LAKE BUENA VISTA – RSL Florida and the Clearwater Chargers girls under-18 teams will face each other on the final day of the Disney Soccer Showcase after both sides completed pool play with three wins out of three on Saturday afternoon at the Wide World of Sports Complex.
RSL fell behind early against the Farmingdale Freedom, but rallied to earn a 3-1 victory to win Pool B.
The Freedom started well, putting good passing sequences together, and capitalized on a moment of hesitant defending to take the lead in the 11th minute, a low first-time shot finding the bottom left corner of the net.
RSL responded well, though, and in the 26th minute Zoe Lombard worked a good give-and-go with Thea Linkfield, breaking through the Farmingdale back four before firing into the left corner of the net. RSL almost took the lead a few moments later as the Freedom only half-cleared a cross from the left, and Jordan Johnson drove a shot off the bottom of the left post.
RSL controlled the bulk of the game from that point on, with Johnson and Colleen Lynch holding sway in midfield to allow RSL to create scoring opportunities. Niki Carter gave her side the lead in the 57th minute, heading home from close range after a good cross from the left by Ellen Moore, and then Lynch added a third in the 73rd minute on a brilliant shot from over 25 yards out into the top right corner of the net.
“We know she can do that,” Cote said. “She doesn’t think she can do that, but we know she can do that a lot. She has the ability to really hammer a ball and so it was nice to see her get that.”
The Chargers closed out their group play with a 2-0 victory against the Concorde Fire, setting up a rematch from the Showcase Qualifier in September. Then RSL won 2-0 in the tournament semifinals.
“We wanted to get the game against Clearwater again,” Cote said. “It was how it turned out in the qualifier, and it’ll come down to the two of us again tomorrow, so it’s exciting.”
The Chargers girls under-17 team wasn’t able to move on as it fell 4-2 to the Michigan Hawks. The Chargers needed a win to have a chance of winning its group, having drawn their first two games of the event.
The Brandon Flames girls under-15s had already won their group, and closed out pool play with a 0-0 draw against the Dynamo FC from Indiana. The Flames will face the Ponte Vedra Storm on Sunday afternoon to complete the tournament.