STARS TAKE 2021 SPRING PILOT LEAGUE TOP PLACE FINISH
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STARS U-19 WIN NPSL PILOT LEAGUE WITH CLOSE OUT WIN OVER PORT CITY
The Oakes Training Center, Oak Grove, Miss. – The Stars U-19 team completed a three-game winning series over Port City U-19 with a 3-0 road victory at PRCC in Poplarville last night. Coach Carl Reynolds’ team finished the season 8-1 and on top of the pile during the spring NPSL U-19 pilot season.
The Stars took a single goal lead into the break on a Papi Diouf penalty-kick as the Gulfport-based Port City fought hard to control the visitor’s offense. This was the third meeting between the two sides with the Stars having picked off the other two games winning 4-0 and 6-0. In the previous games, the Stars had taken early leads but on this occasion, Port City managed to stave off the Stars until the conceding of that 40th-minute penalty kick.
The second half was the most even of the three games. Port City managed more shots and worked Stars ‘keeper Ethan Crump more than in the other three games combined. The youngster was equal to all that Port City could muster and he prevailed in protecting his net and taking the third shut-out against Port City.
Finding it hard to score and committed to attacking it was somewhat inevitable that the Stars would find more goals as the game moved into its final minutes. Attila Sepkin fired home a superb blockbuster of a shot for the Stars second, and Diouf tapped home a close-range third just minutes from time after a swift Stars counter-attack.
Port City could take some measure of comfort in that the game was far more competitive than the previous two but all the same, the Stars were once again the better team as the result indicates.
It has been a fine season for the young Stars with just the one loss in nine games preventing the team from grabbing a 100% record.
Stars Under-19 Team Returns For Spring Season
CARL REYNOLDS, “Unique… fantastic for players in so many ways…”
Southern States SC, Director of Player Development, Carl Reynolds, explained the thinking behind the club's addition of an under-19 NPSL team. “This is unique. What an opportunity, just fantastic for players in so many ways. Here is a chance to push themselves into high-level youth competition with a sprinkling of experienced, older players allowed. This will be a made for purpose, a true reserve league along European lines with the step up into the adult, minor league team a real target for these players”.
Southern States SC expects a high-level spring league such as this would attract college coaches and help in the recruiting process. The league will start in March and end before the minor league team kicks-off in May. Coach Reynolds added, “The chance for youth players, college freshmen, and a few older players to come together like this continues to help bridge the gap between youth and adult play”.
WHAT IS THIS LEAGUE ABOUT? Our new Under-19 reserve league team will play in the National Premier Soccer League’s Gulf Coast Conference. The team will be allowed to include three overage players and directly connects with our new NPSL adult, minor league team.