HARRISONBURG, Va. – Four James Madison men’s soccer players have played a key role in leading RVA FC to the National Premier Soccer League Championship game this Saturday in Richmond. Goalkeeper Bill Groben (Chester, Va./Thomas Dale),forward Josh Grant (Plymouth, England/Torpoint College), midfielder Gene Daniels (Stafford, Va./Coloinal Forge) and defender Karel Manrau (Neuchatel, Switzerland/Jean-Piaget) have all been a part of the first-year team that also won the South Region’s Mid-Atlantic Conference with a 6-0-2 record.
RVA won the right to host by defeating the Erie Admirals 4-0 in the first National Semifinal match Saturday night. It was a dominant and comprehensive win for the expansion side as they took down one of the league’s perennial contenders. Grant and Daniels each tallied goals in the victory, while Groben had a pair of saves as he has been the primary keeper for the club this season.
RVA came through the tournament as the South Region champion with wins over Jacksonville United and Chattanooga FC. The squad then defeated the Midwest Region’s champion Admirals to earn the title game berth in their first year as a team.
RVA FC will host the Sonoma County Sol, who won the West Region’s Flight Gold Gate Conference with a 9-0-3 mark, in the championship game. The game will be played Sunday, August 4 at 7 p.m. at the Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond, Va. The Sol snuck past defending national champions FC LVU Sonic 3-2 in Saturday’s second National Semifinal match. It took an 89th minute goal from Taylor Varnadore to to send Sonoma County to the finals.