SAN DIEGO SURF UNDER 19 BOYS WIN ECNL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
The San Diego Surf Under 19 Boys had an incredible run in the ECNL League National Playoffs, culminating with the 13th National Championship for the Surf Soccer program.
ECNL BOYS NATIONAL PLAYOFFS DAY SEVEN RECAP: SAN DIEGO SURF RISE TO THE TOP
In the U18/19 Champions League, San Diego Surf and Kansas City Scott Gallagher were the final two teams standing to compete for the ECNL Boys U18/19 National Championship in Greensboro.
It didn’t take long for Surf to strike first in the championship game. Just a minute into the game, Surf attacked down the right side and passed a beautiful ball into the box to Xavi Gnaulati who buried it in the upper corner to give Surf the quick 1-0 lead.
Both sides exchanged some chances throughout the remainder of the first half, but the two sides went into the halftime break with the score remaining 1-0 in favor of San Diego Surf.
Coming out of halftime KCSG saw one of their best opportunities of the match just narrowly missed as an attempt on goal that could have tied the game just narrowly hit off the post to keep the score at 1-0.
In the 72nd minute, Surf doubled their advantage. After getting past the keeper, Jackson D’Alessandro squared a pass in front of goal to Nicolas Quanbeck who fired it into the net for the 2-0 lead.
Minutes later, Surf added another when Finnegan Linas attacked down the right side and chipped one over the KCSG keeper to make it 3-0. With KCSG attacking and looking for a goal, Surf answered on the counter attack and Ethan Walker added in one more to seal off the championship for the Surf.
KCSG battled until the end though and saw their effort rewarded with a goal by Baha Ibrahim, but in the end it was too much San Diego Surf and when the final whistle blew they stormed onto the field as the National Champions.
“They worked hard all the way through the game and gave us problems,” San Diego Surf Head Coach Danny Tonks said following the game. “We had to sit in a few times and defend. They came at us with good numbers, but we held strong and managed to get the ball and go forward to create chances.”
Tonks emphasized how proud he was of his players and how with the demands a club like San Diego Surf puts on its players, they deserve to have this moment to celebrate being national champions.
“These guys have had a great road and they deserve this now. They deserve to have fun and enjoy being a national champion,” Tonks said. “Every player has a journey. They’ve had so many highs and lows. Being at Surf, they have a really tough journey because of the demands we put on them, but it sets them up for college, pro, or wherever they’re going to go now, and I’m just super proud. They deserve it.”