Before starting their bracket run, late Sunday morning, NorthEast Elite walked through their pool, on Saturday, finishing with a perfect 3-0-0 (W-L-T) record, outscoring their opponents 19-0.
On Sunday, in their quarterfinal match, NEE started slow, but eventually locked in, and was able to run past Maine Majestix, 6-2.
In their semifinal matchup, also their qualifying round for Nationals, NEE took on top-ranked AGH. NEE dominated possession in the first half but didn't make anything out of it. They essentially overpassed, instead of attacking the goal, and they paid for it on two AGH counterattacks, in which AGH took a 2-0 lead into halftime. In the second half, NEE changed their approach, and they played much more direct and passed with a purpose.
They completed the 2-0 comeback, taking AGH into a shootout, at 2-2.
In the shootout, Amy Lanouette, scored on NEE's fourth attempt, giving them a 3-1 lead in the shootout, and sending them to the National Club Championships, in July. It was a little anticlimactic, as NEE knew they had just won, but the officials weren't keeping track of the goals, and attempts, as they had to check with the scorer to make sure it was over, and it was. Come on officials; it's basic math. After the officials confirmed it, NEE continued to celebrate their qualification for Nationals.
Even though it was great to see Lanouette score the game-winning goal, we can't not mention the performance, of goalie Katherine Wimmer, in the shootout. Wimmer didn't start for NEE, as her counterpart Ellie Todd did, but Wimmer was their shootout specialist, and boy was she! Coach Chelsey Feole wasn't joking when she said to Wimmer before the shootout, "There's no one better in this situation!". Wimmer stopped three of AGH's four attempts, not including a stroke, where she made a diving stop with her stick, to keep AGH from scoring. Wimmer was brilliant.
NEE went on to face HTC, in the Regional Final, which they comfortably won, 2-0. HTC beat Seacoast United in the other semifinal, 4-0, to be the other qualifying team, from our region, for Nationals.
Overall NEE, with the exception of the AGH game, had a dominating performance. They were the only team to finish with a perfect, 6-0-0 (W-L-T), record. They also finished first in every major offensive category. They had 32 goals, six more than anyone else (AGH scored 26). They averaged 5.3 goals per game, one more than anyone else (AGH averaged 4.3). They had the best goal difference, with +27, six better than anyone else (AGH was +21).
NorthEast Elite will look to complete a regional treble, as they compete in the U14 & U19 Regionals, next month.
Photo Cred: NorthEast Elite