The South Jersey Futbol Club (SJFC) U-17 boys soccer team placed third at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup in Westfield, Ind., last weekend.
The SJFC team is made up of players from Ocean City, Mainland Regional, Egg Harbor Township, ACIT, Cedar Creek and Southern Regional high schools.
SJFC opened the tournament with a 2-0 win over the Chicago Rush. Ryan Pellegrino and Julian Cruz each scored goals and Matt Brook and P.J. Brittain each added assists.
In the team’s second game, SJFC rallied from a two-goal halftime deficit to tie, only to see Utah Elite Academy score in the 89th minute to send SJFC to a 3-2 defeat. Cruz and Hunter Paone scored in the loss.
In the final game of pool play, Danny Alejo scored in the 75th minute to pull SJFC level at 1-1 with Brownsville, Tex. SJFC pushed for a winner late but was forced to settle for the draw.
In the consolation game, Trevor Paone’s header off a Cruz corner kick in the 87th minute accounted for the only goal in a 1-0 SJFC victory, giving the team third place.
SJFC had qualified for the national tournament by winning the East Region championship in June. The team participated in the national tournament for the second straight year.