Northeast Elite was the favorite going into the Regional Qualifier, and they didn’t disappoint. The team was made up of Division 2 Player of the Year Lindsey Stagg, Windham residents and Futures' participants, Casey Thompson and Maddie DiPietro, Futures' participant Rachel Simkevich, and the Caron twins, Sky and Finn, along with other players from around New England.
For their first game on Saturday, they Played HTC and won 2-1, the scoreline was a bit deceptive as they dominated the game, but HTC was able to score on a counter attack. Their second match was against Seacoast United and was thought to be a decent game, considering the U14 match up where Seacoast United beat NEE in the regional final, and the U16 NEE team knocked out the Seacoast United team in the Regional semi’s to qualify for Nationals. But this wasn’t the case with the U19s, NEE dominated start to finish, allowing only four shots and beating them 6-2. Their last game of the day, they tied Wizards 1-1, advancing them to the knockout stage.
On Sunday Northeast Elite continued their domination, they eliminated their first opponent 2-0, then again did the same thing against Hudson Valley, with another 2-0 victory to eliminate them and qualify for Nationals. In the finals, they took on Boston FHC. NEE looked a little shaky to start, as they let up an early goal, to go down 1-0. But they answered back with a goal of their own and never looked back, as they scored three more unanswered goals to take the finals 4-1.
Northeast Elite dominated the weekend proving why they’re the best club program in New England, not only for the U19s but the U16s and 14s as well. Maddie DiPietro had one assist on the weekend, but it probably was the best one, from 35-40 yards out she beat one player, and used her pace to get down the sideline to the baseline, and made a beautiful pass to Casey Thompson as she easily put it away. Thompson played midfield the majority of the time, but every once in awhile played as a forward, she put away three goals and had one assist. Boston College commit Sky Caron, racked up three assists and three goals, and her sister Finn, although usually in the shadow of her sister, had the better statistical weekend, racking up four assists and three goals, including two goals in the final. Rachel Simkevich made ten saves on the weekend.
Although Sky and Finn Caron were incredible to watch, and every time Sky got the ball you were just waiting to see what she was going to do with it, Player of the Tournament goes to Maddie DiPietro. She played incredible defense with her partner in crime Lindsey Stagg and barely made a mistake all weekend, and when she did, it was barely noticeable because she would get the ball back so quickly. DiPietro also had an incredible tournament moving the ball; she can beat almost anyone when she’s one on one, then make a pass to anywhere on the field. Without her, the outcome could’ve been very different for Northeast Elite, as her defensive ability would’ve been truly missed.
On top of all of that, Northeast Elite became the first club in New England to have all three age groups, U14, U16, and U19, qualify for Nationals. They have certainly established their dominance this year in New England, but will they be able to carry that over into Nationals? We’ll have to wait until July to see.