Volume 19 | Issue 27 | November 17 - 23, 2006


Downtown Express photos by Jefferson Siegel

Justen Lam of Crystal Palace and a Blackburn player go for the ball in a Downtown Soccer League game Saturday.

Soccer-packed weekend as season nears end

Roma vs. Verona

On a sunny and unseasonably warm Saturday, Chris Rohan (former soccer star at Boston University) debuted as coach for the 3 – 3 Roma team. The team was not only missing coach John Griffin and his star striker son Elias, but also James Carney, who scored last week’s hat trick, had suffered a minor head injury on Monday. Hopefully, his stitches will be removed in time for the last game of the season this weekend. Roma was also down Katie Higgins, who was traveling.

The remaining band of eight went into the game knowing there would be no substitutes, but still started with a burst of energy.

Roma’s Matt Levine began a stream of fantastic defensive blocks with a slide tackle to Verona’s Graham Moore. Romy Macari was part of his strong defensive wall. Nicky Leong also was consistent, following up a defensive block with a long dribble down the field. Verona’s Liam Fuerst stole the ball, and took the ball back downfield with some fancy footwork, but his shot on goal was wide. Cole Hawthorne’s rebound was saved by Roma’s goalie, Luke “The Flying Pole” Marable. Verona’s goalie, Cole Barker, was also successful in blocking Roma shots, and his strong kicks cleared the ball down field.

There was a scramble in front of the Roma goal, and Verona’s Rachael Farah, whose melodic footwork had impressed the spectators, went down hard. She was back at it again, though, thwarting Roma’s Gabriel Colon from a shot on goal. Just before the whistle blew, Marable made another fine save for Roma, ending the half with a goose egg tie.

In the second half, Verona’s Niall Gallagher and Roma’s Tyler Rohan both played hard and had strong kicks, but were unable to connect for a goal. Leong was frustrated again and again when he brought the ball successfully towards the Verona goal, only to find himself surrounded by Verona players. Both teams continued to hang tough, with more than a few collisions.

After Colon was fouled, she blasted the free kick over the Verona defenders, straight towards the goal, but Verona’s Cameron Lamser butted it with his head over the goal posts for the play of the day. Cole Barker, who played goalie in the first half for Verona, stole the ball and passed it to Farah, who listened to the coaching of everyone on the sidelines and “took it up the side.” Roma’s Anthony Miguez stole it from her, but his shot against Verona’s Jared Beh went out of bounds. The corner kick from that play was controlled well by Verona’s Max Thibodeau and Alexandra Kunzle. Their shots on goal, however, were either blocked by Roma’s Margaret McGovern-Matthews or smothered by Marable (whose outstanding goaltending was the coup of the day for Roma).

The game soon ended in a scoreless tie.

Liam Lawlor, number 8, scores the winning goal for the Wolves in a 2-1 win match against Birmingham.

Hearts vs. Motherwell

The Minor Nines are named after teams in the Scottish League, and before Saturday’s game, the crowd felt like blood was about to be spilled between Highland clans. Both teams came in undefeated. Something had to give.

In the second half, something did. For 30 minutes both potent offenses moved back and forth across the muddy field with nothing to show for it. Then Hearts midfielder Jake Jiler got loose in front of the goal, an unnerving experience for defenses all season long. So it was today. He slid the ball past brilliant Motherwell goalie Jack Friedman and the matter was settled.

Hearts coach Geoff Arens, said “Motherwell is superbly coached and their kids were terrific -- Bialosky, Tractenberg, Kahan, Nakagana -- all of them. But we aren’t called the Hearts for nothing. Matt Weldon and Anna Rubinfien brought their A-games. We just will not go down.”

Junior 7

The Junior 7 division of the Downtown Soccer League played great games on Saturday morning. In the 10:10 a.m. round Aston Villa took Charlton 2-1, Manchester United beat Chelsea 4-2, and Tottenham won over Watford with 3-0. At 11:10 a.m. Crystal Palace beat Blackburn 1-0, the Wolves defeated Birmingham 2-1, and Sheffield had a commanding victory over Fulham with 6-0.

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