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May 28, 2024, | Courtesy of

This weekend at ECNL Virginia, stars took the field at River City Sportsplex when the East and West teams squared off in the Continental Tire ECNL National Selection Game.

The West got the scoring going early on in the game when in the 8th minute, Junior Diouf (Penn Fusion SA) fired home a shot to make it 1-0.

“You can see his pace,” East coach Justin Evans (Pittsburgh Riverhounds) said about Diouf. “He’s good with the ball and he’s got good ideas going forward.”

The East responded midway through the half though on a great setup from Hudson Jacobs (Oklahoma Energy FC) who found Tustin Todd (St. Croix SC) to even the game up at 1-1.

In the 41st minute, the East grabbed their first lead of the night when Todd fired home his second of the night to put the East on top before the break. 

The West had the answers in the second half though. In the 79th minute, Benjamin Rodriguez (NCFC Youth Academy) struck a beautiful free kick into the top corner to level the game once again, this time at 2-2.

With time winding down in the 86th minute, Andrew Jacques Ardery (Manhattan SC) got behind the East defense and fired home the go ahead goal from a sharp angle with his left foot to put the West back on top at 3-2 in the back and forth battle.

The East poured on the pressure in the closing minutes, but with the speed of Ardery the West were able to counterattack in the closing moments of stoppage time, and Ardery was able to draw a penalty after being taken down inside the box.

Ardery calmly stepped up and slotted the penalty in to secure the 4-2 victory for the West.

With his two goals on the night, including the game winner, Ardery was named the Player of the Match following the West’s victory. 

After the game, Ardery said he felt like he could have done more in the first half, and came out with an aggressive mindset in the second half, leading to the two goals.

“I felt like I could have done more in the beginning, so in the second half I really came out and tried to make a difference on the pitch,” Ardery said. “I’m just glad I was able to showcase my skill.”

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