The ECNL schedule features more than 120 games this weekend, including teams from six of the eight conferences. As the weather turns colder, many of these teams have reached the halfway point of their ECNL regular season schedule. ESPNHS breaks down some of the marquee matchups this weekend.
Real Colorado vs. SC Del Sol (3 p.m. Saturday in Colorado)
First place SC Del Sol enters the match at 9-1-0 on the season, having scored 13 goals in their last three matches. The team is on a crash-course with a Real Colorado defense that has allowed just two goals in its last six matches. The two teams met in September in a high-scoring affair that featured the star strikers from each squad: SC Del Sol’s Cali Farquharson tallied a hat trick while Real Colorado’s Kourtney Guetlein scored four goals. SC Del Sol won the match 5-4 and looks for similar success this weekend on the road.
FC Milwaukee vs. Sockers (4 p.m. Sunday in Wisconsin)
Sockers is cruising, having won six of their last seven with three shutouts. The Chicago team looks to extend that streak this weekend in Wisconsin, but must face a tough FC Milwaukee squad who has improved thanks to their challenging schedule. FC Milwaukee’s last three games include two wins and a tie with conference-leading Michigan Hawks. This weekend’s match will likely be a one goal affair, if it’s decided at all. Last time these two teams met, it ended in a 2-2 draw.
Heat FC vs. TSC Hurricane (1 p.m. Saturday in Nevada)
Hurricane enters the weekend at 6-2-1 after an impressive offensive showing last weekend. Kristen Killion has been one of the ECNL’s top strikers all season and notched a hat trick on Sunday against Blue Valley SC. But Heat FC has a star of their own in Falon Miller, who has scored two thirds of the team’s goals this season. Saturday’s matchup will likely be a battle between those two strikers, and which team can get the ball to the feet of their stars.
Colorado Rush vs. Sereno (9 a.m. Saturday in Colorado)
Colorado Rush averages more than three goals a game and typically spreads them out. The squad had five different goal scorers in a 5-3 victory over rival Real Colorado earlier this month. But Sereno appears to have figured out how to stop them. They held Rush to two goals the first time these teams met, their second lowest goal total of the season. And though Sereno lost that match 2-1, they’ll count on midfielders Jordan Parkhurst and Jenna Geist to provide the offense this weekend.
Atlanta Fire vs. Carolina Elite SA (3 p.m. Saturday in Georgia)
Undefeated Atlanta Fire will be tested this weekend against a strong Carolina Elite squad that has lost just one of their last eight matches. Defender Savannah McCaskill is tied for the team lead in goals, showing the versatility of the Carolina Elite squad. Atlanta Fire is led by forward Grace Damaska, who had two goals and two assists in last weekend’s 4-0 win over Gwinnett Soccer Association. This match could likely come down to Damaska and McCaskill, despite their different styles of play.
KCFC vs. St. Louis Scott Gallagher (6:30 p.m. Saturday in Missouri)
KCFC boasts one of the most explosive offenses in the league, averaging four goals per game and carrying a 10-1-0 record into the weekend. Its offense includes every player on the pitch and spreads defenses thin enough to break right through. Scott Gallagher on the other hand is carried largely by forward Jordan Catalano. Catalano scored all four goals in last weekend’s 4-0 victory over Gwinnett Soccer Association, and will need to be equally as productive this weekend in Kansas City.
CASL Chelsea vs. Gwinnett Soccer Association (2 p.m. Saturday in North Carolina)
Just by looking at the first meeting between these two clubs – an 8-1 Gwinnett victory in the first match of the season – it doesn’t appear that this would be an exciting rematch. But CASL is 6-1 since that overwhelming loss, including victories over some strong Southeast Conference foes. CASL will rely on forward Taylor Otto to carry the team offensively, while Gwinnett will look for continued production from their points leader Jennifer Westendorf.
Slammers vs. So Cal Blues (10 a.m. Saturday in California)
So Cal Blues dropped their season opener to familiar foe Real So Cal 1-0, but hasn’t lost in six matches since. They’ve got a handful of offensive threats, including Victoria Buda and Anika Rodriguez who play as forwards. Slammers enters the weekend looking to preserve a seven game shutout streak, thanks in large part to goalkeeper Rowan Frederiksen. This match will be about one team’s offense and another team’s defense, and who wins the battles for possession in the midfield.