Central Pennsylvania has its first U.S. Youth Soccer national champion thanks to a Penn FC Youth team that ran the table in Lakewood Ranch, Florida this week to win the U17 girls national championship.
Goals from Kristen Economopoulos and Alex Murphy gave Penn FC Lightning their second straight win over Utah Celtic in Sunday morning’s final.
The title was the 19th for a team from eastern Pennsylvania and was one of two champions from the area crowned on Sunday.
Real Jersey FC 2004 boys overcame a one-goal deficit with a stunning second half on goals from Julian Pittaoulis and Andrew Kitch and then iced the 3-1 win over Sparta United with a breakaway goal from Milton Jones. The win avenged Real’s only loss of the tournament and made it two straight for the 2019 U15 national champions, which is joining MLS Next for the 2021-2022 season.
The title is the fourth for a team from South Jersey: Real Jersey FC 2004 boys in 2019, SJEB 2002 girls in 2018 and Willingboro Strikers U16 girls team in 2000.
Philadelphia SC Coppa 2005 Rage girls also played in a final on Sunday, but fell 2-0 to Utah club La Roca FC. It was the second loss for Philadelphia SC to La Roca FC, which beat them 1-0 in their first group match.