2006-06-30 / Sports

St. Francis Eight Grade Boys Win Title Thriller

By Thomas Ray

On Monday June 5th, The St. Francis 8th grade boys played their last CYO soccer game together after 8 years. This Monday night was the CYO 8th grade championship game against long time rival Joan of Arc. St. Francis won a hard fought game 2-1 in overtime to take the Queens Diocesan championship. This was naturally a great way for these young men to finish their CYO soccer career, especially against such a strong team as Joan of Arc.

On this beautiful June night in Fort Tilden, the game started slowly with both teams trying to control the ball and some nice ball handling from our defenders Tommy Dalton, Sean Edwards and Steven Pulkowski, who kept the ball away from the net and safely back to the midfielders. Through out the first half, both teams were working the ball down the field only to be stopped by the defenses.With a few minutes remaining in the first half, St. Francis finally had a breakaway by Mike Mangano, who took the ball up the field. With a spectacular pass to John Murray, he was able to put St. Francis up 1-0 by the end of the half.

The second half started with Joan of Arc coming out very determined and kept the ball in front of St. Francis' goal most of the half. Thankfully for Thomas Tsatsis, Brian King, Terence Munns, Patrick Memi and Sean Towey, who kept neutralizing the many attempts to score by Joan of Arc. As play continued, St. Francis, with the help of James Mercer, Mike Carnacchio and Tommy Ray, was able to initiate two breakaways that resulted in penalty kicks. Unfortunately, both kicks went wide and the score stayed the same.

With the game coming to a completion, Joan of Arc made a final attempt and scored the tying goal with a shot off the top cross bar of the goal. If it were not for the goalie, Eddie Warren - who played the game of his life with save after save - St. Francis would surely have lost this game.

The game went overtime and both teams were trying hard to win this game. With an errant throw in by Joan of Arc with minutes to play, Brian King was able to secure the ball and pass it up field to Mike Mangano, who scored the winning goal with a perfectly placed kick past the goalie.

Having coached these players all these years, it was a bittersweet victory knowing my time coaching these young men are over. I would like to thank all these active players (and Ariel Feldman, Louis Maioco, Eddie Watt and Joseph Wolfer who were unable to make the game) and all the past players for all the great memories and fun we had (especially at practice) and I wish you the greatest success in all your endeavors in life.

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