Vardar’s U17 ECNL Girls had two strong wins this past weekend beating former national champions, Eclipse Select Soccer Club, on September 14 and then the Sockers FC on September 15.
According to Coach Demir Muftari, the game against Eclipse went back and forth with goals for Vardar from Maddie Schupbach, Amanda Pokriefka and Annie Walker. With four minutes left in the game, Kelly Sweeney scored the game winner. Kelsey Parrinello had three assists on the day.
The game against the Sockers was a much different match-up, Muftari noted. “I think we were a bit sluggish after the emotional high from beating the Eclipse the day before and it took us a while to make adjustments to the Sockers defensive style of play. In the second half Parrinello led the attack by playing a through ball to Sweeney who scored her second goal in two days. Parrinello then solidified the game for Vardar by adding a goal to make it a 2-0 final.
“Our back line was great and Marino Manzo was solid in net,” Muftari said. Manzo recorded her first shut out of the season.
Vardar’s U16 ECNL Girls also had a strong weekend tying the Eclipse 0-0 and then beating the Sockers 2-1. Coach Morris Lupenec said the Vardar girls knew the game against the defending national champions Eclipse was going to be a battle so they came out with energy and intensity.
“Both teams had two or three good scoring chances so I think it is deserving that both teams came away with a result instead of a loss,” Lupenec said. “Playing against the Eclipse is the best measuring tool for how good you can be and after some tough losses in Colorado, I think our girls showed that they want to be one of the better teams in the country and they have the ability to be that.” Against the Sockers, Bella Palazzolo and Delaney Horton scored to get the win.
On the boys side, the Vardar Academy Teams faced Indiana Fire Academy and came away with two ties and a win. The U13/14 squad held on to a 3-2 win with goals coming from Assad Bujaidar, Joel Zaretti and Keith Larson had the game winner. According to Coach Tony Deacon, play from Matt Mielnicki and Cole Owen-Turner in the midfield was well done and Felipe Lopez also gave a good performance.
The U15/16 and U17/18s came away with 1-1 ties. Donovan Perayeff scored for the 15/16s and Nathan McLean got the equalizer for the 17/18s.