TAMPA, Fla. – The Austin Aztex will host the 2013 PDL Championships after a thrilling weekend of action saw four teams advance from the PDL Conference Championships to keep their hopes of a title alive. The Aztex will welcome the Ocean City Nor’easters, Thunder Bay Chill and Victoria Highlanders to House Park for the conclusion to the 2013 PDL season.
Austin claimed victory in the Southern Conference, with more than 5,000 fans on hand at House Park over two days of competition. The Aztex defeated Mid South Division rival the Laredo Heat to earn their berth in the semifinals as Khiry Shelton had a goal and assist to lead his side to victory.
The Aztex will face the Eastern Conference Champion Ocean City Nor’easters in the semifinals after Ocean City defeated the Carolina Dynamo in a penalty shootout in Saturday’s conference semifinals before recording a 3-1 victory against the Ottawa Fury in Sunday night’s final. Coming off back-to-back Mid Atlantic Division titles, this is the Nor’easters first trip to the PDL Championships since joining the league in 2003.
The Victoria Highlanders will also be making their first appearance at the championships after taking a pair of well-fought victories against the Ventura County Fusion and Portland Timbers U-23s to advance as the Western Conference Champion. The Highlanders got three goals in two games from Brett Levis, both of which proved to be game-winners, as they edged out Northwest Division rival Portland 1-0 in Sunday’s final.
The Thunder Bay Chill will face the Highlanders in an all-Canadian semifinal after they booked their return to the championships with a 3-0 victory against defending champion FC London on Sunday evening in the Central Conference Final. The 2008 champion is making its second appearance in the past three seasons after reaching the semifinals in 2011, and its fourth appearance overall at the championships.