Sarah Michaud's Seacoast United and Chelsey Feole's Northeast Elite both qualified for USA Field Hockey's U19 National Club Championships, over the weekend, as they fought through pool play, then bracket play.
They both won their pools and cruised through their quarterfinal matchup.
In Seacoast United's semifinal match, also their qualifying match, they played a better AGH team. AGH had chance after chance, but thanks to their goalie, Christina Calandra, who kept them in the game time and again, they were able to pull out a hard-fought win, scoring with five minutes to go in the second half, winning 1-0.
Northeast Elite took on Boston FHC in their qualifying match. They had a slow start, but scored about ten minutes into the game and never looked back as they took a 4-0 win.
With both teams already qualified for the National Championships, they had one game left to play, against each other, to claim the title and bragging rights of New England's top U19 Club.
Northeast Elite was dominant from start to finish, showing their domination from last years Regional Championships was not a fluke. Andrea Caradonna and Maddie Moran both picked up an assist. Grace Sambrook & Casey Thompson each had an assist and a goal, and Finn Caron scored five. NEE out cornered Seacoast, 8-1, and outshot them 19-2, as they brought home the Regional Championship, 7-1. Alana Richardson had the lone goal for Seacoast United.
NEE finished with a perfect record, of 6-0, and had an average scoreline of 6-0. Sky Caron was brilliant all weekend, showing her prowess to control the game, create chances, and stop almost every attack that was thrown her way. Her sister, Finn, scored a countless amount of goals, and Casey Thompson & Maddie Moran were a constant threat all weekend. Shannon Daley, who started as a forward last year for NEE, switched her role to a defender and was exquisite. If you could "make" a defender, Daley would be it. She can pass & dribble her way out of almost any situation; she has the pace to catch up to anyone, which was on display this weekend, and of course, she is a great defender.
Even though we do not get to see her during the high school season, one player that improved tremendously, since we saw her last summer, was Grace Sambrook. Her finishing was on point, but the most eye-catching thing about her was her dribbling. Her ability to glide and cut through defenses like butter was incredible to watch, and every time she got the ball it made you stand up a little straighter, knowing she was going to make someone on the other team look bad.
Even with how good NEE was, and how dominant they were all weekend, as they claimed back to back regional titles, the player of the tournament was Seacoast's goalie, Christina Calandra. She had an incredible weekend making great save after great save, and other then the goal in the semifinal, she is the reason Seacoast United get to go to Spooky Nook in July.
So the good news, we claimed both available spots for the U19 Nationals. The better news, it is still possible for our clubs to claim the remaining spots for the U14 and U16 National Championships. Hopefully, NH can get a clean sweep this year, which would be a great start going into the National Championships.
Photo Cred: Northeast Elite & Seacoast United.