One and Done

During their first two games at ECNL South Carolina, McLean YSA’s defense on its U14 team has been solid. The team allowed a single goal in their first game and followed it up with a clean sheet on Saturday. 

So for Sunday’s contest, McLean was determined to keep up its defensive prowess. 

Facing off against Tampa Bay United, the two sides spent a majority of the match in the middle of the pitch, attacking and counter attacking, looking for any sort of edge for a scoring chance. But it wasn’t until the second half that one club finally broke through. 

Midway through the second half, McLean earned a corner kick on the right side of the pitch. The cross went into the box, where it was blocked by a Tampa Bay defender. The blocked pass went right to the McLean forward, who chipped a shot over the goalkeeper for the tally. 

With the lead in hand, McLean relied on its backline and netminder to maintain their advantage, and they were up to the challenge. Tampa Bay United lobbed multiple attacks to try and find the equalizer, but none were successful. 

At the final whistle, McLean earned the 1-0 victory and second consecutive clean sheet. 

“For us, it was a pretty successful weekend,” said Clyde Watson, McLean Head Coach. “This group is developing, growing  and getting better, and this weekend was a testament to our belief in that. The quality of the teams we played this weekend was pretty significant, but these are the types of teams you’re going to have to go through come playoff time. I was especially pleased with our defensive effort today and throughout the weekend.”

Bringing It Home

ECNL South Carolina was the very first National Event for the Sting Austin U13 team and it was an event they will not forget. The team unfortunately dropped its first game on Friday, but rebounded with a win on Saturday. Heading into Sunday, the club was aiming to end the weekend on a high note. 

What resulted was an offensive explosion, earning the team its biggest win of the weekend. Each goal involved different players, adding to the success of the game. Each member of the team gave it their all throughout the weekend and left it all out on the pitch. 

“Today was extremely difficult since we only had 11 for the day,” said Beau Brown, Sting Austin Head Coach. “World Class was unbelievable in terms of how they prepared their team, how they set up; they made our day extremely difficult. It was just an extremely athletic, high-paced game and I loved it.”

Sting Austin’s eight goals were the second most of any U13 team, something that encouraged Brown heading into the remainder of the season. But really, for Brown, the best moments was when his team soaked in the ECNL South Carolina atmosphere. 

“For the girls, this national event was unbelievable,” Brown said. “For the first time to ever be here, our girls can see what ECNL is, and now they feel that sense of pride that everyone that plays in ECNL has.”