While most other college students were trying to make a few bucks this summer, sophomores Andrew George and Sean Shannon of the men’s soccer team were playing with and against some of the best collegiate soccer players in the country. As members of FC Delco Arsenal of Dowington, Penn, the two helped the team capture its second straight United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) National Title.
Starting at the state level in early June, the team faced just three other teams, and had no trouble advancing to the regionals.
“It always seems that the toughest teams are in the same bracket early on. Our toughest game [in the regionals] was actually against the [Baltimore Bays] and that ended up 1-1,” said George.
DELCO and the Bays both posted 2-0-1 records with identical scores, meaning that the teams had to face each other in a penalty shootout to move on to the regional semifinals. Shannon was the fourth shooter for the team, and connected on his shot. His teammate followed suit, hitting the last shot to advance DELCO to the semifinals.
Playing against Rockville Center ProExcel from Eastern New York, George and Shannon were matched up against a familiar face, fellow Cornell teammate Bryan Jonas. But it didn’t slow down DELCO.
DELCO defeated Rockville 2-0, and advanced to Nationals with a 6-1 win over the Brooklyn Italians.
“Nationals was unbelievable. There’s only four teams, and they’re all the top teams in the country,” remarked George. “It was a great way to end it, playing against these great teams.”
George and Shannon once again faced one of their Cornell teammates, in junior Steve Reuter, a member of Sockers FC. After losing a close game to Sockers FC, the team bounced back against Oklahoma, but had some troubles with Colorado.
Down 2-1 in their last round-robin game with five minutes left, DELCO needed a tie or win to move on.
“There was just tons of home support from our home area at the game, it was pretty cool,” said Shannon. “There was a younger girls team from our club and a lot of other teams came down to watch us. The place erupted when [we scored the tying goal.]”
With the tie in hand, the team moved on to the finals, where it faced Sockers FC once again. Reuter, however, was not in the lineup because he was playing with his PDL team. Although it dominated the first half, DELCO was down 1-0 until late in the second, when it netted two goals in the span of five minutes to clinch the championship.
“It’s completely different from last year. Last year, we walked through it, we won the national final 5-1. This year was just so much more intense,” commented George.
“This one meant a lot more. No team on our club has ever repeated before, so we really wanted to do it,” said Shannon.
After competing all summer, both players come into the season in great shape and are ready to help the Red climb to the top of the Ivy League.
“We’re really fit going into the season,” says Shannon. “We’re really sharp because we’ve been playing all summer, so it helps us out going into the preseason.”
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach