St. George’s 7 Elite Academy beats Texas team to win national youth soccer championship

7 Elite Academy soccer players hoist Presidents Cup trophy after defeating the Brownsville, Texas, team 2-0 in championship game in Westfield, Indiana, July 15, 2018 | Photo courtesy of 7 Elite Academy, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The 7 Elite Academy 01 boys soccer team from St. George are national champions after defeating the Brownsville Galaxy of Texas 2-0 Sunday to win the U.S. Youth Soccer Presidents Cup in Westfield, Indiana.

7 Elite Academy soccer players and coaches pose in front of Civil War monument in Indianapolis, Indiana, July 2018 | Photo courtesy of 7 Elite Academy, St. George News

Ben Simister made both of 7 Elite’s goals in the tournament’s title game, scoring twice during a 10-minute span in the second half. Goalkeeper Bryce Hubbard picked up the shutout, stopping four shots on goal during the match.

The Utah squad avenged a 3-2 loss to Brownsville in the 17-and-under tournament’s first game Thursday.

“We came away from that first game knowing that we should have won,” 7 Elite head coach Stuart Dewey told St. George News. “We’re usually pretty stingy about giving up goals, so it was pretty uncharacteristic of the guys to let those three go in.”

Dewey added that the loss was the team’s first defeat in 18 games since league play started last November.

7 Elite Academy bounced back from Thursday’s opening loss to defeat Mainland United South Jersey Futbol Club of New Jersey 3-2 on Friday and the Chicago Rush of Illinois on Saturday, 6-2.

Each of the four teams vying for the Presidents Cup had won regional tournaments to qualify for nationals.

Read more: St. George youth soccer team dominates regional tournament, will play for national championship

7 Elite finished the three days of round-robin play with a 2-1-0 record, earning them the No. 1 seed for the title game. Second-seeded Brownsville’s win over 7 Elite Thursday was its only victory, as it battled the other two teams to 1-1 ties on Friday and Saturday.

7 Elite Academy soccer players line up on the pitch before a game in Westfield, Indiana, July 2018 | Photo courtesy of 7 Elite Academy, St. George News

When 7 Elite ended up facing the Brownsville Galaxy again in Sunday’s title game, Dewey said he and his players were confident they could win the rematch.

“We know we can score goals, so it was just a matter of fixing mistakes, and fixing some little things, and then just finishing off game,” Dewey said.

The New Jersey team beat Chicago 1-0 in the third-place consolation game Sunday.

Simister finished with a tournament high – five goals during the four-day event – while 7Elite teammates Sawyer Heaton and Oscar Quintero each scored two.

Wayne Scholes, CEO of 7 Elite Academy, said in a written statement emailed to news outlets by the team Sunday that he was “immensely proud” of the coaches, players and parents of the team.

“This national championship win is a testament to their hard work, loyalty, and strong mentality,” Scholes said. “It is a fully deserved win for them, and the 7 Elite Academy is immensely proud to have them set the standard for our other 7EA teams.”

Anthony Godfrey, academy director at 7 Elite Academy, added to the sentiment:

Today has been great day for these players, the academy and for the state of Utah. I don’t think these players truly realize what they’ve achieved and how this moment will leave with them for a lifetime.

“To come back after that first loss and pull it all together with everything,” coach Dewey said. “The heart and the camaraderie that they showed throughout the whole weekend … They just really pulled it together. I think everyone had a good attitude and stayed positive through the whole thing.”

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.


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