Under-15 Girls Eastside FC 98 Red (WA) vs Legends FC Sanchez (CA-S) 1-1
Eastside FC 98 Red (WA) one step closer to defending title
A win on the final day of group play could have put defending National Champions Eastside FC 98 Red (WA) into the finals but Legends FC Sanchez (CA-S) found a way to stay level at the end of 90 minutes. Even with the tie, Eastside got some help from YMS Premier Xplosion 98 (PA-E) in the other group game and will advance to the semifinals after finishing second in the group.
“Every single game requires everything you’ve got,” said Eastside’s head coach Tom Bialek. “You have to bring everything you have and if you come up even a little bit short with your effort you pay for it. Yesterday we didn’t really show up to play and today we did. The National Championships always has very difficult competition.”
Eastside looked to be in championship form dominating possession and holding Legends FC on its own side of the field for a majority of the game. Eastside’s Makaylie Moore had the best chance of the first half for the Washington side with a header that flashed just wide of the Legends goal. Minutes later, Eastside had an Ellie Bryant goal called back on an offside call and the scoreboard remained empty at the end of the first half.
Joanna Harber broke the deadlock early in the second half when she finished a shot rolling across the Legends goal line to put Eastside up 1-0. Eastside had a great chance to put the game away when Zoe Milburn was taken down in the box for a penalty but teammate Makaylie Moore’s penalty kick was stonewalled by Legend keeper Jamie Daly.
In the 70th minute Legends found an equalizer on a header by Channel Felix and despite pushing for the game winner will miss out on the semifinals after the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
“The tournament for us starts now,” continued Bialek. “We’re exactly where we want to be. It doesn’t matter how you got there. We’re in the semis and we’re alive, so we control our own fate which is what we always want to do. It’s been our goal to defend our title and would be a remarkable accomplishment but we have so much work in front of us so it’s not anything we try to think about. When it’s over, that’s when you think about that stuff. Right now we just have to take one step at a time and know that we have a lot of work in front of us.”
Eastside now advances to play the winners of Group A, Jacksonville FC 98/99 Elite (FL) and in the other Under-15 Girls Semifinal Group B winners YMS Premier Xplosion 98 (PA-E) will face Pride Predators 99 (CO) who finished second in Group A.