From July 25th-28th, the 93 JSC Jammers Gold traveled to Virginia Beach (Va.) to compete in the 2009 US Club National Cup Finals. After four games against teams from Florida, New Jersey, and New York, the Jammers were able to earn runner-up honors - losing in Tuesday morning’s National Final by a 2-0 score.
The championship match saw the Jammers matched up with the Jacksonville (Fla.) Fury for the second time in three days. In the opener the teams had battled in a hotly contested match with the Fury coming away with a one goal victory. This time around the teams seemed prepared for what the other would attempt to do as the teams battled between the penalty areas for much of the first half. The Fury would break through the JSC defense around the 21 minute mark for a chance that was slotted home to make it 1-0 to Jacksonville. Despite maintaining possession throughout much of the opening period, the Jammers would go into the break trailing by one. Shortly after halftime the Fury would double their lead on a broken play in front of the JSC goal. After keeper Brad Davis made a save, the Fury pounced on the rebound to, essentially, put the match away. Over the remainder of the game the Jammers would press the attack, but the Fury would ultimately maintain the clean sheet and secure the title.
In order to earn a berth in the final, the Jammers had to finish in the top two spots of group play. In the first match JSC faced West Babylon (N.Y.) and quickly fell behind 1-0 when Babylon’s forward was able to break away from his mark in the box to head home a free kick inside of 15 minutes. Minutes later the Jammers would dodge another bullet as Babylon hit the cross bar from distance, to keep the score 1-0 at the half. JSC would establish control of the match shortly after the half, when Matt Bruck earned the equalizer 20 minutes into the second half. JSC appeared to take the lead minutes later when Edgar Rodriguez found the back of the net, but the goal was disallowed due to an offsides decision. The Jammers led by Rodriguez’s steady play would, however, keep the pressure up and eventually earn the game winner when the midfielder’s header found the back of the net eight minutes from full time.
The second group match would be a preview of the final match as the Jammers met the Fury. The Fury would establish control of the match quickly by taking a 1-0 lead just two minutes into the match. The goal would stand up throughout the remaining 38 minutes to leave the teams separated by a goal at halftime. JSC would equalize at the 55 minute mark when Jose Valencia struck to make it 1-1. The teams would continue to battle in the middle of the field before the Fury pressure would result in pressure situation in front of the Jammers’ goal that resulted in a penalty being awarded. Despite a diving effort from goalkeeper Davis, the Fury would go up 2-1 at the 72 minute mark. Despite a late flurry of pressure, the Jacksonville defense would hold up for a 2-1 victory and secure passage into the championship round. Meanwhile the Jammers would need at least a draw out of Monday’s game to secure a rematch.
In order to earn that point, the Jammers would need to stay, at least, even with Premier FC (N.J.). Instead, the Jammers came out motivated and were up 2-0 inside of 15 minutes thanks to goals from Noah DeAngelo and Jose Valencia. JSC nearly added another strike when Matt Crooker’s free kick sailed just over the back post. Still, JSC held a 2-0 advantage at halftime. Premier would come back and slice the lead in half at the 60 minute mark on a rebound chance, but JSC would secure the victory and passage to the championship match just eight minutes later when Crooker found the net on another free kick opportunity from 35 yards away to leave the score at 3-1.
By virtue of their 2-1 performance in group play, the Jammers earned their rematch with the Fury with a total of six points. The Fury finished round robin play with a perfect 3-0-0 record.
In order to qualify for the 2009 US Club National Cup, the Jammers earned top honors in the Winston Salem (N.C.) Regional Premier Division competition in early July. With over 1300 teams starting off the competition for the championship the team is to be congratulated on its accomplishments.
Slideshow of photos from the games.
The team, which has now completed it’s U15 season, will move on to their U16 campaign -- competing in the NCYSA’s Premier League after taking top honors in the NCYSA First Division with a 6-1-2 record.