Eleven teams from Eastern Pennsylvania will play for hardware on Tuesday at The Proving Grounds.
The final matches of the US Youth Soccer Eastern Presidents Cup will kick off between 8 a.m., 8:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.
One final was played on Monday between West Mont United and Kearny Thistle United in the 19U Girls division. The game was scoreless until Emily Karlicki was able to beat the West Mont keeper with a low liner from distance that caught the inside of the left side of the net. West Mont beat the NJ team on Friday to open the tournament 2-0 but weren’t able to make it a perfect four wins out of four on the final day.
Central Susquehanna Phoenix won an overtime thriller 3-2 over Farmington SC. They fell behind early and trailed by two at the break but found a way back to tie it up at 2-2 and force overtime, where they found a goal off a corner kick and held off Farmington’s repeated attacks to book a spot in the regional final and a place in the National Presidents Cup in Wichita, Kansas.
“From the middle of nowhere to the state title...do you know where we're going?” head coach Brett Stevens said in the huddle after the win.
“Kansas!!!,” the girls all shouted in unison.
Gabby Kashi, who scored the winner, said they weren’t themselves in the first half and were “pumped up” coming out of the halftime talk.
“We were down but we knew we could come back,” she said. “To get the goals we needed was just awesome.”
Stevens said the comeback - as unlikely as it might have seemed - was a result of his team sticking to their principles, their belief and falling back on their training.
“They work hard and I was confident they could outlast a lot of people in these conditions,” Stevens said. “All the time and the effort they’ve put in, this has been a long time coming and there’s a lot more to do but it’s just amazing what they’ve been able to accomplish.”
The Phoenix face Scotch Plains/Fanwood from New Jersey in Tuesday’s final at 10:15 a.m.
Among the other finalists from Eastern PA is FC Ballyhoo, which beat Go Premier Soccer 2-0 to qualify for the National Presidents Cup and earn a rematch with Kearny Thistle United, which has been the lone blemish on their Eastern Presidents Cup campaign. The team from New Jersey beat them in the second match on Saturday 3-1 but Ballyhoo bounced back with an 8-0 win to get to today’s semifinal.
“We just put our head in the game, knew what we had to do and executed,” said captain Maddox Snyder. “It’s just been great being here and showcasing our team and now we get a chance to go to nationals and play in a regional final.”
In other semifinal action on Monday, Steel United PA avenged their 1-0 loss to Warrington FC Storm in last month’s state President Cup final with a 1-0 win to advance to the regional final. The goal was the first and only conceded by the Storm in the competition.
PA Classics 17U Girls advanced to the final with a 4-1 BVBIA West Virginia but the 17U Boys ran into a potent Den of Lions team that put up four goals for the third time in four games to advance.
Southern Chester County SA Dragons made it 13 goals in their last three games after being shut out 1-0 to open the tournament with a 4-2 win over United Elite Soccer. They’ll face a Naugatuck Youth Soccer team in the final that outlasted Arlington SC on penalties to advance.
Keystone FC boys and West Mont girls both advanced to the 12U finals, Keystone Athletic beat DC Soccer Club 1-0, Hulmeville SC Dortmund avenged a loss to FC 814 Celtic on Sunday with a 2-1 win and Vereinigung Erzgebirge SC Gunners topped Ocean Township United on a free kick and highlight reel volley.
While it won’t officially be a final, Lancaster Elite Sprinters control their destiny after having a day off on Monday in a game against the second place team in the table BVB International Academy.