On the way to the ECNL Boys National Playoffs, Utah Avalanche was a perfect 9-0-0. Since the U13 had a single knockout match in a knockout round, they had to stay perfect to win a championship.
Three wins in the postseason later, Utah was certain of the national final, while San Diego SC stood in the way of a title.
All they needed was one more win. And San Diego SC was prepared to play spoilers.
From kick-off, the Utah Avalanche brought it to San Diego. Utah held possession and ran one run after another, littering the San Diego defense, but San Diego remained strong. In the first 20 minutes the field was decidedly turned in Utah’s favor. But when San Diego got out of the water break, he started stringing possessions together.
After several scoring chances for San Diego, a counterattack from Utah Paydirt found. The Avalanche brought the ball up the left wing and was able to pull the goalkeeper out of the net. Utah took the opportunity to score and sent a cross into the box, which resulted in an easy tap-in for Alexander Vasquez Take the lead 1-0.
That result lasted until the beginning of the second half when the Avalanche doubled their lead. After San Diego pushed up to equalize, Utah built a goal attack from behind and methodically moved the ball up the field and into the attacking third. From outside the 18 yard box, Jace Thomsen ripped a shot into the top right corner, past the diving goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
Utah made it a 3-0 game by a missile as the game ended. And at the final whistle, Utah achieved another victory.
“We were a little tired from our first few games and the kids were ready to have a full day of rest,” said Head Coach Nate Murphy. “They fired from all cylinders. We had a game plan and they put it into practice very well. I loved the 16 team format. Every team was strong and you knew you had to bring your A game with you. San Diego, they were a great team, but I think we played our best game of the tournament today and it won us a trophy. “
From start to finish, Utah never suffered defeat. They finished first in their division, winning every game played, culminating in the first national championship in Utah Avalanche history.
“Nobody in our club had ever won a championship before,” said Murphy. “It’s been a pretty cool year with these kids. They are a really unique group of boys. They are all super talented, but also very coachable and eager to learn. An unbeaten season, our club’s first championship, both set the bar high for the rest of our club. It sets the precedent that they can accomplish these things. So that they continue to grow and know that if they continue to work hard and do their best, they can achieve what they want in life. “
Really a perfect ending.