Summer Series - Event #1 (Playstation East Recap)
The 2020 Lower League eCup Summer Series kicked off with the first event on Wednesday, July 15th (Playstation) and Wednesday, July 22nd (Xbox).
A unique tournament that allows competitors to play during the eCup “offseason”, all matches are played throughout one action-packed night, with no long term commitment. The Summer Series consists of three events, spread out from mid-July through the end of September.
Sixteen players competed in the Playstation Division, with eight participating in each conference. Players were divided into four groups of four, with two groups per conference.
Group C consisted of eCup runner-up Chris Moura (Providence City FC), eUSL title contender Jamie Dawe, Louisville Lightning’s Phil Fox, and Inter Philadelphia, who finished winless in the 2020 eCup.
As expected, Moura dominated Group C, finishing group play with a 3-0-0 record and +16 goal differential. While Moura’s finish atop the group was never in doubt, the battle for second place came down to the final match. With both players even on points, Jamie Dawe (eUSL) secured a draw against Louisville’s Fox to advance on goal differential. Meanwhile, Inter Philadelphia finished winless.
Group D consisted of two eCup newcomers and eUSL players, Alex Robillard and Alex Dawe of the eUSL, Sebastian Alves of Miami Soccer Academy, and Jon Hill of New York International FC. Both Miami and New York finished in the top two of their respective groups during the 2020 eCup.
eUSL leader Alex Robilliard topped Group D, going undefeated with two wins and a draw. Needing a win to advance, Alves (Miami S.A.), got an 88th minute winner in the final match of the group to defeat Jon Hill (NY International FC) and secure the final spot in the knockout stage. Alex Dawe (eUSL) and Hill rounded out the group, finishing 3rd and 4th respectively, both going winless with one loss and two draws.
In the consolation bracket, Alex Dawe (3rd Group D, eUSL) took down Inter Philadelphia (4th Group C), 7-2 in the first semifinal, while Jon Hill (4th Group B, NY International) took down Phil Fox (3rd Group A, Louisville Lighting) 4-2 in the second consolation semifinal. The results set up a rematch of the group stage, where Dawe and Hill drew 2-2.
After two halves of thrilling action in the Consolation Final, Dawe and Hill finished even at 4-4, in large part due to two late goals by Hill (NY International). After two scoreless periods of golden goal action, Hill finally broke through in the third period of extra time, scoring the winner early in the period, securing a 5-4 win and the consolation bracket title.
In the semifinals, Chris Moura (1st Group C, Providence City FC) squared off against Sebastian Alves (2nd Group B, Miami Soccer Academy), and Group D winner Alex Robillard squared off against Group A runner-up Jamie Dawe in an all-eUSL matchup.
Despite coming into the match as a heavy favorite, Moura (Providence) fell behind early, conceding in the 27th minute. Alves, the underdog, was able to secure an insurance goal in the second half, and kept a clean sheet to pull off the upset over the eCup runner-up, 2-0. Alves’s win also secured himself a spot in September’s Summer Series Finals.
The second semifinal featured an all-eUSL matchup between Group D winner Alex Robillard and Group C runner-up Jamie Dawe. Despite coming into the match as the underdog, Dawe scored early in the first half to put himself ahead. With the clock winding down, Robillard secured a 92nd minute equalizer to tie the match at one and send the game into a Golden Goal extra time. Wasting no time, Robillard scored on a breakaway in the 7th minute of extra time, securing his place in the Event #1 Championship match.
With both semifinal winners from Group D, the final featured a group stage rematch between Alex Robillard (eUSL) and Sebastian Alves (Miami S.A.). Robillard took the group stage match, 3-2, on his way to finishing undefeated in the group.
As with most matches in the Eastern Conference of Summer Series Event #1, the final proved to be a low-scoring, possession-based affair. With the match still scoreless in the 70th minute, Robiliard earned a controversial penalty after being taken down in the corner of the box. A beautifully placed kick into the upper corner gave Robiliard a 1-0 lead, which he would not surrender. Final Score: Alex Robillard (eUSL) 1, Sebastian Alves (Miami Soccer Academy) 0.
Also, by finishing in the top two of the Eastern Conference, both Robillard and Alves secured their spot in September’s Summer Series Finals.
The next tournament is scheduled for Wednesday, August 22nd (Xbox) and Wednesday, August 5th (Playstation). For more information, or to register, contact the eCup through social media (@lowerleagueEcup) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Lower League eCup will return for its second edition in January 2021.