The Red Bulls U-18 Academy side claimed its second-straight USDA National Championship Saturday evening after defeating Shattuck-St Mary’s 2-1 in double overtime at Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium.
Despite controlling a majority of possession and tempo through the first half, the Red Bulls had to make every effort to fight back after falling 1-0. The resilient Red Bulls, who posted a regular season record of 19-1-5, continued to put in a strong defensive effort, all while creating chances and waiting for the right opportunity to strike. That moment came when forward Ethan Decker ripped a shot from 23 yards out that found the back of the net and drew the sides level.
Scoring opportunities on both sides were thwarted out in the second half, as the 1-1 score line remained on the scoreboard after the first 90 minutes ticked down. With heat and fatigue playing an obvious factor, it was time for both teams to dig deep in an effort to get the result.
In extra time, midfielder Arun Basuljevic finished off a 20-yard run with a low, left-footed shot that was kept out by the goalkeeper, but the rebound bounced free to the charging foot of Bench Estama, who was able to bury the eventual game-winner.
Join us in congratulating the U-18s on claiming a second consecutive championship!