Participating ODP states: CalSouth, CalNorth, Colorado, Eastern Pennsylvania, Florida, Minnesota
Each team played three games (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
Silverlakes Sports Complex, Norco, CA
Eastern Pennsylvania ODP 2003 Boys and 2003/04 Girls met at the Philadelphia Airport and departed bright and early for California. The group landed in LAX around Noon (PST). After we checked in at the hotel, we went to Silverlakes Sports Complex for a light session. This 24 field complex is surrounded by a mountain landscape. Following the session, we feasted as a group on a patio with a giant fireplace.
An early start to the day took us to Huntington Beach where we saw the world’s largest surfboard, swam in the Pacific, shopped and played some volleyball. Enjoying the 80 degree weather, we took a scenic drive down the PCH to Laguna Beach and ate lunch.
Opened the weekend with back-to-back games against Colorado under the lights. The boys played a 6PM game against Colorado. Starting off the weekend strong, the boys ended with a 5-0 win. They stayed to watch the girls, whose game was live streamed, take on Colorado. EPA Girls celebrated the 1-0 win.
We started the day with a poolside group meeting. Staff shared experiences with the players – college recruiting, self-care and social media were some topics of discussion.
The Boys had a live steamed game versus Florida. Intensity was high. Florida took the lead in the first half. EPA put the pressure on and created dangerous opportunities. EPA scored a header goal off a corner kick in the last minute of play to equalize the score (1-1). The final whistle blew when they restarted the game.
The Girls took on CalSouth. CalSouth, with some speed, scored two goals in the first few minutes. EPA persisted and knocked in two goals off of corner kicks in the 33rd and 44th minutes. CalSouth opened the second half with a goal. Despite numerous efforts, EPA couldn’t capitalize to tie the game. Final score EPA 2, CalSouth 3.
Both teams took the fields first thing Sunday morning. The Boys played Minnesota and the Girls played Florida. The Boys kept attacking and finished with a score of EPA 3, MN 0. The Girls remained aggressive despite being down 3-0 in the 47th minute. EPA put two goals away in the 57th and 63rd minutes (EPA 2, FL 3). The Boys finished their game and supported the Girls in their final minutes. Energy was high! Florida took advantage of a full EPA press and scored in the 85th minute (Final: EPA 2, FL 4). Great game and effort by both sides.
Players packed up and we headed to the airport. The weekend wrapped up with more bonding time on the plane. Players enjoyed card games and socializing.
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