HARRISONBURG, Va. – Four James Madison men’s soccer players were a significant part in RVA FC capturing the National Premier Soccer League Championship this past 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 defeated the Sonoma County Sol 2-0 in the championship game to earn the title in the team's inaugural season. A goal in the 18th minute by Grant, assisted by Todd Wharton, got things started for the home side. Grant scored from 30 yards to put RVA up 1-0, a score that they took into the locker room at halftime. The team added a second goal in the last half and Groben had his second straight shutout.
RVA won the right to host the championship 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.