McLean U18s off to a hot start in ECNL play

Kara Wilson of McLean Strikers runs past a pair of FC Virginia defenders during a recent ECNL match. Mollie Maresco/ESPNHS

In its first three games in the ECNL, McLean’s U18 squad is 3-0, scoring 13 goals and allowing only one. Pretty good way to start, huh?

“We wanted to be competitive right from the get go, and we’ve accomplished that,” said head coach Clyde Watson. “We’re happy not just because of the results, but on the quality of play and how the kids are reacting.”

McLean is new to the ECNL, and is one of the organization’s more unique clubs. While based in McLean, Va., the club draws players from Maryland, Washington, D.C., and all across Virginia. The three locations have different high school schedules, so creating a club schedule to fit all its players is a difficult challenge.

“As a parent, I really appreciate [the ECNL’s] focus on development and their focus on doing what’s best for the players,” said Mollie Maresco, the club’s ECNL program administrator. “The schedule is what we noticed the most. They really went out of their way to make it all work.”

McLean has played three matches so far, including last weekend’s series against FC Virginia. Its scattered schedule includes one more match in October and one in November, followed by three matches in December, one in January and two in February.

“It’s a bit unusual trying to work our schedule around high school play,” Watson said. “But it’s not too unusual for us, we’re used to it.”

Saturday’s match against FC Virginia was all about the McLean offense. Forward Sharon Wojcik netted four goals in the match, tying her for the team high with Tabitha McHale. The 7-1 victory put McLean’s U18 team at 3-0 on the season, sitting comfortably in first in the Mid-Atlantic Conference.

The U17 squad picked up its first loss of the season to FC Virginia after starting 2-0. After two consecutive shutouts to open the season, the McLean U17s conceded its first goal in route to a 4-1 loss.

The McLean U16 team beat FC Virginia, improving to 2-1 on the season. Two goals from forward Julia Suarez would be enough to guarantee McLean a 2-1 victory.

More results from last weekend:

U18 – Southeast Conference

Charlotte SA 3, CASL Chelsea 2: Three different goal scorers knocked the ball in for Charlotte, who advances to 5-2-1 after the successful weekend. Victoria Bruce, Hannah Robinson and Courtney Stutts each got on the board in the victory.

U17 – Texas Conference

Lonestar 2, TSC Hurricanes 1: Lonestar maintains a lead in the standings after Tyane Ramos and Katie Gernsbacher scored in their 2-1 victory this weekend. Jordan Leeper and Isabelle Kerr each had assists as Lonestar improves to 5-2-1.

U16 – SoCal Conference

SoCal Blues 1, West Coast 0: SoCal Blues kept their spot in first place and recorded their third shutout of the season in Sunday’s win. Nicole Faris scored the game’s only goal, which came assisted by Stephanie Malherbe. SoCal Blues improves to 3-1 on the season.

U15 – Mountain West Conference

Colorado Rush 3, Real Colorado 2: This was the first victory in a Colorado Rush sweep this weekend, as they took all four matches between U15-U18. At the U15 level, Rush averages almost four goals per game, and they sit in first place at 5-1.