ECNL SOUTH CAROLINA DAY 3: REPRESENTING THE HOMETOWN
The final day of action at MeSA Soccer Complex for ECNL South Carolina saw some highly competitive battles across all age groups.
At the 06 level, FC Delco took on Fairfax Brave in a tightly contested battle between two sides who were looking to end the weekend on a high note.
Throughout the first half both teams experienced good runs of play and held the possession throughout stretches of the half.
FC Delco found the breakthrough in the 28th minute though. After a good run of play, FC Delco crossed a ball to the back post that was then hit across the face of the goal and put in by Garrett Cohen to put FC Delco up 1-0.
The second half played out a lot like the first, with each team generating more scoring opportunities. Fairfax Brave had an excellent chance on a set piece midway through the half, but FC Delco managed to maintain their one goal lead thanks to some strong defending.
In the 66th minute, Corey James sent a corner into the box that was headed home by Abou Cherif to double the FC Delco lead.
Fairfax Brave saw one more really good opportunity at the end of the game on a cross sent into the box that was nearly headed in, but the final whistle blew right after, and FC Delco was able to take the 2-0 victory.
“We’re an athletic group, we’re a group that has some good soccer moments in us, it’s just refining decision making like anything at this age group,” said Head Coach Josh West.
“Defensively we’re really solid, we’ve just got to start scoring goals more,” West said. “That was the emphasis of today. Can we be more direct? Can we be more in their half and create more chances? I thought our wing backs especially gave us good service, and now it’s about the nines just doing their job, finishing it. Which it’s tough, but I thought they did a good job of that today.”
At the 07 level, a game that featured some high intensity, lots of goals, and some stand out plays was the matchup between South Carolina United and PDA.
South Carolina United jumped on top early with goals in the second and 10th minutes to quickly make it a 2-0 lead. PDA responded with some excellent chances throughout the first half, but the South Carolina United defense continued to hold strong.
Right before halftime, PDA had their best opportunity of the game after earning a penalty kick. The shot attempt was saved though and immediately led to a counterattack opportunity for South Carolina United who was able to convert the attack into a goal from Wyatt Jordan.
“The chief executive sat with us, and he said straight away, as soon as he gave the penalty, Iker’s going to save this,” Head Coach Lee Morris said after the game. “He made a brilliant diving save and then straight from the counterattack we picked it up and went and made it 3-0.”
PDA showed some great fight in the second half though. Two goals from Colson Orvos helped cut into the South Carolina United lead, but ultimately South Carolina United were able to hold onto a 4-2 victory.
Morris acknowledged that his team has been playing a tough schedule in their conference this year, but believed the result was an opportunity for his team to build some positive momentum as they move forward in the year.
“To get four goals today and to play some brilliant stuff along the way was really exciting for us,” Morris said. “It feels like this has been a really good showcase for us, for getting on an upward trajectory, and getting a bit of confidence scoring a couple goals.”
While all ECNL events are special to Morris and his team, this one holds significant importance to them with the event being so close to home.
“This one is special to us cause it’s in South Carolina, close to home, and we like representing.”