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June 29, 2017 — In U-19 final, defense beats offense and vice-versa

The night before the championship final of the 2017 U-19 National Futures Tournament, it was pretty much a given that the two Region 5 teams representing Pennsylvania — Albertville and Torino — would be meeting each other at high noon at Spooky Nook.

They didn’t disappoint. In one of the most competitive and gripping NFT finals in some 20 years, it was Torino who survived to win a 3-2 shootout victory after the sides tied 3-3 after regulation.

The winning margin came in the fourth round of a penalty shootout after the sides were level 2-2. In the fourth round, Albertville’s shot was tackled and cleared by Torino’s Katie Jean, the state-championship-winning goalkeeper for Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.). Torino was able to lift its final shot past Albertville’s prone goalkeeper for the winning shot.

The shootout was leveled at 2-2 only after a crafty piece of play on the part of Meredith Sholder, the second all-time leading scorer in Federation history. She managed to sneak her goal underneath Jean, with the ball rolling slowly over the goal line, barely beating the eight-second clock.

The teams had traded goals throughout regulation, and Albertville thought it might have the game won when Sholder convered a stroke 5 1/2 minutes from time. But Torino earned a stroke in the final two minutes, which it converted to tie it at 3.

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