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Groups take shape in Day 2 of USL Academy Cup

By Staff, 03/31/23, 4:55PM EDT


After the second day at the 2023 USL Academy Cup, the championship picture is taking shape with one more day of group stage play remaining. Here were the highest points of the exciting day of matches.

After 1-0 wins for both Indy Eleven and Phoenix Rising in the U-19 Boys Division, a match against each other for a spot in the championship is next for the USL Championship affiliates. Indy Eleven left their victory late against Wake FC, as Greyson Elmquist scored in the 68th minute to put them ahead. On the other side of the bracket, Tampa Bay United went three points clear at the top of their group thanks to an early goal against Cleveland Force SC.

In the U15 Boys Elite Division, it’s all up to the match between Louisville City FC and Tampa Bay United to determine which club advances, as both are on six points and are slated to play tomorrow. The two clubs still have yet to concede a goal, thanks to dominant midfield and defensive performances on both sides.

In group A of the same division, it’s still all to play for, as Indy Eleven and Real Colorado played to a scoreless draw. It opens the door for Phoenix Rising and South Georgia Tormenta, who drew 1-1 in today’s competition thanks to goals from Marcus Jean-Gilles (TRM) and Maxim Gordian (PHX).

At the U13 Boys Elite level, Tampa Bay United’s Prodigio Dye put on the performance of the day, scoring a 15-minute hat trick to lead the hometown side to a 4-0 victory over Chattanooga Red Wolves, and sending them to the top of the group, tied on points with Phoenix Rising. In Group B, Nona FC leads the way thanks to a brace from Erick Feliciano en route to a 3-1 victory over AC Connecticut.

On the girl’s side of the competition, Indy Eleven’s Abby Foulk opened the scoring against LA Parish AC in their second match of the tournament. LA Parish AC equalized off a goal from Macey Theriot in the 17th minute after teammate Faith Johnston whipped the ball into the box but Indy answered back in less than a minute to regain the lead. Johnston's assist was her sixth of the tournament leading the U19 Girls Elite division. Indy would go on to score again bringing the final score to 3-1. The victory was Indy’s first of the tournament.

NC Courage and forward Mccarthy Spencer attacked early, finding the back of the net in the third minute. After a hard-fought, evenly contested match, the third minute goal would end up being the deciding factor. With today’s win, the Courage are one of two undefeated teams in the U19 Girls Elite division heading into the final day of group play. Cleveland Force will have everything to play for tomorrow versus AC Connecticut.

Greenville Liberty SC found themselves in the winning column after defeating AC Connecticut by a score of 3-1. Liberty standout Autumn Cayelli continued her scoring ways by bagging a brace, with teammate Valerie Hernandez adding the third goal in the 68th minute. Ava Malagisi scored the lone goal for AC Connecticut in the 16th minute. Greenville faces undefeated NC Courage tomorrow.

NC Fusion also emerged from day two with a perfect 2-0 record after a dominating 4-0 performance against FC Miami City. Fusion’s Aaryn Gabriel continued her scoring streak with a header goal in the 24th minute and also contributed an assist to teammate Ava Vaughn in the 37th minute. Aislyn Maguire and Lauren Smith also added a goal each. NC Fusion will look to earn another three points tomorrow and FC Miami City will be on the hunt for their first win of the tournament.

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