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The Girls Academy Jun 25, 2024

Girls Academy crowns Tophat (U13) and SC del Sol (U19) as National Champions

By Sean Maslin
SoccerWire Staff Writer

The Girls Academy’s U13 and U19 age groups wrapped up their 2023-24 seasons on Monday with Tophat 11 Gold and SC del Sol 05/06 claiming top honors at the SilverLakes Sports Complex in Norco, California.

The U-13 and U-19 age groups both started play on June 19th with Group Stage action. The top sixteen U-13 and U-19 Girls Academy teams from across the United States were split into four groups of four. The top side from each group moved on to the semifinal rounds, which were both held on June 23.

(Players that Impressed: Girls Academy 2024 National Playoffs and Summer Showcase)

Here is a breakdown of each age group.

U13

Tophat Gold earned top honors in the National Championship game in a highly competitive final, edging Lou Fusz Athletic 3-2. Gold’s defense had more than proven itself throughout the season, booking fifteen clean sheets while posting a .17 Goals Against Average in Southeast Conference play. Their strong run of form continued in California in Group A, blanking Beadling SC 7-0 and South Shore Select 1-0 while holding off Nationals Blue 3-1 on Saturday. In the semifinals, they notched their third shutout of the playoffs, defeating City SC 1-0. Their three goals allowed was the lowest among all U13 teams in the playoffs.

Lou Fusz Athletic 11 had an equally strong run of form en route to the Championship match, using their high-press attack to devastate defenses. The Frontier Conference team that went 16-1-1 this season continued to force defenses on their heels as they have done all season (5.67 goals scored per game). In group play, they scored 14 goals besting Cincinnati United (4-2), Utah Celtic (6-1), and Almaden FC (4-0). In the semifinals, they scored three goals to defeat NEFC and lock their spot in the finals.

While NEFC 11 came up short against LFA, they come back on Monday to earn third place defeating City SC 2-1. The Northeast Conference champions showcased their balance of stifling defense and quick, precise attacking runs in group play, scoring 15 goals while allowing just three. They scored five goals in each of their first two matches against South Carolina Surf (5-1) and SDSC Surf (5-1) before shutting out HTX (5-0).

Rounding out the top four were City SC 11, who won Group D after tying Galaxy SC on matchday three 2-2. They started their playoff run in fine fashion, posting back-to-back shutouts against Columbia Premier Soccer Club (2-0) and Indy Premier SC (1-0).

U19

SC del Sol 05/06 finished off their undefeated season on Monday the best way possible, by earning the Girls Academy National Championship. The Southwest Conference champions completed their incredible run through the 2023-2024 season by defeating Lou Fusz Athletic 2-0. In Group B, they won all three of their matches by a combined score of 13-3, defeating Lamorinda SC (7-1), St. Louis Development Academy (3-0), and Michigan Jaguars (3-2). In the semifinals they ran into a difficult challenge in the form of IMG Academy. But their defense maintained their composure and held on for the 3-2 victory to book their spot in the finals.

Although Lou Fusz Athletic 05/06 finished just short in the finals, the players and coaches will undoubtedly be proud of the hard work and determination that it took to get there. In Group A, LFA held off West Coast FC (4-2), Colorado Rush (3-1), and Tophat Gold (2-2) to finish in first place (2-0-1, 7 points). In the semifinals, they had an equally difficult task in solving a high-scoring NEFC attack (4.07 Goals per game in Northeast Conference play). But their defense held firm as they had all season (.67 Goals Against Average), pulling off the close 2-1 victory in their semifinal match.

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