ST. LOUIS, MO - The SLSG Navy ECNL Program returned home from the opening weekend of the 2020/21 ECNL season. The U18/19, U17, U16, and U15 teams began the season playing against KC Athletics ECNL and Gretna ECNL. The ECNL Composite team played against Sporting Omaha FC as well as the Kansas City Scott Gallagher ECNL Regional League program.
The first day began with all four ECNL teams taking on KC Athletics.
The day began with U15’s making a comeback, after having gone down 1-0 in the first minute of play. The U15 squad battled back, creating many chances, and leveling the game through a goal from Ki Kukan, assisted by Gracie Restovic.
The U16 team then battled through a grueling game, ultimately holding on to a 1-0 win for a well-earned shutout. Ana DiMaria provided a great finish to break the deadlock. The U17’s took the lead with a goal by Justi Nelson before KC Athletics equalized. Alivia Buxton, however, was able to provide the difference as the U17’s won 2-1.
The U18’s saw one of the most competitive and physical opening games in quite some time, as they took on KC Athletics in the final game of the day. Maci Teater was able to expose the KC Athletics on back-to-back free-kick goals, beating the defense twice in the first half. A goal midway through the second half saw KC Athletics nearly mount a comeback before Gracie Bindbeutel put away a third goal to finish the game 3-1 in SLSG Navy ECNL’s favor.
The second day saw all four ECNL play against Gretna ECNL, with wins in each age group.
The U15 team combined for 8 goals, from Gracie Restovic (3), Payton Buck (2), Sky Young (1), Lauren Seppi (1), and Ki Kukan (1). The U16 team saw goals from Lucie Schwartz, Ana DiMaria, and Brooke Cattoor (2). The U17 team won 4-1, with goals coming from Hailey Chambliss in the run of play, a breakaway goal from Hannah Smith. Erin Connolly added two more, one from the spot and another off a free kick from Alivia Buxton. The U18 team saw a comfortable win with goals being scored by Gracie Bindbeutel, Kinley Brown, and Maci Teater.
“You could tell the girls have been starved of ECNL competition as the games were fast, full of passion and a few anticipated errors,” said ECNL Direction Ralph Richards. “Having said that, when you travel to KC and play two very good clubs with high ambition, you know you are going to have to rise to the occasion. For this, I am most proud as I felt the girls were ready."
SLSG Girls Director of Coaches, and ECNL Composite Coach, Scott McDoniel on his team’s performance this weekend. “I am so proud of our girls this weekend. Combining players from ECNL and other programs in the club is always a challenge for chemistry, but our girls showed a great sense of unity.” The ECNL Composite team went 1-1 on the weekend, losing to Sporting Omaha on Saturday, and having a massive come-from-behind victory against KC Scott Gallagher. Natalie Gum scored a brace with a fantastic back-post run and tap in, as well as a great lofted volley to beat the KC Scott Gallagher keeper. ECNL 02/03 player Emma Cloud buried a 40yd free kick with little over three minutes remaining in the game to seal the victory.
The SLSG Navy ECNL Program would like to thank the players, families, and friends from all the ECNL and ECNL Composite teams who traveled this weekend. Their dedication to both the Club and the COVID protocols was tremendous in having such a successful weekend.
Saturday, September 12, vs KC Athletics ECNL
SLSG ECNL 2006 Tie 1-1
SLSG ECNL 2005 Win 1-0
SLSG ECNL 2004 Win 2-1
SLSG ECNL 2002/01 Win 3-1
Sunday, September 13, vs Gretna ECNL
SLSG ECNL 2006 Win 8-0
SLSG ECNL 2005 Win 4-0
SLSG ECNL 2004 Win 3-1
SLSG ECNL 2002/01 Win 3-0
Saturday, September 12, vs Sporting Omaha
SLSG Composite Loss 0-4
Sunday, September 13, vs KC Scott Gallagher
SLSG Composite Win 3-2
The SLSG Navy ECNL Program travels to Indianapolis this coming weekend, to take on multiple teams, including Ohio Elite, FC Wisconsin, and the Indiana Fire Academy.