ORLANDO, Fla. - PA Dominion 2005 boys scored a late winner for the second straight day and Hunter SC’s first goal at nationals came in the fifth minute of stoppage time to highlight a thrilling second day of group play at the USYS National Championships.
The 2004 and 2005 PA Dominion boys teams have both won their first two games. The 2005 boys have won both 1-0 on late winners while the 2004 boys have had a battle in both games.
On Wednesday they fell behind early and again after tying things at 1-1 but were able to find an equalizer, draw two penalties and add a fifth to win 5-2 over Indiana Fire Academy.
Penn FC Youth Lightning, meanwhile, avenged last year’s loss in the national final with one of the more lopsided games of the day, beating Galaxy SC 5-0. They won their first game on Tuesday by the same scoreline over Nationals from Michigan.
Lower Merion SC FCE Thunder started the day off as one of the first teams to pick up their second win with a 2-0 victory over Chicago Magic. They opened with a 4-1 win on Tuesday.
“We’re focusing on the next game; can’t think too far ahead,” said Connor Stein. “We’re going to keep going, keep playing with the same mentality.”
Head coach Blake Griffin said Wednesday’s win was extra special since he had a son celebrating his 7th birthday.
“He said he was doing laser eyes for their goals, and that he was doing the best he could so we could win for his birthday,” Griffin said.
After playing two games at 7:30 a.m., the Thunder wrap up group play at 6 p.m. against NY Hota Bavarian SC. A win or a draw would guarantee a spot in the semifinal.
“They’re really all on the same page right now,” Griffin said of his group. “It’s really fun to watch.”
FC Revolution Reds had to battle back late to salvage a 1-1 draw with DASC from South Dakota in their second game after opening with a 9-3 win on Tuesday. The weather conditions were particularly challenging and the Reds lost a couple players to negative reactions to the heat.
“It was definitely a team effort,” Ashley Lavrich said of the equalizer. “Everyone on our team attacked it but luckily I was in the right place and the right time.”
Head coach Eric Franks said the goal was “everything.”
“It’s the difference between three points and four points for us and the difference between six points and four points for them,” Franks said.
“The most important thing was the adversity we had to overcome today,” he added. “Three injuries and a fourth player not feeling well enough to start the second half and all were starters.”