Volume 19 | Issue 28 | November 24 - 30, 2006

Downtowners’ trophy season ends with trophies

Downtown Express photos by Elisabeth Robert
Brody Sharoff of Juventus goes for the ball as James Hull defends for Bologna in the teams’ last game of the season Saturday.

The Downtown Soccer League officially ended its season with trophies, team pictures and plenty of games.

Bologna vs. Juventus

The final game of the season included muddy fields and more seasoned teams in Bologna and Juventus, facing each other for the second time this fall. Nicole LaGrega for Juventus and Jack Vargas for Bologna had the task of goalkeeping, and the game was physical from the start. Sader Matar was fouled early in the match, and scored the first Bologna goal on a free kick that arched up high and in over a wall of white shirts. Strong offense on Juventus was provided by Brody Sharoff and Deejai Riangkrut, with long, powerful boots of the ball up and down the field.

Meanwhile, Lucy Winokur, James Hull, Joshua Fish, and Jack Vargas provided persistent offensive strength for Bologna, through a combination of deft ball handling, steals, dribbling, and a few goal attempts that were just wide. In a play that was quite unusual, Matar was able to score from a corner kick, with the angled ball ricocheting off of the goalie’s foot and in for Bologna’s second goal. In the middle of the first half, Ruby Marzovilla took over at goalie for Bologna, and she blocked multiple attempts before Wyatt Accardi scored the first goal of the 2006 season for a jubilant Juventus.

In the second half, Bologna’s teamwork was evident as backfield defense was provided by Hailey Coffey, Brandon Liu, Jack Vargas, and Oscar Sullivan; while Jeremiah Wysoker and Fish played goalie in the second half for Bologna. Juventus replaced Nicole with her twin sister Gianna LaGrega at goalkeeper.

The second and tying goal by Juvetus came on persistent booting from Brody Sharoff and his teammates, but in the final minutes of the game, the quick and tenacious Bologna combination of Hull, Jake Katzenberg, and Vargas quickly put Bologna ahead again, despite defensive moves across the field from Jonah Weinstein and Elan Halpern. A final and winning goal by Vargas put Bologna on top 3-2 and gave coaches Roya and Bill Sullivan another strong season of play from the group, which finished 7-2-1. Web 2 Zone, the team sponsor, threw a pizza and video game party for the muddy but exuberant team after the game.

Roma vs. Verona

The forecast was for rain, wind and flash floods, but the AS Roma and Verona teams showed up anyway on Thursday, Nov. 16 to make up a game rained out two months before. Even though the teams had just faced off on Saturday (resulting in a scoreless tie), the makeup of both teams was different.

Lukas Burger, who had missed Saturday’s game, started off the action with a nice header, and Verona took immediate control of the ball. Elias Griffin and James Carney, who had also missed Saturday’s game, seemed to be in line to score some goals for Roma, but the Verona defense thwarted them. Cole Hawthorne stole the ball, brought it downfield before any Roma defense could react, and easily shot the ball past Luke Marable.

Nicky Leong prevented the next attempt by Verona’s Liam Fuerst with a strong defensive kick, but Niall Gallagher grabbed the rebound. A Juventus player came over from the adjoining field to retrieve an errant soccer ball, and before Roma could figure out which ball to block, Niall had scored for Verona. The rain started drizzling steadily at halftime, and Roma’s players seemed to take to the mud well.

Carney was very close to the goal with a nice shot, but Verona’s Liam Fuerst was able to smother it. Griffin persevered, but his pass across the field couldn’t find a Roma foot. Samantha Sewell, in goal for Roma for the second half, almost had a handle on the next shot on goal, but Verona’s Gallagher was there for the rebound and shot it over her left shoulder for Verona’s third goal. Tyler Rohan continued his quest to score for Roma with some fine passes, and Gabriel Colon also put the pressure on Verona, but Fuerst continued to shine defensively in goal.

As the rain poured down, parents and other enthusiastic fans huddled under umbrellas and hoods to cheer on both teams. Roma’s Matt Levine and Anthony Miguez demonstrated their fine defensive skills and kept the ball away from their goal. Katie Higgins passed to Leong, but his shot was high over the goal. As the clock wound down, Roma’s Carney rushed the goalie, blocked his kick and fired the ball back over his head for the goal of the year. The final score was 3-1, Verona, but the real winners were the players, who hung tough and played through the inclement weather.

Roma vs. Milan

On Saturday, Nov. 18, Roma was back in full force against AC Milan. The last contest in September had resulted in a 3-1 loss to Bob Potter’s powerhouse team.

Roma’s coach John Griffin used his special style to bring the team together for the last game of the season. Judah Lang was in goal for Milan, and James Carney started out as goalie for Roma. The action started right away, with Gavin Zinzell holding an almost magnetic force over the ball.

Samantha Sewell had a great defensive clear, but Milan’s Graham Nelson brought it downfield again. Elias Griffin subbed in and immediately took the ball from midfield all the way down, shooting and scoring unassisted for a goal for Roma.

The teams fought hard, and Milan’s Will Pangburn was slightly injured in a kicking frenzy. Roma’s Luke Marable suffered a hard foul, too. Matt Levine, who’s come a long way defensively since the beginning of the season, cleared the ball downfield. Griffin tried again, but his shot on goal was smothered by Judah Lang.

Milan’s Balthazar Merrin attacked aggressively throughout the game, and the spectators enjoyed the face-off between the two very blonde strikers, Roma’s Griffin and Milan’s Zinzell. Milan’s Anaya Jackson and Mia Potter also got into the action. Roma’s Tyler Rohan and Nicky Leong put the pressure on Milan’s goals but couldn’t connect.

Lulu Priddy brought the ball down for Milan and passed to Will Pangburn, who smacked it toward the goal. Carney made one terrific save after another, though, keeping the score 1-0 into halftime. Levine made some excellent saves in the Roma goal in the second half. Romy Macari and Margaret McGovern-Matthews helped out on defense as well. Griffin continued shooting, but Milan’s Truman Dunn came from behind to block. Merrin took the ball and would have had an assist for Zinzell, but the shot hit the goal post.

Sewell was in a good position, but could not score for Roma. Gabriel Colon dazzled the crowd by dancing on top of the ball and bringing it solo downfield, but also was unable to score for Roma. Kyra Russo, Jessica King and Anna Van Patten supported Milan as well, enabling Zinzell’s next shot on goal, which also hit the goal post. Will Pangburn was there for the rebound this time, though, and tied the score for Milan.

Roma’s Carney persisted and shot again, but Lang blocked it well with his knees moments before the final whistle blew. Roma celebrated the end of a fun season with pizza, cake and trophies at Portobello.

Majors 10/11

“The Spanish League” ended their season Sunday Nov. 19.
Real Madrid finished with a 6-3-1 record. The last game of the season was a real nail-biter as Real Madrid played Monaco to a tightly contested 2-0 win. The Madrid team, which was made up of all 10’s in this 10/11 league, played strong and tight and is looking forward to the 2007 year as members of the Spanish League again.

Minor 8

The “Italian League” finished its season Saturday Nov. 18.
AC Milan finished on top of all “Italians” with its second straight undefeated season. After going perfect with a 10-0 record last year, Milan finished this season 8-0-2. The team was a perfect blend of eight facia bella woman and six facio bello men. Milan looks forward to entering the Irish League in 2007 and continued success.

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