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Two former Union Academy players win national championships

Spencer Reinford won an NAIA title with Rio Grande and Thomas Bull an NCAA Division III title with Amherst last weekend.

Amherst Athletics

Amherst senior goalkeeper Thomas Bull and Rio Grande reserve forward Spencer Reinford won national championships last weekend.

Bull, who spent time with the Philadelphia Union Academy before it was a full-time club, helped Amherst win the program's first ever national championship with a 2-1 win over Loras after advancing to the final on penalty kicks against SUNY Oneonta.

Bull set the DIII record for shutouts in that match with his 50th career clean sheet and also converted one of the penalty kicks. In the title game, Bull and the Lord Jeffs' defense conceded their first goal of the tournament in the eighth minute but responded with two unanswered goals. Bull made four saves in the match, including a critical one with his leg early in the second half.

The Lord Jeffs also had three players from the Philadelphia area on their title-winning team. Senior midfielder Milton Rico, an alumnus of The Episcopal Academy, scored the clinching penalty kick on Friday. He came off the bench and played 20 minutes in Sunday's final.

Junior defender Justin Aoyama, of Narberth, who is the older brother of current U14 midfielder Jason Aoyama, started and played the full 90 minutes in the final. Radnor native Christopher Martin started, played 82 minutes and had two shots on goal in the match.

Former Academy forward Spencer Reinford was crowned a national champion in the NAIA title game on Saturday in Florida.

A free kick from 40 yards out by Jeremy de Hoog in overtime sealed the second national championship for Rio Grande. As he has for much of the season, Reinford came off the bench in the 1-0 win over MidAmerica Nazarene.

He finished the season with 5 goals and 3 assists in 24 games for the 25-1 Red Storm.