Prior to arriving at the EPYSA Indoor Cup Tournament we knew we had a tough road ahead with a partial team roster while knowing many of our opponents were league champions in other top leagues in Eastern Pennsylvania and surrounding areas.
Our first opponent, Buckingham United, whom won EPYSA Indoor Cup the previous year and ICSL West Div 1, was a tough game were we felt we outplayed our opponent throughout the game but gave up a last minute goal to end tied with a disappointing 3-3 result. The second game, and knowing we had to win, was against a very good team from Lehigh Valley Div 1, Electric City Shockers, and was easily our worst performance of the day. We were down 2-1 with 4 minutes to go and somehow managed to dig deep and score two goals to squeeze out a narrow 3-2 win. After a poor performance and narrowly winning Game 2, we had hopes of turning the page in Game 3 in which we dominated our opponent, Parkwood who finished 2nd in Div 1 ICSL, with a solid 2-0 win.
Finishing first in our bracket was a huge success and we entered the Semis versus a very physical Philadelphia Soccer Club, whom also finished first in there bracket. Although we controlled most of the game we found ourselves down 1-0 on a tough bounce. We decided to change our formation mid-game to better suit what our opponent was doing and to increase our scoring opportunities. With our boys getting a second wind after a long day, we ended up tied 1-1 at the end of regulation. As went into a Golden Goal Overtime and with one less player on the field and another new field formation, we knew we would have a lot of open field to take advantage of with our speed and spacing. About 2-3 minutes into overtime we were able to spread the field, draw their defender away with our speedy forwards and allow one of our midfielders to score the game winner. Coming off a high in the semis we then had a quick 20 minute break to get a brief rest and then focus on the finals against Fishtown.
Fishtown, whom was 1st in there group bracket with several games which they won by 4+ goals, was a very skilled and physical team that would most likely be our toughest opponent yet. After controlling most the game and playing extremely strong defensively, we limited their chances with our solid play. We again found ourselves tied 1-1 in a back and forth game. After creating several chances we were finally able to get a goal with about 6 minutes remaining to hold on to win 2-1 in a well-played game by both teams. 5 games with 2 subs was definitely a test of the boys endurance and will to win and it paid off in the end.
What a day for the boys and what an emotionally changed rollercoaster for the parents and coaches. Congrats to the 2017 EPYSA Indoor Cup Champions !!!