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Archive for June 25, 2013

June 25, 2013 — FEC Final: North 2, South 2 (North wins 6-5 in shootout)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — When the North and the South Futures Elite Championship teams huddled together just before the start of the sixth round of 8-second, 35-yard penalty shootouts, Alex Pecora, goalkeeper for the North team, stood conspicuously alone.

“I was trying to gather my thoughts,” the Iowa-bound goalkeeper from Pennsauken Bishop Eustace (N.J.) said. “I was focusing on what I needed to do to help my team win.”

In the eighth round, facing Linnea Gonzales, Pecora found her chance. She made a stop which rebounded agonizingly over the 16-yard striking circle, which allowed North to escape with a 6-5 shootout after a 2-2 draw after regulation.

It was Natalie Konerth who scored North’s goal its half of the 8th round. The American University-bound striker had made an angled shot from the right wing for North’s sixth shootout goal.

“Our coaches told us that we had to move the goalies because they were wearing the heavy equipment,” Konerth said.

For the most part, during the shootout tiebreaker, the skilled players on these FEC teams were able to treat the goalies as another player, rounding around them and walking the ball over the goal line.

During regulation, the game was threatening to become The Moira Putsch Show. The skilled attacker from Villanova Academy of Notre Dame de Namur (Pa.) who led all scorers in this year’s FEC, staked the South to a 2-0 halftime lead with her mastery of the field and a bit of luck, tipping in her second in the 26th minute of play.

“We knew we were under the gun, being down two at halftime,” Konerth said. “But we knew we could make another comeback; we were down to to them during pool play.”

Gabrielle Major, the North’s top goal-scorer this tournament, opened her team’s account in the 52nd minute off a long hit. But it was Jessica McCarthy who tied the game less than five minutes later.

Over the final 10 minutes, the attacks pelted both goalkeepers with difficult shots, but South’s Lindsey Von Der Luft and North’s Kelsey Bing were magnificent in keeping the score tied.

Von Der Luft, late of Wilmington Tower Hill (Del.) had to be at her best when North had three penalty corners in the final minute of play. She made a pair of stops to send the match to the shootout.

S8: Gonzales’ shot is saved by Pecora! Game to North, which came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to win gold!
N8: Konerth takes Hampsch to the right wing and deposits the angled shot; North leads 6-5

S7: Putsch pings the post and it goes in; shootout tied 5-5
N7: Celkos rounds the goalie again and gives North a 5-4 lead

S6: Umstead with a nice slice backhand to tie 4-4
N6: Duseau’s shot is saved, but traps the rebound and roofs it! North leads 4-3

S5: Marissa Cutry’s shot is saved and the rebound rolls out of the circle! The regulation shootout is tied 3-3; we now go until someone scores and someone misses
N5: Jessica Unger is denied twice by Hampsch; still tied 3-3, but South can win it with its next shot

S4: Linnea Gonzales with a backhand that ties the shootout 3-3
N4: Jessica McCarthy’s shot is saved!

S3: Moira Putsch is composed as she rounds the goalie and scores: North maintains a 3-2 lead
N3: Natalie Konerth with another goalie fake and North leads 3-1

S2: Brooke Adler is slide-tackled by Pecora! North has a mini-break and a 2-1 lead!
N2: Carly Celkos goes around Hampsch and scores; 2-1 North

South, first attempt (S1): Casey Umstead scores by going around Alex Pecora: we’re tied 1-1
North, first attempt (N1): Danielle Duseau walks around Audra Hampsch and scores: 1-0, North

POSTGAME North shoots first, which is often an advantage in this format

POSTGAME Five shooters per team, 8 seconds from the 35-yard line, and rebounds can be played

POSRGAME We’ll go to the FIH tiebreaker for the gold medal; a first for the FEC championship

70:00 NOR PC Jessica McCarthy’s hi-lo pass is over the end line, ending regulation

69:45 NOR PC Another save by Von Der Luft; another corner called

69:15 NOR PC Long blast saved by Von Der Luft; will reset

66:00 SOU PC Erin Matson gets the cross but the smash is saved by Kelsey Bing!

61:00 NOR PC Duseau’s backhand is high and wide

56:30 NOR GOAL Jessica McCarthy flips in a rebound and we’re tied 2-2!

53:00 Putsch aims for a backhand as a spectacular rejoinder, but the shot is high, wide, and handsome

52:00 NOR GOAL Off the long hit, North’s Gabrielle Major put the ball in, but South still leads 2-1

51:00 NOR PC Major’s drag flick is kicked aside by Von Der Luft

47:14 SOU PC Fretz’s shot is a raised ball

44:39 SOUTH GREEN CARD Karlee Spirit off for two minutes

42:00 Carly Celkos finds time and room in the circle but cannot find the target

36:00 Danielle Duseau with a shot that is saved by South goalie Lindsey Von Der Luft; a juicy rebound is not converted

35:00 The second half us under way

HALFTIME The talking point here is Putsch’s brace, a product of her opportunistic play and skills

HALFTIME At the horn, South leads North 2-0

34:30 Linnea Gonzales with an open shot that is gloved by Pecora

30:30 SOU PC Fretz’s shot kicked aside by Pecora

26:30 SOU GREEN CARD Putsch off for two minutes

25:00 SOU GOAL Putsch tips in a rebound and South is up 2-0

22:00 McCarthy, creating havoc in the attacking third, tests Pecora again, but her shot clanks off the upright!

20:00 Ryan McCarthy and Emilia Tapsall attack the left wing and get off two shots; North goalie Alex Pecora is equal

15:05 SOU PC Skyler Fretz pumps it wide!

10:13 SOU GOAL Moira Putsch receives a deep ball from Ryan McCarthy and deposits it over the goal line after making two defenders and the goalie look silly; South leads 1-0

6:15 NOR PC Moira Putsch defenses and clears

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME North is in the blue tops with black socks, while South is in the pink tops with white socks

PREGAME The teams are warming up on the turf at the National Training Center; the temperature is about 89 degrees with a light breeze

PREGAME North is led by Gabrielle Major and Jessica McCarthy, who have two goals each thus far. South is led by Moira Putsch (5 goals) and Casey Umstead (four)

PREGAME North is here because of a 2-0-1 record in pool play; South had a win, a loss, and a draw. The two teams played a 3-3 draw in the final round of pool play Sunday

PREGAME Hello, and welcome to the National Training Center in Virginia Beach for the championship final of the Futures Elite Championships. The contestants are Team North and Team South

BULLETIN: June 25, 2013 — China 2, USA 1

The United States came into today’s third-round of pool play with a chance to make the top two in its group, thereby not having to face the likes of Australia or England in the quarterfinal round on Thursday.

But not even an early goal, that a enterprising deflection by Paige Selenski, was enough against China. Wang Mengyu’s deflection less than 10 minutes from the final whistle would give China a 2-1 win, which relegates the United States to fourth place in the group and will consign them to have to play the No. 1 team in Pool B in the quarterfinal round.

The United States, who have had precious little offense in this tournament, saw a chance to stake an early advantage, but all Selenski’s goal did was to awaken China. They responded only a couple of minutes later through Hongxia Li.

The Americans had their chances, but misfired on the China goal. And once again, the U.S. defense was untidy with too many giveaways in their third of the pitch.

Still, it’s all to play for on Thursday, including, likely, a World Cup berth.