Nicholas O’Donnell broke a 1-1 tie in overtime with a golden goal to send a team of boys born in 2000 from Eastern Pennsylvania to the Olympic Development Program national final.
After a scoreless first half, Kyle Garnett converted a penalty kick after an earlier PK was stopped to put Georgia up 1-0 five minutes into the second half. But Eastern Pennsylvania responded three minutes later with an equalizer from Darryl Longdon (Lehigh Valley United / East Stroudsburg).
O’Donnell (HMMS / Carlisle) found his winner two minutes into overtime (of an 80-minute match) to put the local team through to Sunday’s final, where they will play Oregon, which also came from behind to beat Iowa 3-1 in the other semifinal on Friday night. Fritz Kabeiseman, Adam Kindorf and Gian Gargurevich netted the goals for Oregon after Zach Eaton opened the scoring with a 30th minute strike for Iowa.
The final will be played at 10 a.m. local time at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Arizona. Iowa will play Georgia in the third place match.
A win in the final would be a first for a boys team from Eastern Pennsylvania since 2005 when a team of boys born in 1987 won it all in Plano, Texas. A girls team won the championship in 2007 and Eastern Pennsylvania has won three girls championships and three boys championships since the competition began in 2000.