Under-14 Girls: Carlsbad Elite 99 (CA-S) (NL-R1) 1-2 NEFC Elite (MA) (RI-C)
NEFC Elite (MA) bounced back from being down a goal at halftime and defeated Under-14 Girls team Carlsbad Elite 99 (CA-S) 2-1. The win gives them a shot at the semifinal of the 2014 US Youth Soccer National Championship, presented by the National Guard.
“We went into the game knowing we were going to have to compete,” said NEFC Elite Head Coach Kerry Baldwin. “We knew that we needed to play our style which is a possession game and that 50/50 balls were key. I think we managed to do both of those things and that’s what allowed us to get a win.”
Sierra Enge gave Carlsbad Elite a 1-0 lead at halftime. Enge followed through on a good ball, attacked down the middle of the field and scored in the 20th minute.
“We told the girls we needed to attack in the second half,” said Baldwin. “We couldn’t sit in, we couldn’t play reserved, and we had to take risks. I said that the next goal was going to be crucial and that if we score the next one we are going to score again and win the game. That was the advice I gave them and they stuck to it, believed it and we got a result.”
NEFC leveled the match in the 44th minute. Attacking mid Taylor Sherman penetrated from the midfield, beat a Carlsbad defender, and outmaneuvered Carlbad’s keeper who came out of the box for the great finish.
NEFC got the lead after countering a play with a Marykate McGuire strike. Carlsbad was given a corner kick in the 67th minute. When they tried to clear, NEFC’s Marykate McGuire gained possession and made a long run to the other side of the field. She carried out a combination play with her fellow NEFC forward and together they were able to break through for the 2-1 score.
The win placed NEFC Elite in second place of Group A with a 2-1-0 record and 6 points. NEFC will continue tournament play by going up against Tophat 18 Gold (GA) in Saturday’s semifinal.
“This group truly does believe,” said Baldwin. “We’ve been in every situation…where we’ve been down a goal, been down two goals, and they know what it takes to be champions. They truly do believe it and I think that’s the first part of it…believing.”
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