LAKEWOOD RANCH, FLA. - It was a brilliant week in Florida for the Shattuck-St. Mary’s U17’s as the young Sabres took a perfect nine out of nine possible points in their three games at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Showcase.
In the first game, SSM came up against a strong Silicon Valley side. Erick Villatoro ‘20 opened up the scoring with a tidy finish after Matthew Roou ‘21 put him through on goal with a nice pass. Wylie Trujillo ‘20 then put his mark on the match with a goal of the tournament contender. The captain picked up the ball in midfield after Roou put his body on the line to keep possession for the Sabres. Trujillo looked up, saw the Silicon keeper off his line and finished from 45 yards out. To round things off in the 70th minute, Tino Lopez ‘20 finished off a rebound from a penalty kick to put the game out of sight.
The Sabres came up against a difficult Seattle Sounders FC team in their second game. The teams were interlocked in what looked like a potential scoreless stalemate until Brody Phan ‘21 drew a penalty kick in the 75th minute. Lopez stepped up to put away the penalty kick and ensure the team’s second win in two days after an evenly contested match.
After a day of rest, SSM took the field one last time in Florida against a dangerous Sacramento Republic team. With fatigue setting in after two intense games, it was going to be a tough contest. It was a back and forth contest with both teams trying to impose their style on the match. With SSM chances few and far between and a tired Sabres team fighting off pressure, Roou gave the team an important lift with a goal in the 41st minute after a nice solo effort and finish. In the second half, the Sabres grew into the match and held on to win the game 1-0.
The three SSM wins from three games in Florida leaves the team first in their conference and ranked 3rd in the country. Academy league games resume in March. Until then, the Sabres will look to build and improve on their impressive season thus far with hard work on the training pitch.
Starting lineup against Silicon
Starting lineup against the Sounders
Starting lineup against Sacramento Republic