a very competitive Under-19 Girls group at the Region III Championships in Baton Rouge, La., SSA Chelsea 95 Elite (GA) came out on top to punch its ticket to the National Championships. After the Georgia side defeated IMG Academy (FL) with a 1-0 win in group play, the two teams met again in the final to determine who would advance to Maryland. Carsen Taylor netted the game’s lone goal in overtime to give SSA another one-goal victory and the Regional title. SSA has a chance to give Georgia its second straight Under-19 Girls title after NASA 12 Elite II won in 2013.

National Championship Series History

State Champs: 2012

State Finals: 2013, 2014

Region Champ: 2014

Key Players

2014 Region III Championship leading scorer: Necee Jennings (4)

College Programs

Mckenzie ANDERSON Armstrong Atlantic State University
Kelly ANTHONY Francis Marion University
Perri BONNER University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Carlie COUCH Furman University
Shannon Driscoll Kennesaw State University
Allison DUCKWORTH Gardner-Webb University
Rachel DYMECKI Troy University
Mallary HEDDEN Troy University
Karlie HIGHTOWER Stetson University
Necee JENNINGS University of Memphis
Cassidy Kemp Kennesaw State University
Erica LAURENS Armstrong Atlantic State University
Emily MOORE Charleston Southern University
Rachel Overlay Georgia College & State University
Sarah SHEFFIELD Troy University
Carsen TAYLOR Jacksonville State University
Caroline WOOTEN Wake Forest University

Coach Info

Ben Parks

U19 Girls - Champions - SSA Chelsea 95 Elite (GA)



[top of page]


How they got to Nationals

A perfect 5-0-0 record at the Region IV Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., helped Legends FC (CA-S) qualify for its third consecutive National Championships. Legends capped off its run through Regionals with an emphatic 6-2 win over local side NM Rush 95 (NM), and the California team will look to carry that momentum across the country to Maryland. Legends has had past success — advancing to the 2012 National final and winning back-to-back National League division titles in 2012 and 2013 — but it hasn’t been able to capture the US Youth Soccer National Championship. The California side hopes to change that in Germantown.

National Championship Series History

State Champ: 2013

Region Champ: 2014

National Championship Finals: 2012

National League Blue Champ: 2012, 2013

Key Players

2013 Best XI: Meilessah Rangel 

College Commitments

Grayson Galbraith University of California, Irvine
Lindsey Hennon University of California, Irvine
Samantha Koemans Jacksonville University
Bryce Watts University of California, Berkeley

Coach Info 

Richard Boon

FWR14-U19G (CA-S) Legends FC-GU19


[top of page]