NOVI, Mich. - After three days of hard fought contests the Novi 2002, 2003, and 2005 Boys Green teams fell just short of advancing out of their groups.
"We are extremely proud of our players and coaches for a great year," said Paul Tinnion, Michigan Jaguars FC Executive Director. "Despite the additional challenges of the pandemic, these kids still grew together and played really good soccer. None of our teams advanced, but our players had great opportunities to showcase their abilities in front of college scouts from around the country."
The Novi 2002 Boys Green team needed to win Regionals to qualify for Nationals for the third time in as many years. The squad won Regionals and advanced to the National Semifinals in Kansas City in 2019. The boys were on track for a deep run at Nationals in 2020, only to have the season cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2002s entered the third day of play tied on three points with the rest of the group. A win against Indiana Fire Juniors and a positive result in the other match would have sent them through to the semifinals. Despite falling behind two goals to start the game, the 2002s scored twice in the second half to pull level with less than fifteen minutes to play.
After a rain delay with three minutes left in regulation saw the teams sit for almost two hours, Indiana Fire converted a penalty kick in the final moments to send the 2002s home with a 3-2 defeat in the boys' final game in the green and white.
The Novi 2005 Boys Green team kicked off the weekend with a 2-1 victory in its first contest, but a defeat to Pennine United and a tie against Kings Hammer Academy left the squad in third place on points.
The Novi 2003 Boys Green team jumped out to a 3-2 lead in its first contest against Indiana Fire Juniors on Friday before a rain delay sent the teams off with 30 minutes left in the second half. Fire Juniors scored two late goals to steal the game after the teams returned to the field.
The 2003 Boys finished the year as MSYSA State Cup Champions. For many of the team's players, this weekend marked their last games in Jaguars uniforms as they graduate and head off to play college soccer.