South Jersey, May 24, 2018 -- South Jersey’s premier and most consistent youth soccer academy earned numerous medals at the annual New Jersey State Cup National Championship Series (NCS), with the older teams wrapping up their State Cup play last weekend.
Following Fall and Spring play, five SJEB Rush teams won first place State honors playing against very tough United States Youth Soccer (USYS) teams earning the chance to advance to USYS Regionals and compete for a National Championship.
The SJEB Rush 2002 boys team defeated FC COPA in a tight semi-final match by a score of 2-1 with both goals coming from Tanroop Sandhu. In the final match, SJEB Rush faced Ironbound and a dramatic goal by Mark Schuhl was all that was needed to bring home the championship in a 1-0 win.
The SJEB Rush 2002 boys team is coached by former Philadelphia Kixx player/coach Don D’Ambra and SJEB Rush Director Sandeep Mehtani.
Four girls’ teams brought home first place wins, making SJEB Rush the winningest girls club in the tournament.
The youngest SJEB Rush team to win the championship was the 2005 girls. It took bonus play and penalty kicks to decide the winner of the semi-final match against STA Morris, but the Rush girls netted more PKs advancing to the state finals.
In the final match, the girls faced a tough Watchung Hills Elite team, but with goals from Hayley Marsden and Jessica Castorina, the 2005 girls took first-place honors. The team did not give up any goals in their four-game state cup run.
The team is coached by the very experienced Dave Barbour who has been a leading South Jersey Coach for many years.
The SJEB RUSH 2004 girls team started out in a semi-final game against Holmdel and secured a 2-1 win with goals coming from Emily Eustace and Jayda Shehadi.
In a final match against a long-time rival, the team faced PDA Shore. The Championship match saw a goal from Emily Eustace and two from Jayda Shehadi, securing a 3-1 victory.
The 2004 girls team is coached by SJEB Technical Director Dan Christian.
The SJEB Rush 2002 girls team was in the State Cup with a big target on their backs, as they had won the title last year as well. Starting off in a semi-final against PDA Shore, the girls were able to advance by goals from Giovanna Castorina and Mackenzie Clement, winning the match 2-0.
In the State Final, the girls faced NJ Rush Grey. It took extra play to decide the winner of this hard-fought match, and SJEB Rush was able to get an overtime goal to win the match 2-1. Ang Schilling and Amanda Attanasi netted the goals for the win.
This team is also led by SJEB Rush Coach Dave Barbour.
The club’s oldest team to bring home the first-place trophy was the SJEB Rush under-17 girls team. For them, this was a repeat opportunity as well as they had won first place honors in 2017.
In the semi-final, SJEB Rush 01G defeated Watchung Hill 2-0 with goals from Lexi Schaffer and Rachel Hollywood.
The final had the girls playing PDA Shore, but with goals from Claire Mulholland and Rachel Hollywood, the girls won the championship 2-0.
The 2001 girls team is coached by Don D’Ambra and longtime youth coach, Matt Brooks.