TSF Academy State Cup Roundup

May, 12th 2017

Pride.

Win or lose, that was the emotion felt by each TSF Academy coach as they prowled the sideline in State Cup action this past weekend. Five teams made it to the semifinals on Saturday, with four advancing to the final at their respective age group, and three bringing home the trophy as champions.

Coach Dave saw his 98/99 Boys suffer defeat on Saturday as they took on the number one team in the country, NJCSA Marlboro Warriors. “We had played 4 very difficult games to make it this far and we were the underdogs going into this game but we were happy with that.”

A tense affair saw both teams squander chances before being forced to settle the tie on penalties. With the first five being scored, the teams then entered sudden death before TSF saw their fate sealed with a miss.

“The boys played excellent and I am very proud of them. To reach a semifinal and to lose on sudden death penalties is always a hard pill to swallow but we can take a lot from this game and we are now fully focused our EDP Open Cup Quarterfinal vs SJEB.”

Saturday also saw Coach James in semifinal action with his 2007 and 2005 girls. The 07’s were the first TSF team to book their place in the final after a 3-1 victory over an impressive Torpedoes team. The girls showed great character, coming back from an early goal to level the score at halftime. Any nerves had clearly worn off by this point as the second half started with a clinical passage of play and an expert finish to give the girls a hard-fought lead.

Sunday saw the girls take on PDA, coming up just short in extra time. After finding themselves behind early, it was a late equalizer that saw the game extended. While pushing for a winner, the girls conceded and were unable to recover in time to save the tie.

An optimistic Coach James said, “I am extremely proud of how well the team has done and what they have achieved in such a short space of time. The players should feel happy their accomplishments and really have given everything in the final. I have no doubt that the team will bounce back from this strongly.”

He didn’t have long to dwell on the result however, as he headed over to see his 05 girls become the first girls team crowned as State Cup Champions. The girls squared off against PDA after advancing through the semifinal with a 3-2 victory over NJ Elite.

Coach James and Coach Pat with the victorious 2005 Girls

A cool finish following an expertly delivered free kick saw TSF take a well-deserved lead, before doubling their advantage with a penalty kick in the second half. A late goal for PDA proved nothing more than a consolation as TSF held on for victory.
After the team’s celebrations, Coach James commented, “I am immensely proud of what this group of players have achieved, they work so hard in practice and the team spirit that they have is second to none. They fully deserve everything they have accomplished.”

TSF Academy 2005 Girls - New Jersey Cup Champions 2017

Following the girls’ games, Coach Luis and his 2003 boys took to the field to face Mercer FC. The 03 boys came from behind on Saturday to defeat a tough FC Copa team 3-2, finishing with ten men.

“The team showed great composure despite going a goal down. They played with a level of maturity and belief that will see them go far.”

The final proved to be equally challenging, however it was that belief that saw the boys through as 1-0 victors.

TSF Academy 2003 Boys Blue - New Jersey Cup Champions 2017

“The way the boys have responded to everything this year has been fantastic, and this is a great reward for the work that they’ve put in. It’s a great moment as a coach to win these championships, however I would have been proud of this group of players regardless. Their effort and desire is faultless.”

Finally, Coach Derek ‘proved’ the value of experience as his 2000 boys took down the number one team in the state to earn their place in the final. “They were a very fast, aggressive, direct team, and liked to hit the forwards early. We had to deal with long ball and once we settled down and tried to play we caused a lot of problems on the counter attack.”

TSF Academy 2000 Boys celebrate a goal in State Cup action

A goal just before halftime saw TSF take the lead, and after a dogged second half performance, hold out to advance to the final. Sunday saw the boys face local rivals, STA, and run out 3-2 winners.

“We went a goal behind in the second half but responded very well and got in front. It was a frantic last fifteen minutes, but the boys showed a great attitude to control the game.”

TSF Academy 2000 Boys - New Jersey Cup Champions 2017

“There were some great performances this weekend and I am tremendously proud of this team.”

Coach Luis concluded, “This success is a testament to the efforts of the players, parents and staff at this club. We will continue to strive to offer those that wear the patch, the best possible environment to learn and succeed.”

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