After a nice midweek celebration with National Signing Day last week, the Orlando City ECNL girls squads and the boys U-13/14 development academy team returned to the pitch for a weekend of action. As is becoming the norm, the weekend's matches proved to be mostly successful for Orlando City SC's teams.
The boys earned a win over Tampa Bay United on Saturday, and the girls squads took three wins and two draws in their five Sunday matches against the West Florida Flames.
The U-14 girls started off Sunday's action with a 1-1 draw, with the lone Lions goal coming from Megan Brody, her second of the year. The U-15 girls then doused the Flames by a score of 3-1, before the U-16 squad took the pitch, earning a result with a 1-1 draw.
The U-17 and U-18 girls' squads both scored a pair of goals to earn victories over the Flames. The U-17s earned a 2-0 shutout in their match while the U-18s took victory conceding only one goal, 2-1.
Fittingly (and inevitably, as all 10 position players for Orlando City will be on college pitches next year!), both goal scorers for the U-18 squad had signed Letters of Intent earlier in the week. Christen Barney tallied her fifth goal of the year while also earning her fourth assist. She will be taking to the pitch for Jacksonville University in the fall.
The recipient of Barney's assist and the team's leading goal scorer (tied at five with Kasey Rakauskas), Evelyn Neidert, will be heading well north of Jacksonville in the fall to continue her soccer career in Baltimore, MD, at Towson University.
Orlando City's ECNL squads will be on the pitch against the West Florida Flames again this Sunday.
Saturday saw the return of the U-13/14 boys squad, the final academy team to come back from the winter break. When last on the pitch, all the way back on Nov. 15, the U-13/14 boys blew out Jacksonville FC, 6-0.
While the match-up Saturday in Tampa did not end in a blowout, the Lions did emerge from the Ed Radice Sports Complex with a 2-1 victory.
The U-13/14 boys have shown a propensity for finding the net, tallying more than 70 goals already this season.
Saturday's win serves as a nice welcome back for the boys from Orlando City and they will look to continue their winning ways when they take to the pitch on Sunday for their first home match of 2015, against Boca United Football at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
With impressive returns for all levels of the Orlando City Youth squads now in the books, and the success of National Signing Day, 2015 is already looking like it's going to be a stellar year for the young Lions.