The 2019-20 playing season got started over Labor Day weekend for the Riverhounds Development Academy, and two of the RDA's girls teams brought home trophies from the opening weekend.
Teams from the 2006 to 2011 age groups representing the RDA, RDA II and RDA East made the trip to Lancaster County, where Eastern Pa. club PA Classics hosted their annual Keystone Cup. For the 2006 and 2010 RDA girls, the trip was a flawless one.
The 06 Girls steamrolled their way to the title in their division, which they hope will be a springboard into a successful ECNL campaign this year. The Hounds won four matches by a combined 29-0, including a 6-0 win in the final against the Lionville Bravehearts.
Sophia De Jesus scored nine goals over the course of the tournament for the 06 Girls, two of which were in the final, and Jadyn Coy also had two goals in the championship game out of six for the weekend.
Some of the youngest players to make the trip were the RDA's 10/11 Girls team that played in the U-10 (2010) age group. Having some players playing up a year didn't slow them down, as they won all four matches by a combined 27-2 to finish atop their round-robin division and take the title. The team's first three matches each came in shutout fashion, as the team got multiple strong performances from the defense while using a rotating goalkeeper approach.
Other highlights for the weekend included a finals appearance for the 08 Girls, who were stopped in a high-scoring title game by East Penn Nova, 5-3. Many of the RDA II teams also picked up at least one win at the tournament, and the 07 RDA II Boys finished with a 2-0-1 record. That team finished with a draw against HMMS Eagle FC from Central Pa., and they missed out on a spot in the championship game by a single goal in their goal differential.
Updates from all the RDA action during the season can be found on the Live Results page.
Sunday, Sept. 1
At the PA Classics Keystone Cup in Lancaster County, Pa.:
• The 06 Girls are champions after cruising to a 6-0 win over Lionville Bravehearts in the final. Jadyn Coy and Sophia De Jesus scored twice each, and Ava Brucker and Natalie Figura also found the net in the title win. Earlier in the day, the team knocked off FC Revolution Fire, 7-0, with Lily Karsman scoring twice. Ally Ruiz, Alayna Rocco, Ava Mascellino, Meredith Ashbaugh and Coy also scored.
• Three matches, three wins and zero goals allowed were the totals for the 10/11 Girls, who started the morning with a 3-0 win over PA Classics Elite. The team finally conceded for the first time in their final match against FC Revolution Fury, but they still cruised to a 10-2 victory that clinched their division's championship with a perfect 4-0 record.
• Alessandra Maxwell scored twice, and Camdynn Gonzalez and Emily Kokel also scored to send the 08 Girls to the final with a 4-1 win over Penn Fusion.
• The 07 Boys got two goals from Victor Slack, and Wyatt Catchen, Nathan Katari and Garrett Chandler added Hounds goals in a 5-1 triumph over Lower Merion.
• Playing in their first event as a group, the 06 RDA II Boys closed out the weekend with a thorough 8-1 victory, showing improvement from the tournament's first day to its second.
• Harlem Smith scored, but the 09 Boys were bested by the Richmond Kickers, 5-1.
Saturday, Aug. 31
At the PA Classics Keystone Cup in Lancaster County, Pa.:
• Make it two big wins to start things for the 06 Girls, who defeated Delaware Union, 6-0, and the PA Classics Elite Green, 10-0. Sophia De Jesus scored seven goals between the two matches, while Jadyn Coy had three total goals, and Alayna Rocco had a tally in each.
• One of the most competitive matches of the day saw Cam Loveland strike from 25 yards out for the 06 Boys, but a game Richmond Kickers Red side was equal to the Hounds in a 1-1 draw. The next one yielded some tough breaks for the 06ers, who played well enough to win and got a goal from J.J. Simms, but it wasn't enough in a 2-1 loss to Penn Fusion.
• The 08 Girls shot out to a flying start with a 9-1 win in their morning match against Parkland. Camdynn Gonzalez had a hat trick in a tremendous overall performance that showed great improvement over a season ago. That improvement was put to the test in their second match, and the Hounds were able to secure a 4-4 draw with FC Delco Barça after falling behind by two goals. Alessandra Maxwell scored twice to help the RDA pull ahead, but Delco recorded a late goal to tie.
• The 08 Boys dropped a heartbreaker to the PA Classics Academy, as they fell 4-3 after holding a late lead. Calder Mahan, Chase Wilojanapa and Zach White had the RDA ahead 3-2, but the host side managed to find two goals in the final five minutes to win.
• CeCe Wessell found the net for the 06/07 RDA II Girls, but Reading's FC Revolution had too much firepower and took a 4-1 win. Things went better when Wessell found the net from the spot in the team's second match, as Rylee Binion-Burton posted a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over PA Classics Elite.
• A pair of victories have the 09 Boys riding high, starting with a total team effort in a 5-1 triumph over Lower Merion. The second match saw the team get pushed a little harder, but two goals by Harlem Smith, two assists by Dylan Shallenberger and an awesome performance in net by Adam Figura all contributed to a 4-2 win over Penn Fusion Academy.
• The 09 RDA II Boys were second to none in their opening match, topping Eastern Pa.'s FC Europa by an 8-2 score. From the hot start, they then learned where the bar is set after falling against a strong Wilson side that walked away with an 8-1 win.
• Colton Yonker put away the game's only strike to give the 07 RDA II Boys a 1-0 win in their opener against Northeast Attack. Yonker was on the mark in the second game, and Graham Kunz scored twice from set pieces to give the side a 3-0 win over FC Pocono Elite.
• The 06 RDA II Boys came out firing with an early brace by James Jayomahan, but the defense couldn't keep out the Richmond Kickers Black in a 3-2 defeat. Defensive improvement will be sought after the team dropped the second match, 6-3, against PA Classics Green.
• Another unbeaten side on the day was the 07 Girls, who got a set piece goal by Simone Sharpness in a 1-1 draw against the Philadelphia Ukranian Nationals. Match two was an easier time, as Milena Gill got her first goal with the Hounds as part of a 6-0 win over Cantolao USA Academy.
• The 07 Boys ran up against two tough challenges, falling 3-1 to Penn Fusion Academy despite a JJ Vozar goal, and later being undone by a single long ball in a 1-0 loss to SUSA Academy (N.Y.).
• The young ones of the 10/11 Girls posted two great shutout wins by 8-0 and 6-0 scorelines, utilizing an effective goalkeeper-by-committee approach and working as a solid unit moving forward.