Heading into their last four regular-season games of 2018-19, Beachside SC’s U-17 Development Academy team knew it would need near perfection.
After entering the winter break just shy of first place in the Northeast Division, matters took a turn for the worse come springtime. They were 1-5-1 and star striker Olivier van Spaendonck (Westport, Conn.), a Yale commit whose 13 goals were among the top nationally in his age group, had torn his ACL.
Beachside had their “backs against the wall,” as U-17 head coach and academy director Paul Melitsanopoulos put it. They responded and now have a playoff spot clinched for the DA national event come late June in Oceanside, Calif.