July 16th Waltham, MA, 2018; Goals from Matt Thompson and Aidan Farwell and a strong performance from goalkeeper Alfonso De Vito saw the GPS MA 02 Elite Red Boys defeat Penn Fusion 2-1 to capture the inaugural ENPL Championship this weekend.
The ENPL a collaboration between US Club Soccer and the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL), which has effectively elevated the youth boys soccer landscape and provided top competition, development and identification opportunities to 16 qualifying NPLs and Boys ECNL Conferences throughout the country.
Highlight video of GPS MA Elite
GPS qualified for the National Finals after securing one of the two berths at the Eastern Playoffs held in Massachusetts earlier this month. The final four was completed with two qualifiers from the Western region. A dramatic semi-final on Friday saw GPS overcome California powerhouse San Diego Surf by a 3-1 margin courtesy of goals from Farwell (2) and Aaron Vaz and set-up the clash with fellow Eastern qualifier, Penn Fusion.
A strong start saw GPS take the lead through a terrific strike from full back Thompson. Gathering the ball just past the halfway mark he drove into space past two defenders and shifted the ball back onto his favored right, sending a rocket into top corner from outside the box.
The game ebbed and flowed and Fusion responded shortly after the interval with a well-worked move finalizing with a deflected shot that looped over De Vito. With 13 minutes to go, attacker Vaz, cut into the box and was tripped up. Farwell stepped up and dispatched the penalty past the keeper, in what turned out to be the game-winner.
Full Game Replay
“I am delighted for the boys who have put in so much hard work over the past year and to culminate in lifting the inaugural ENPL title, feels incredible,” said Coach Andy Prosser. “The competition and facilities were terrific and this is a great showcase for the strength of the NEP NPL league that continues to push our teams and players to the highest standards,” said Prosser.
The 02s will be back in Colorado for the US Club National Cup following their MA State Cup triumph. They will be looking to retain their National title and add this to the ENPL Championship which would give them three titles in two years.
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