FC Revolution Reds have already punched their ticket to the USYS National Championships this summer in Orlando but the big task in front of them is repeating as NCS State Cup champions.
The Reds are one win away from playing in the NCS State Cup final at the 17U age group after narrowly defeating Super Nova FC 1-0 at Don Thomas Stadium in Exeter on Sunday.
Unbeaten through five games in league play while outscoring opponents 24-0, the Reds faced a stiff challenge against an organized Super Nova FC team on a rainy Sunday in Exeter Township.
Lily MacCausland scored in transition early in the first half off a pass from Sophia Zeppos but Super Nova's back line and goalkeeper Hannah Cline locked it down the rest of the way. FC Revolution controlled possession and kept the ball but Super Nova was content to sit in and try to find a breakthrough on the counter. The Reds defense in front of goalkeeper Sarah Gatz rose to the challenge each time it looked like Super Nova might grab an equalizer.
"It was definitely a bit of a change; our last couple games we've been winning 5-0 and 8-0," said defender Sabrina Marks. "Battling for a 1-0 win I feel like it sets us up for success down the road because we know how to face adversity and adapt."
The Reds qualified for nationals in the National League P.R.O. in March but Marks says their approach hasn't changed at all.
"Everything matters to us," Marks said. "We'll run through state cup and regionals; we're going to compete as well as we can."
The Reds won the NCS State Cup last year and were in the final back in 2019 at the 13U age level. They'll face West Mont United next weekend in the semifinal. North Union United plays 2022 finalist Keystone FC in the other semi next weekend.
"We're excited for nationals and really proud of how the girls performed at National League P.R.O.," said head coach Eric Franks. "Nationals are in July and we're preparing for them now but at the same time we are approaching one game at a time, one practice at a time with a focus on getting better and better. We have a league game this weekend and then the state cup semifinal to look forward to now."
Experience and chemistry within the team are both key ingredients along with unity and identity, which they refer to as "the Reds way."
"Our team has very good chemistry," Marks said. "We'll keep possession all game, we won't force things and we'll wait for high percentage chances to score."
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