Compiled by Ashley Winchester
Downtown Soccer League season came to an end this weekend as players competed in their final rematches and received their trophies. Over 650 player trophies and 60 mugs were distributed to participating players and coaches. The D.S.L. schedule of three days of practice each week and 25 games each weekend paid off in the individual improvements of each team and the improvement of downtown soccer in general.
Battery Park City Authority was great in keeping the fields open in most weather. Derrick Mitchell, the field coordinator, and Abby Ehrlich the director of parks programming were a pleasure to work with, D.S.L. president Don Schuck said. We had a long wait for these fields, but it was well worth the wait. We are already looking forward to next season.
Ipswich vs. Newcastle (Jr-6)
Ipswich completed their season turnaround Saturday with a win against Newcastle. Ispwichs Fischer Bodwell set the tone early with a number of first half shots on goal, but Newcastles goalie was up to the test, preserving a 0-0 tie at the half. Ipswich pressed on in the second half as goalie-turned-striker Alston Biggs controlled the ball in front of the Newcastle goal. Aidan Rogers supported the offensive line with controlled passing and play at midfield. Ipswich continued the assault as top-scoring striker, Scottie Bamford, broke free of the fray for several hard shots on goal, one of which finally found the corner of the net from more than 30 feet out. Defenders Tao Hunt, Jackson Spindle and Anthony ODonnell closed the door on Newcastle the rest o the way as goalies Biggs and Kerrick Hunt combined for their second shut-out of the season. The teams celebrated the end of a great season with a send-off party at Gee-Whiz diner.
Wimbledon vs. West Ham (Jr-6)
The previously-undefeated West Ham United faced off in a tough match against Wimbledon on the north field Saturday morning. Although short one player throughout most of the game, West Hams offensive line of Henry Martin, William Steer, Justin Wenig, Cameron Risse, Chloe Lombardi and Leah Anthony made strong efforts against Wimbledons goal, but were shut out by an unbreakable Wimbledon defense. West Ham goalie Laszlo Horvath and defenders Sam Davis and Elisa Bono let in only two shots by the aggressive and enthusiastic Wimbledon team.
Tottenham vs. Derby (Jr-7)
Tottenham finished their season at the top of the Junior 7 standings with a victory over Derby Saturday morning. Defenders Sebastian Conybeare, Raphael Santore Jr. and Xavier Russo helped goalie Christian Baumann earn his fifth shutout of the season. Tottenhams new offensive starting lineup of Sara Shemtov, Emma Burger and Alex Scheman kept the ball on the Derby end of the field throughout most of the half, but Derbys strong defensive efforts kept the score to 0-0 at the whistle. In the second half, Tottenhams Jakob Rosenberg broke the tie to score his 15th goal of the year, assisted by Grace Van Patten on left wing and Malcolm Girand on right wing. Rosenberg took off again with two more goals, and sweeper Lucas Deysine scored one more for the win.
Manchester vs. Leeds (Jr-7)
A much-improved Manchester team finally found victory in a game against Leeds Saturday morning. In their first meeting, Sept. 20, Leeds swept Manchester for a 4-0 shutout. This weekends rematch included serious play and improvement from both sides, ending in a 1-0 win for Manchester.
The game was
very physical for a 7 year-old game, Manchester coach Mike Barbieri said. The Manchester kids were determined not to lose this game, you could see it in their faces. It was as serious as Ive seen them all year.
The game was tied at 0-0 until the 8-minute mark, when Manchesters Max Sperling brought in a goal to give his team the lead. Michael Marino, Chynna Basso, Rachel Licata, Nicolette Catona and Ethan Montero kept up the pressure, but were shut out of another scoring opportunity by Leeds offensive lineup of Cliff Benfield, Lee Perry, Louis Moreschi and Bryan Burns. Despite being knocked to the ground and taken out of play three times, Leeds player Violet Low-Beinart never gave up and, helped by fullbacks Ethan Feldman, Ethan Skelskie, Marina Ouranistas and Jackson Collins, formed a defensive wall against the aggressive Manchester lineup. Close play continued into the final 8 minutes of the game, when John Barbieri and Dean Scotti prevented all scoring attempts by mirroring the movements of Leeds two best players as they charged around the field. Defenders Gabriel Ponce, Michael DiMaria and goalies Andrew Jansen and Anthony Marino helped keep the ball away from Manchesters net. Isabella Pecorari was named Leeds M.V.P. for the season at the trophy ceremony following the game.
Three of our best players this year were the three girls on our team (Isabella, Violet and Marina), Leeds coach Cliff Benfield said.
AS Roma vs. Juventus (M-8)
AS Roma faced off in their final match against Juventus on the north field Saturday afternoon. AS Romas offense tried to find an opening against Juventus strong defensive front and dominated play on the Juventus end. Several late scoring opportunities brought Roma ahead in the first half, a position that was maintained for the rest of the game. Romas defense kept the pressure on and prevented any counterattack by Juventus.
Celtic vs. Motherwell (M-9)
Team Celtic, riding a three-game winning streak, showed off their improvement in their season-ender game against Motherwell Saturday afternoon. Celtics Besmir Popovic scored in the first half and played an outstanding game as forward, supported by teammates Devin Kolb and Elias Sosa on both offense and defense. Motherwells Jake Shapiro scored early on a penalty shot, and again before the half ended on an assist by Jake Miller. Anna Schwab attempted a number of shots on Celtics goal from her position at right wing, backed up by an aggressive Ali Rossi who ran the ball up the field, but both were deflected by Celtic goalie Alex Wainger. Cameron Spector and Brian Boyd tended goal for Motherwell, supported by the defensive line of Joe Demarco, Jessica McClear and Caspar Henak.
It was a hard-fought game, Celtic coach Robert Kolb said. The reason we coach is to see improvement in our players, and Ive seen radical improvement from day one. I have been coaching the same team for the past three years, and I hope to return next year with as much of this team intact as possible. It builds a sense of community within the team to see their teammates return year after year, not only in soccer but in Little League baseball. Overall, this was a good season for us.
Barcelona vs. Real Madrid (M-10)
Barcelona took on Real Madrid for the closing game of the Major 10 division Sunday afternoon. In their first match up, Barcelona came away with the win, but the Real Madrid players left the game with a nickname, the Fish, in reference to a freshly caught striped bass which visited the field that day. Since then, every match began and ended with a Fish cheer by the Real Madrid players. In their rematch, the Fish jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Sam Levine with an assist by Max Sternberg. Barcelona quickly followed suit with a game-tying goal. Shortly thereafter, Justin Basso made it 2-1 on assists from Miles Schuck and Sonia Marshall. Barcelona came out storming in the second half, with nearly all of the play in Real Madrids end of the field. Harrison Priest, Felix Chieml and Zane Holmes swarmed the goal, but were stopped by steady defensive plays by Max Sternberg, Emily Loewus, Marisa Dolmatch, Sam Daniels, Ridley Youngue and Shuck. With the help of some late saves from goalie Reuben Sinder, the Real Madrid Fish hooked their final 2-1 victory.
Nice vs. Le Mans (M-11)
Eager to revenge an October 19 loss against Le Mans, and having turned around their season, an aggressive team Nice gathered on the field Sunday morning for the first match of the day. Defenders Alessandra Fusilla and Wilson Goode continually cleared the ball away from the attacking Le Mans players and supported goalie, Scott Franchi. Le Mans scored once in the first half and again early in the second half before Tim Rossi turned the team around with a goal off passes by Philip Kay and Miro Boncich.
Le Mans again came away with the win, but Nice coach Milan Boncich said he was delighted with the performance of his team. We gave little away to Le Mans and we created a lot of chances, he said.
Lyon vs. Paris SG (M-11)
Lyon kicked off against Paris SG Sunday morning for their season ender. Paris scored early in the first half on an arching shot over goalie Sam Fishmans arms. Lyon replied with two similar shots by Victor Smith, supported by Lila Low-Beinart and Ian Tullis on offense and Andrew Chow, Raymond Perez, Alex Wedmore, Alex Lois and Jukie Tsai at midfield. At the half, both teams realized that only 25 minutes of the soccer season remained, and refueled their efforts. Lyon defenders Sasha deGraeve, Rashid Oord, Maya Ilyashov, Victoria Smith, Alex Lois and Matthew Hickey worked well together in fighting off the Paris offense and allowing little to come through to goalie Fishman. In the last few minutes of the game, Victor Smith again pounded in a goal which ricocheted off a Paris defender and into the net for the win. After the game, Lyon celebrated their season with trophies and brunch at Chevys. The weekly Lyon game balls were awarded to Maya Ilyashov for her defensive efforts, Alex Lois for her season-long determination and Victor Smith for his shooting successes. The final score was 3-1 in favor of Lyon. Lyons season record resembled a countdown: 4 wins, 3 losses, 2 ties and 1 rainout.
Metrostars vs. Fire (Sr 12-13)
The Metrostars faced off against team Fire Sunday afternoon. Within the first five minutes of play, the Metrostars scored their first of four goals on the way to a 4-0 victory over Fire. Although the game was closer than the score would indicate, the Metrostars earned their victory behind the scoring power of Justin Montero with two goals, and Schuyler Duffy and Allen Stolanki with one goal each. Near misses by Natasha Katz, Jerome Fridman, Sam Friedberg, Ian Fried, Harrison Nesbit , Nathan Miller, Emma Shanahan and Molly Stremba added to the excitement. Defenders Simon Krim, Skye Clarke, Luke Brown and Seppi Kushner helped make the shutout happen. All 16 Metrostars showed up for the final game, continuing their outstanding attendance record.
Thanks to everyone, especially the parks crew, for making this a fantastic season, coaches Carl Friedberg and Harry Mauer wrote.
DC United vs. Revolution (Sr 12-13)
DC United completed its undefeated, 10-0 season with a Sunday afternoon 7-1 win against Revolution. At the half, DC was up 2-1 as Revolution gained momentum and began to control the field. In the second half, the forward plays of DCs Ian Goldberg and Maricio Cortes led to four goals by Cortes and four assists by Goldberg. Evan Kerhaus showed steady effort at midfield, and scored yet another for DC United. The final score was made by Steven White, who also played well as goalie in the fist half, supported by defenders Carzi Noel, Andrew White and Roman Zamishka. As DC United coaches Hugo Ortega and Glenn Goldberg agreed, What a way to end the season!
Argentina vs. Luxembourg (U-14)
Team Argentina played the final game of the season against Luxembourg Sunday afternoon at the Downtown United Soccer Club home fields. Team Luxembourg padded their ranks with the addition of numerous talented players from other squads in an effort to make up an all-star team to take on the undefeated Argentina. Argentinas defensive line of Gabriel Barth-Maron, Stephen Miller, Alex Donnenfeld and Alexander Castro managed to contain Luxembourgs offensive runs. A few Luxembourg shots rattled off the goal posts, but goalie Dagan Farancz shut out all attempts at the net, preserving his league leading goal-against average well beneath 1. The lone goal came midway through the second half as Argentinas Rahul Wagh shot through Luxembourgs defense, supported by fellow forwards Richard and Matthew Reitzfeld. Team Argentina took away the win and the league title, finishing their season undefeated with a perfect 10-0 record. Argentina plans to continue post-season play in the Chelsea Piers Indoor League this winter.
Brazil vs. Finland (U-14)
Coach Jay Bangash led his second team, Brazil, to victory against Finland Sunday afternoon. The teams two losses of the season came in matches against undefeated Argentina, also coached by Bangash. Alex Burwasser finished the game with two goals and one assist. Will Schraft turned in an excellent performance with an additional two goals. Joe Penney contributed to the offense with one assist and lots of hustle throughout the game. Goaltending duties were split between Remi Gottheil in the first half and Simon Schreier in the second. Key saves and defensive play in and out of the net by both kept Brazil in the game, supported by fellow defenders Alex Connolly and Ali Sternberg. Matthew Critchlow and Alex Burwasser controlled the midfield and kept momentum throughout the game. Team Brazil finished the season with the divisions second-best record of 8-2.
Overall, Downtown soccer keeps getting better, Bangash said. It needs to keep going. I take a bunch of kids with a passion for the sport and push them to get a lot better. Everyone gets to play. This is a wonderful outlet for the kids.
Downtown Soccer League play will continue again next fall under the direction of president Don Schuck and the Battery Park City Authority. Families interested in enrolling next year may visit www.downtownsoccer.org. Thanks to all of the coaches who helped us with soccer information and congratulations to all of the players on a well-played season.