Photo: Courtesy of US Youth Soccer
Last week was a tough one for area teams. Philadelphia Union lost to Real Salt Lake and are now winless in their last three league games, four if you include their US Open Cup quarterfinal loss. Bethlehem fell at home to Toronto FC II, and Ocean City Nor’easters lost their semifinal game in the PDL national championship.
At the US Youth Soccer national championships in Frisco, four area teams were competing. The New Jersey Rush U-13 team was winless in group play, as was the Lower Merion SC Sabertooth Rats U-15 boys team. The Lehigh Valley United U-18 boys team advanced to the championship semifinals only to fall in the semifinals.
The Yardley Makefield Soccer Premier Xplosion U-17 girls team was making their fourth consecutive trip to the tournament in search of their first national title. In their first group game, Murphy Agnew, who attends Villa Joseph Marie High School in Holland, Pa. where she helped win the 2014 PIAA Class AA Girls Soccer State Championship, opened the scoring after two minutes of play before scoring again in the 84th minute of the 3-0 victory over Western Pennsylvania’s Beadling Bulldogs. YMS fell 2-0 to New England’s EGA team in their final group game but the 1-0 win over California’s Legends FC in the second was enough to see the team through to the semifinals, where they defeated North Carolina’s Burgundy Rapids, 1-0.
Things started roughly for YMS in Sunday’s final, where they were down 2-0 to California’s Beach SC at the end of the first half. A free kick goal from Maddie Elwell halved Beach SC’s lead in the 62nd minute but with time running out, YMS was still searching for an equalizer. They found it in the 85th minute thanks to a free kick goal from Agnew, and the game went to extra time.
YMS had their chances to take the lead but couldn’t finish. And then in the 114th minute, Agnew scored what proved to be the championship winner in the 3-2 victory. Along the way, she earned her third consecutive Golden Ball in the tournament, finishing as the U-17 girls goals leader with 4 goals.
“Murphy Agnew is a real game changer,” head coach John Greaves said of the Harvard commit after his team’s win. “When she goes and scores goals like that for you, you know you’ve got a chance. This feels so fantastic. It seems like years of hard work all coming together. It is just so emotional.”
And that’s why Murphy Agnew is PSP’s Player of the Week.
PSP Player of the Week Awards, 2016 Season
Murphy Agnew (8/2)
Nathan Regis (7/26)
Chris Pontius (3/15, 7/19)
Chevaughn Walsh (7/6)
Roland Alberg (6/21, 6/28)
Brian Carroll (4/26, 6/1)
Richie Marquez (5/24)
Keegan Rosenberry (5/17)
Sebastien Le Toux (4/19)
Tranquillo Barnetta (4/11)
C.J. Sapong (3/22)
Andre Blake (3/8)