Ryan Porcaro works the ball as Zach Pine defends.
Downtown soccer season ends with new trophies, cold weather and hot chocolate
The Downtown Soccer League concluded its 2005 season this weekend, and after 11 weeks of play, players took home their trophies to party with friends.
Arsenal vs. Liverpool
In the first half of play, Arsenal forwards Scout Bushman and TJ Westfall played well together, Midfielders Alex Hall and Bain Boudreaux covered the whole field, and fullbacks Liana Chow and Stephan Nyarko held their positions, carefully protecting the net.
The Liverpool players included Julian Boehning, Georgia Greenleaf, Olivia Guzman, Sophia Marino, Allison Hennings, Spencer Nelson, Arthur Perry, Levitt Yaffe and Reid Yesson. Nelson, Boehning and Yesson split goalkeeping duties, Perry scored both goals, and the entire Liverpool team worked together to get back into the game after Arsenal went up 3-0.
Sophia Delaney, at her first stint as goalie for Arsenal, did an outstanding job, making several difficult saves. Bain Boudreaux scored the games first goal when Arsenal was awarded a penalty kick close to the Liverpool goal. The score was made after Alex Hall threaded a great pass to Bain Boudreaux in front of the net. Alex scored the next two Arsenal goals during the first half.
Nyarko and Boudreaux took turns as Arsenal goalies in the second half, during which Liverpool scored two goals. The final score was Arsenal 3, Liverpool 2. The coaches, Chris Boehning for Liverpool, and John Chow and Brandon Boudreaux for Arsenal, along with the parents, were happy to see all the players involved and running hard, which kept them warm on a cold morning. The kids were thrilled to receive their trophies and photos after the final match of the season.
Bologna vs. AC Milan
Newcastle vs. Ipswich
Both teams should be proud of a hard fought match to finish off the season. Ava Cutler and Angie Attard of Ipswich, and Liam Lawlor of Newcastle were in the thick of things in the first half on a frosty pitch with the morning sun yet to rise above the nearby buildings. Charlie Scruton missed a couple of chances to score, but ultimately broke the deadlock after 10 minutes. He took off on a long run down the left wing, cut inside and finished well, hitting the ball low to the keepers left. Newcastle responded by forcing the ball through to Kamron Landry in the Ipswich goal, who showed good hands and cleared the ball out with some nice long throws. Julian Kaufman was, as usual, like a rock on defense and seems to have perfected the skill of high clearances upfield.
In the second half, the match remained tight. Ipswich scored again after William Sisson raced in on goal and beat the Newcastle goalie with his shot. Newcastle almost retaliated soon thereafter when a player turned a corner toward goal only to see it cleared off the line. And so the season concluded, players shook hands and all received their trophies.
Birmingham vs. Charlton
A chilly November morning greeted Birmingham and Charlton players for their final match of the 2005 season. Jacob Roter, under extra layers, jumped around to stay warm in goal, including several excellent saves as Charlton put pressure on Birminghams defense. Both sides of the field saw action, including a shoe-tying break by Dario Flores of Birmingham. A shout from the sidelines made him look up in time to pounce on the ball. Charltons Gabriella Rutherford made a nice steal and shot it back to Roter in goal, but was unable to beat him. He responded with a superb field punt, which turned into an assist for himself and a goal for Striker de Jour Dario Flores.
Soon after, Margaret Matthews passed to Dario, who angled it long towards the Charlton goalie, Adam Moftah. The ball seemed to have a life of its own and continued to soar past Adams reach. Dario was persistent, but Moftah squashed his next attempt.
Tyler Rohan tried with determination to score his first goal of the season with two nice shots on goal, but Charltons tough defense stood in the way. Matthew Levine kept his head up for Birmingham, clearing the next shot by Charlton.
Hot chocolate was a welcome treat at halftime, and Birmingham mixed it up by trying out Romy Macari in goal. She was able to keep Charlton at bay. Birminghams Gabriel Colon passed it nicely to Dario, who sent it in for his fourth hat trick of the season. Cameron Lamser of Charlton seemed determined not to let Dario score again.
Coach Sam Clayton encouraged his team from the sidelines not to let number 3 get the ball. Aviv Porath, Birminghams most creative player, responded quickly to the coachs urges with several nice defensive kicks. However, Cameron Lamser assisted Sharoff with a corner kick, bringing the score to 3-1. Brody, though hurt a few times during the game, seemed energized throughout and struck the ball with a big foot. He blasted one from midfield right under Birminghams goalie. Dario Flores answered with yet another strike, but Moftah made an excellent save.
Despite intense coaching on Charltons side, the team was unable to connect for the tying goal. Just before the whistle blew, Elias Griffin brought the ball through a cluster of Charlton defense and passed it to Roter who, while nearly standing on the end line, threaded the needle for an amazing fourth goal. The final score was Birmingham 4, Charlton 2.
AC Milan vs. Bologna
Saturdays season finale between AC Milan and Bologna provoked a compelling question: Could Bologna remain undefeated without its absent star, dazzling midfielder Noah Sutter? At first the answer appeared to be yes, when talented Bologna midfielder Matt Weldon hooked in an early left-footed goal. But Milans Cameron Risse answered right back, tying the score and shocking the Bologna sideline into silence.
It stayed that way until mid-way through the second half, when deadly Bologna striker Jake Jiler exploded for a goal, extending his scoring streak to 20 games. The outcome remained in doubt until William Steere, the brilliant Milan goalkeeper, was forced out by an injury. Bologna scored again, effectively putting away the gritty Milanese. We played a great team, said Milan coach Matt Lachmann, and we held our own. We passed, we hustled and competed. On the opposing sidelines, there was nothing but admiration for Milan. Those kids played with tremendous joy and intensity, said a parent, that was a very, very tough game.
AS Roma vs. Parma
Novembers gusty gales blew by on Friday night leaving warm weather and sunny skies in their wake, much to the pleasure of players and parents alike for the season finale. Although the good weather brought out a nearly full squad for AS Roma, Parma was able to field only 9 players and ultimately struggled against the odds.
Just five minutes into the first period, AS Romas star center forward Bryan Speedy Gomez took a beautiful lead pass from left wing Chloe Lombardi to break through with a sweet shake & bake, which froze Parmas goalie and drew first blood for his fourth game-winning goal of the season. Roma kept up the pressure as Lombardi worked the ball repeatedly up the left side and made her own run on the goal that was barely stopped right on the line by a scrambling Parma goaltender. Parma, showing spirit, did not wilt and elevated their game in response.
Forward Theo Fandrich showed off his style with a number of forays deep into Roma territory pairing with striker Jack Fitzmaurice to put pressure on the Roma defense. But Justin The Toe Wenig and Professor Michael Shorris closed ranks repeatedly, shutting them down, and getting good outlet passes to Midfielders Eve Grassfield and Elaine Rocket-girl Farah, who deftly moved the ball up field to Roma midfielder Adrian Ricochet Cohen.
Cohen and Gomez both displayed some impressive moves and made a number of excellent passes including one to midfield-general Aidan The Flash Rogers who broke through with a sweet shot to the lower right corner. Rogers scored twice to repeat his double in last weeks defeat of Bari. Farah was the next to have a goal disallowed on Romas side, when her nifty shot to the left corner seemed to elude the defense, but again was ruled to have been stopped on the line.
In the second half, Parma mounted a number of offensive surges. Again it was star forward Fandrich who pushed the action, helped by Isaac Ilyashov and Hunter Wolf. Roma defenseman India Cohen repeatedly took them by surprise, stopping many of their efforts and bringing resounding cheers from the sidelines.
For the rest of the game it was all Roma. Centerfielders Gomez, Cohen, Rogers and OKeefe dominated the midfield, rarely allowing Parma out of their end. Anthony The Force ODonnell posted his first goal of the season on a blistering shot from in close and played with fire throughout the game. Sweeper Taylor Road Warrior White was omnipresent attacking and defending with vigor. Goalie Joltin Jimmie Demsak was not to be denied his fifth shut-out of the year, robbing Fandrich on a near pointblank shot and firing downfield to a racing Owen Little-dog OKeefe. OKeefe left a trail of Parma defenders in his wake as he belted one in to make the score 5-0 and slam the door with a resounding thud on a great season
Downtown Express wishes to congratulate Downtown Soccer League players on a great season and to thank the coaches for their hard work and for their help sending us game highlights each week.
Compiled by Caitlin Eichelberger