The Azul and Phantoms both fell short of reaching the PDL Conference Final after each were defeated in Saturday’s semifinals at Lubetkin Field in Newark, N.J.
In the first semifinal of the evening, Jersey Express jumped out to an early lead when Juan Correa played a pass to Walter Hines, who converted in the 10th minute. Correa also assisted on Kene Eze’s 57th minute tally en route to a 2-0 win.
Azul’s Sonny Narro led the team’s offense with three shots, while Stephen Sasso made four saves in the losing effort. The Azul finish their season with a record of 9-3-3.
The second semifinal pitted the Phantoms against the West Virginia Chaos. Daniel Smee opened the scoring the 28th minute, while Jake Szabo added another in the 72nd minute to send the Chaos to the final with a 2-0 win.
Ben Havey fired a team-high two shots for the Phantoms. Goalkeeper Dominic DiMaggio, who led all of PDL in wins (11), goals against average (0.38) and shutouts (8), was called upon to make six saves. The Phantoms, who won the Northeast Division crown, with an 11-2-2 record.
The Express beat the Chaos 3-1 in Sunday’s Conference Final to earn the Eastern Conference crowd.