Internationals SC U-16 girls catpured the North American Cup. (Photo courtesy of Internationals SC)
Internationals SC Under-16 girls came away from the weekend undefeated in the ECNL national playoffs, winning the North American Cup with a 4-1 win over Pleasanton Rage ECNL (Pleasanton, Calif.) in the final in Redmond, Wash.
Four Internationals SC teams participated in the playoffs from June 21-26.
“We are extremely excited to see our teams compete and win against the best,” Internationals SC founder, presidentd and director of coaching Zdravko Popovic said. “Each of the four teams representing the club in Seattle had different challenges to overcome and they did so with character and class. Our soccer was played at a high level and a fast pace, something we are looking forward to building on next season. Our players know what it is like to play against the best soccer players in the country and have shown we are a part of that elite group. Our goal is that all of our ECNL teams U14 and above are competing in San Diego in 2019.”
The U-16 Girls won three games in the knockout stages, the first with a 5-2 victory over FC Boston ECNL (Braintree, Mass.) and two wins coming in the form of penalty shootouts, which saw Internationals players hold their nerve in both victories against Strikers FC ECNL (Laguna Hills, Calif.) and San Juan FC ECNL (Rancho Cordova, Calif).
Internationals SC U-14s, who qualified for the Champions League, finished second in their group, with a 1-1-1 record. The team played in three closely contested games and missed out on advancing by one win, runners-up to FC Stars of Acton, Mass., a team that qualified for the national final event after winning all four of its games. The U-14s won their opening game 1-0 against Colorado Storm ECNL (Centennial, Colo.) and tied 1-1 against San Diego Surf ENCL (San Diego, Calif.).
The U-15 Internationals SC team won its first two North American Cup games in the finals, with 3-0 victory in the first round over Bethesda SC ECNL (Gaithersburg, Md.) and another penalty shootout victory in the second-round event over San Juan SC ECNL (Rancho Cordova, Calif). The teams run came to an end with a close loss to Colorado Storm ECNL (Centennial, Colo.) in the semifinals for a 2-0-1 record at the event.
The club’s oldest qualifying team, the U-17s, stepped up to their competition in the North American Cup, playing three close matches. In all three games the score line went against the team, with three one-goal losses against Tampa Bay United ECNL (Tampa, Fla.), Colorado Storm ECNL (Centennial, Colol.), and Match Fit Academy ECNL (Brick, N.J.).