DPL Winter Showcase 2024 Recap

January 12, 2024

Last weekend, January 4th through 7th, six of our high-level State Girls teams went to Tampa for the DPL Winter Showcase 2024. Although the Florida weather was rainy and some games could not be completed, the girls showed up determined for the weekend. With over 125 college coaches attending the event, this was a great opportunity to kick off the 2024 recruiting year for our teams. 

Our youngest team represented at the event was our G2009 Navy. They started the weekend with a tough 2-0 loss to Triangle United, but bounced back with a 2-1 victory over Pinecrest Premier Soccer the following day. To finish the weekend the team made a statement in their 10-0 W over Albion SC Idaho. The girls won their bracket with 12 goals for and only 3 allowed. 

In the U16 division, both our G2008 Navy and Sky attended the event. Our Navy team tied their first two games 2-2 against high-level clubs (Charlotte SA and Pinecrest Premier) from a losing position. They finished the weekend as champions of their bracket with a 3-1 W against Arkansas Comets FC. Sofia Sibella scored both goals in a 2-2 tie vs. Pinecrest and finished the weekend with 4 goals. Coach Tim Mason was very happy with the weekend, “A really positive undefeated weekend for an injury ravaged team. The girls showed great character in the first two games to come back from losing positions to get a tie, playing some great attacking soccer in the process. We won the last game comfortably despite the monsoon conditions, and overall the team played on the front foot and looked to be positive in possession at all times.”

The G2008 Sky took on two local teams in the first two games of the showcase. The first game ended in a 3-3 draw against the West Florida Flames. The girls netted a few great goals from outside the 18 yard box. Their second match was a tough fought battle against Southern Soccer Academy that unfortunately ended in a 4-3 L. The third match was canceled due to the weather. Coach Kayla Steeves was overall very happy with the team’s performance, “We had only a few subs, but the team worked super hard and dealt with adversity extremely well. Overall, it was a great weekend for this group and it was fun to get away and see some different competition!”

In the U17 division, our G2007 Navy team took the title of bracket champions with 2 wins and a tie. They began the weekend with a 1-1 draw against Sunrise Soccer Club. They went on to win their next two games 3-0 vs. Broomfield Soccer Club and 1-0 vs. Triangle United. They ended the weekend with 7 points, leading the group by 3 points. Darren Gallagher, coach of the 2007 girls and Director of the State Girls program said, “It was a really pleasing weekend for New England Surf at the recent DPL Winter Showcase in Tampa. Our teams excelled despite the limited preparation time following the High School Season. We always approach this event as a preseason tournament, so to win the bracket in all age groups is a testament to our players and coaches and bodes well for 2024!”

Our oldest teams in the U19 age group both showed quality performances in Tampa. The G2006 had a great experience playing against top teams and kicked off their season with a boom. They defeated Florida Hawks 4-2 in their opening game, followed by a tough loss to AFC Lightning. They finished the weekend with a 1-1 vs. Mass City F.C., in a familiar match-up. Coach Rob Speed commented on the weekend, “Hats off to our 06 squad! Their stellar performance in the DPL showcase, clinching a win, a tie, and one loss, this highlights a promising beginning for a team that’s finding its rhythm. A fantastic start, and I’m excited to see what they can achieve going forward.”

Finally, our G2005/06 Navy had a stellar weekend. The girls kicked off the showcase with a 8-0 against Triangle United. In their second game, they defeated Pinecrest Premier Soccer 4-1. To top off the weekend, they finished with a 6-0 W against Albion SC Idaho. Emma Darling scored a hat-trick in each game, finishing the weekend with 9 goals and 4 assists from three games. Coach Tim Mason had nothing but good things to say about the team, “Three wins out of three from this group, with 18 goals scored and one conceded. Dominated both sides of the ball in each game and played some excellent soccer throughout the tournament, particularly in an opening 8-0 win.”