WESTFIELD, Ind. – Monday’s action wrapped up the final day of the 2015 NPL Finals, where 12 teams were crowned national champions of their age group.
Here’s a look at some of the games covered by TopDrawerSoccer.
Scottsdale Blackhawks (U14) 0-3 Washington Rush 00 (U14)
Monday’s U14 Girls Championship game seemed as if one goal might just earn either team a win, as both teams struggled to get off accurate shots on goal in the first 25 minutes.
The defensive stronghold was loosed up in the 26th minute when Washington’s goalkeeper Kaitlynn Knocke booted a goal kick perfectly downfield to hit Kelsey Brace in stride to deliver the game’s first goal, putting Washington up 1-0.
Neither team could ignite any more offense in the first half, keeping the Championship in reach for both teams. But the momentum began to shift in Washington’s favor in the early minutes of the second half, when Trina Davis’s pass to Michaela Danyo lead to another goal and a Rush 2-0 lead.
Just a few minutes later Washington’s Peyton Fisher tallied on another goal, looking to put it out of reach for Scottsdale. The Blackhawks had their chances late, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
The Washington Rush, who finished undefeated and gave up a mere two goals the entire tournament, are now crowned the 2015 U14 Girls NPL National Champions.
FC Copa Academy Celeste NPL (U16) 1-2 NEFC Elite (U16)
FC Copa set the tone early in Monday’s U16 Girls Championship, scoring just eight minutes in from a Katrina Nguyen-DeMary goal. NEFC put up lots of potential game-tying shots in the first half, but all were too wide or blocked away.
In the 2nd half the NEFC offense woke themselves up, and knotted up the game at one after Francesca Calabraro’s goal around the 50th minute. Despite the NEFC offensive charge, it would take extra time to settle this one.
Just two minutes into the first half of extra time, NEFC got their offense rolling again. Emily Longo assisted Crea Baker-Durante’s goal, giving NEFC its first lead of the game in extra time.
The final minutes of the second half of extra time was the last chance FC Copa had to break up the NEFC lead. Copa’s Katarina Nilsson fired a shot to the goal, but her shot was bobbled and then saved by the NEFC keeper.
The NEFC Girls U16 team was the first of three NEFC Girls teams (U13, U16, U18) to win the 2015 NPL Championship in their age group.
New York Red Bulls (U13) 2-0 St. Louis Scott Gallagher (U13)
Championship-game jitters may or the two-hour rain delay could’ve been valid reasons for the sluggish start of both teams in Monday’s Championship game, while both teams usually come out the gate firing on all cylinders.
After a scoreless first half where shots were at a premium, both teams intensified their energy in the second half. New York began controlling the possession and was clicking on offense, firing out a multitude of shots.
Within the final ten minutes, the Red Bulls sneaked in two quick goals that St. Louis Gallagher would not be able to recover from. New York’s speed and control of the possession was just too much for St. Louis to overcome.
The New York Red Bulls U13 Boys team had an outstanding week and a plethora of players make the Top Players of the Day list from TopDrawerSoccer. The 2015 U13 Boys NPL Champions outscored opponents this week by a final count of 28-2.
Santa Clara Sporting Green (U14) 1-0 Real Colorado SC (U14)
Santa Clara’s Andy Barajas Gomez put Sporting up 1-0 in the 17th minute of the first half, but that would be the only sense of offense either team could gather as a two hour rain delay postponed the rest of the game to later in the day.
The storms eventually cleared over and the first half resumed, but would allow no more offense than it did before the rain delay, leaving Santa Clara a one-goal lead heading into halftime.
Both team’s remained in a funk on offense and had trouble even getting the ball near the opponents box. A Santa Clara foul in the box would’ve given Colorado a penalty kick and a chance to tie, but was declared to be called after the play and did not reward Colorado with a penalty kick.
That would be as close as Colorado would come to cutting into the Santa Clara lead, as the final minutes continued to be an offensive struggle.
Santa Clara Sporting is now the 2015 U14 Boys NPL National Champions. They outscored opponents this week by a total score of 8-1.