U15 PDA 1997 (N.J.) 1, Chicago Magic PSG (Illi.) 1 (PDA wins penalty kicks 5-3)
The game and a world’s weight of pressure were all on the shoulders of PDA’s Cameron Harr when he stepped up to the line in penalty kicks during Monday’s championship game.
He said he didn’t feel nervous though. And calmly, he bulleted his first netter of the tournament, and his team’s fifth goal in penalty kicks, to give PDA the 5-3 in penalty kicks over the Chicago Magic PSG after 1-1 draw in regulation and overtime.
“You can’t be nervous when you’re in that spot or you aren’t going to do what you need to do,” Harr said. “I went out and the coach just told me to rip it … So I did.”
Harr’s goal was the only sign of certainty in a game that constantly went back-and-fourth for the nearly two hours. Take a goal, a penalty -- when one team seemingly had all the momentum the other stole it right back.
“It was a great game and it’s tough to say who was better. We both were neck and neck,” UCLA commit David Villegas, who was the only player to score in regulation on PDA throughout the tournament, said. “Neither side would lie down.”
First it was PDA. It opened the scoring when Chaz Burnett finished a James Murphy touch in front of the net to make it 1-0 after 20 minutes. Then it was the Magic. After a trip in the box, Villegas top shelved a penalty kick 10 minutes later to level the score into halftime.
“We knew we couldn’t make a silly mistake or they would beat us,” Harr said. “We knew we had to do it as a team.”
And they did. After a scoreless second half, as well as overtime, PDA keeper Scott Forbes got the only save in the shootout when he made a leaping save on Jesus Perez and Harr ended it seven players later.
PDA outscored its opponents 18-1 through the five days at the NPL Champions Cup.