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The Girls Academy Jul 10, 2023

Girls Academy crowns U14-U17 national champions as 2022-23 season concludes

By Sean Maslin
SoccerWire Staff Writer

The Girls Academy wrapped up their 2022-2023 season this past weekend with the GA National Finals for the U14-U17 age groups at the Lou Fusz Soccer Complex in St. Louis, Missouri.

South Shore Select 09 (U14), Tophat Gold 08 (U15), Lou Fusz Athletic 07 (U16) and TSJ FC Virginia 06 (U17) emerged as GA National Champions on Sunday, coming out on top after an intense weekend of competition which started with the quarterfinals.

Tophat 10 Gold and Sockers FC 04/05 previously captured national titles in the U13 and U19 age groups during the league’s Summer Showcase in June.

Following the conclusion of the GA Finals, the postseason award winners were unveiled for the U14-U17 divisions.

(Players That Impressed: 2023 Girls Academy Finals)

MVP awards were bestowed on the following players: Allie Flanagan (TSJ FC Virginia U17), Addison Baldus (Lou Fusz Athletic U16), Sydney Snow (Tophat U15) and Celia Frisoli (South Shore Select U14).

The Golden Boot winners, each division’s leading goal-scorer from the postseason are: Isabella Meadows (NEFC U17), Tatum Borman (CUP Gold U16), Lily Jeakle (Nationals SC U15) and Delia Loughnane (South Shore Select U14).

The Golden Glove winners, the top goalkeeper from each age group are: Avery Strohecker (TSJ FC Virginia U17), Emily Sanabria (Lou Fusz Athletic U16), Alexi-mae Goodman (Tophat U15) and Kaitlyn Asplund (South Shore Select U14).

See below for a rundown of how the GA Finals played out over the weekend.

U14 Champion: South Shore Select 09

South Shore Select 09 overcame the odds in Sunday’s Final against Tophat 09 GA Gold 2-1 in penalties to earn top honors in the U14 age group. The Massachusetts-based side showed their poise under pressure throughout the National Finals, besting South Carolina Surf 1-0 in the quarterfinals and Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 2-1 in the semifinals.

Although Tophat will certainly wish that the final went in their favor, they more than represented themselves positively throughout the tournament. In the quarterfinals, they held off a strong Beadling SC side 3-1 and followed it up with an equally impressive performance, defeating Cincinnati United 2-1.

Ukrainian Nationals and Cincinnati both had strong performances in their Sunday finale, with Philadelphia coming out on top 1-0 in a tight match. They opened up play in the quarterfinals with a 3-1 win over Colorado Rush Academy while Cincinnati defeated Lonestar SC 2-1.

U15 Champion: Tophat Gold 08

Tophat Gold 08 claimed top honors over Nationals SC 08 Blue 1-0 in Sunday’s Final. Featuring a nice balance of explosive attacking play (they outscored opponents 6-1) and lockdown defensive work (two clean sheets throughout the Finals), Tophat matched the strengths of Utah Celtic (1-0 win) and Indy Premier SC (4-1 win) en route to the final.

Nationals also had a strong run to the finals, defeating Central Illinois United 5-0 in the quarterfinals and Lou Fusz Atheltic 1-0 in the semifinals. Their two clean sheets matched Tophat for most in the U15 age group in the Finals.

Although they had a tough result  against Tophat in the semifinals, Indy Premier turned things around in their final match, defeating Lou Fusz 2-1. They defeated FRAM SC 4-0 in the quarterfinals while Lou Fusz knocked out Central Illinois United 5-0 in their first match.

U16 Champion: Lou Fusz Athletic 07

Lou Fusz Athletic 07 edged Cincinnati United 2-1 to earn the U16 National Championship. Getting their fingertips on the trophy didn’t come easy for the home side, who had work past a difficult SC Wave team 3-2 in the semifinals. In the quarterfinals, they defeated Central Illinois United 2007 4-0.

Cincinnati had an equally strong run to Sunday’s final, holding off TSJ FC Virginia 1-0 in the semifinals and Houston Dash 4-0 in their opener. CUP allowed just one goal in regulation (their loss in the finals came in penalties) tied with TSJ FC Virginia for the lowest among all U16 sides during the tournament.

After just missing out on the finals, TSJ FC Virginia came back with a strong result over Wave, winning 2-0. In the quarterfinals, they eliminated Lonestar SC 3-0 while Wave bested a
strong attacking side in SC Del Sol 2-1.

U17 Champion: TSJ FC Virginia 06

TSJ FC Virginia 06 capped off their impressive 2022-2023 campaign with a 3-2 victory over NEFC 06. The side from the Mid-Atlantic Conference, which came into this year’s tournament as the number one overall team in their age group and with an undefeated record, held their own against Lou Fusz in the quarterfinals (5-0) and Nationals SC 06 Blue (2-1).

NEFC also put in some strong results in Missouri, defeating Colorado Rush 3-2 and Lonestar SC 5-0. Their ten goals scored was tied with TSJ and Nationals for most in their age group in the Finals.

As for Nationals Blue they ended their run in Missouri with a 5-0 win over Lonestar. Although they fell just short against TSJ FC Virginia their win on Sunday and 4-0 win over STA Soccer in the quarterfinals as well as their undefeated record in Mid-America play this season should give them extra motivation for their 2023-2024 season.

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