Volume 20, Number 28 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 23 - 30, 2007

Downtowners close out the season with spirited play

Junior 6

West Ham vs. Everton
Downtown Soccer League’s division of 6-year-olds dclosed their season with a rematch of opening day fixture West Ham and Everton. Direct from the kick-off, Everton, led by the dynamic duo of league leading scorer Owen Gallagher and Toby Barker, began a relentless assault on the West Ham goal. The silky skills of Felix Barwick and Lamar Morales-Odom combined with the ball winning midfield dominance of Oscar Rachmansky, Kylie Ohmi, Alyssa Fernandez and Cate Albright created wave after wave of attacks. The much improved West Ham defense of Mikaila Myburgh, Braden Donoian, Camryn Myers and Daniel Coffey fought hard to fend off the barrage. West Ham’s midfield featuring Charlotte Jones, Alijah James and Christian Preze began to push forward but were finding no way through a water tight Everton defense starring the ever dependable Alexander Piccone, Patrick Baumann, Griffin Addison Picciani, Kaitlyn Farah and goal keeper Noah Vaknin. The continuous pressing of Everton finally broke through with goals from Gallagher, Barker, Barwick and Morales-Odom, completing a perfect season for Everton.

Minor 9

Hibernian vs. Rangers
On a very chilly Saturday, Hibernian was anxious to take the field against the undefeated Rangers, who had already shut them out in September.  Bystanders were treated to an exciting and physical last game of the season, with the Rangers making aggressive moves right away. 

Hibernian’s James Carney’s first shot was blocked, and the Rangers took the rebound and passed to Balthazar Merrin, whose shot was also blocked.  Elias Griffin, in goal for Hibernian, tried to send the ball down with a strong kick, but it was intercepted by the fast-footed Merrin and cleared by Hibernian’s Nicky Leong.  Truman Dunn’s foul kick was saved by Griffin, and Merrin tried to follow-up on the rebound but was unable to score. Hibernian’s Daphne Tsapalas intercepted a Rangers’ throw-in and passed it to Jacob Roter, but once again Merrin was on it, tearing past the Hibernian defenders and tucking the ball neatly into the goal. 

Hibernian tried to get back into the game with a strong boot by Tyler Rohan, but Mia Potter stepped in with a body block.  Roter dribbled the rebound towards the Rangers goal, but Wyatt Accardi moved towards him and laid him out.  David Olivo made the first of many nice clears for Hibernian, but a fine cross by the Rangers to Merrin resulted in his second goal.  Hibernian, desperate to avoid another shutout, tried to come back with a great boot from Leong, who pushed through the defenders and stayed with the ball.  But Potter’s hustle prevented the score (this time bravely taking it on the chin).  Her teammate, Anna Van Patten, brought the ball up nicely and passed to Graham Nelson, but his shot was saved by Griffin.  Griffin’s ensuing boot was headed by Accardi.  Rohan got the rebound and passed to Carney, but again, Accardi stepped in with great defense.  Carney’s next shot was blocked by a strong kick from Rangers’ Kyra Russo.  There was a lot of action in front of Judah Lang in the Rangers’ goal at the end of the first half, but the score remained 2-0.

Hibernian made a goalie switch to Leong in the second, and tried to shake off the impending doom with a pep talk from coaches John Griffin and Chris Rohan.  But Will Pangburn took control right away for the Rangers, passing it to Gavin Zinzell.  It was intercepted by Rohan, then by Russo, but she was blocked by Hibernian’s Margaret Matthews.  A Rohan to Griffin to Roter combo just missed the goal.  Lang’s boot to midfield was intercepted by Rohan, whose massive boot sailed over several players’ heads but was just wide of the goal.  Hibernian kept the pressure on the Rangers’ goal, with a corner kick by Griffin that was fumbled, but then recovered, by Lang.  Carney followed with a shot that was saved by Lang.  Merrin took the ball down to the Hibernian goal, but was challenged by Anthony Miguez before his shot on goal was smothered by Leong.  Zinzell’s shot was wide, but Pangburn was able to trickle one in just past the goal line for the Rangers’ third goal.  Hibernian (and their cheering squad) kept at it, with Roter spinning (and tumbling) towards the Ranger goal.  Rohan’s throw-in to Tsapalas was passed to Carney, but his shot was also saved by Lang.  Finally, things started going Hibernian’s way, and Griffin’s breakaway, past the “Wall of Wyatt,” zipped past Lang’s head for Hibernian’s first goal.  Energized, the rest of the team worked to keep the ball towards the Rangers’ goal, with support from Lumia Nocito and Romy Macari. Lang’s next goalie kick was intercepted by Rohan, whose scoring legs have been on hiatus for three seasons.  He fired a no-nonsense missile from just shy of midfield and buried it into the back of the net.  Narrowing the gap to one, Hibernian was hungry to tie the game, but the whistle blew before they had the chance.

It was a second half unsurpassed by any other in Hibernian’s season, and despite the 3-2 final score, the team celebrated the exciting comeback and another fun season.  Mad props to the Rangers’ team on their third undefeated season!

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