2009-06-05 / Sports

St. John's Prevailed In Peninsula Cup Championship

Thrill of Victory: St. John's boys celebrate OT win over Marquette. Thrill of Victory: St. John's boys celebrate OT win over Marquette. After a thrilling afternoon and evening of championship soccer, St. John's emerged as the top club in the 2009 Peninsula Cup thanks to a 4-3 overtime win over Marquette in Boys Division 4 (Sixth to Eighth Grade).

St. John's also prevailed in Boys Division 3 (Fourth to Fifth Grade).

Notre Dame won the championship in the Boys Division 2. Seton Hall captured the Girls Division 2 title, Boston College won in the Girls Division 3 and Villanova was crowned champion in the Girls Division 4.

The Division 4 Boys championship was a truly great match and what could be considered the best type of soccer game with two overtimes needed to decide the championship.

With starting forward and team scoring leader Ryan Hoffman playing as goalie, St. John's was depleted up front. Throughout the game Augie Ameruso and Mike Tammaro anchored the defense while Andrew Dunbar and Pat Goldberg worked on the front lines.

At the center midfield position Max Frankel played a cleared ball straight back into the box allowing Anthony Scotto to head it in from 10 yards out.

Doing Battle: St. John's and Marquette boys fight hard to the end. Doing Battle: St. John's and Marquette boys fight hard to the end. In the second half Hoffman switched with Pat Goldberg to move up front and send Goldberg to goalie. It proved a strong move for St. John's when Hoffman took control by having two assists in the second half. The Red Storm seemed to have the championship well-in-hand with a commanding 3-1 lead late in the match. Marquette was not ready to concede.

Powered by the blazing sorties of Thomas Arikian, the Golden Eagles closed to 3-2 with three minutes left then tied the game in the final minute of regulation.

On the game-knotter, Arikian sped up the left side and drew three defenders. Just when he seemed trapped by the Red Storm, Arikian laced a crossing lead to Chris Ray who took the pass in stride and blasted it home.

Marquette stayed aggressive in the first overtime session but St. John's counterattacked smartly. Matt Cappiello broke behind the defense on the left side and dribbled in on goal alone.

Just as a defender and the goalie converged, Cappiello ripped one from the 20-yard line into the far corner. The final six minutes of action were furious but St. John's 4-3 margin held.

While playing the whole season without a goal and as a role player, midfielder Cappiello came up huge in the game scoring two of the team's four goals in the championship game.

St. John's title in Boys Division 3 came via an exciting game against Villanova. No goals were scored for the first 15 minutes. The Red Storm broke through when Luca Bartoli got a lead pass from Mario Kennedy to find the right side of the net.

St. John's kept the pressure on with three more goals by Kyle Hoffman, Matt LaSorsa, and James Carlton. Michael Belliterrie, Peter Dunbar and Mario Kennedy did a great job at midfield bringing the ball up to their offensive line. Joe Morrelli, Eric Potter and Andrew O'Sullivan played strong at the defensive end for the Johnnies.

James Corrigan was the wall not allowing Villanova to score. Villanova had several opportunities with strong kicks by John Boyle, Roland Wertz, and Andrew Sullivan. Matthew Colletta took control of midfield for Villanova with his quick ball skills. Dillian Beehler did a fine job in goal for Villanova with continuous diving saves. When it came to the end, SJU stood on top with a 4-0 win.

Villanova had progressed to the finals with two 4-0 wins of its own, first over Seton Hall and then over Boston College. Against BC Kyle Connolly scored the first goal with an assist from Thomas McEnroe.

The next three goals were by Matt 'Hat Trick' Coletta with assists by Connor Buckley and Phineas Oyler. BC tried hard but could not get it past the Wildcats' defensive line led by John Boyle, Ryan Olsen, and Roland Wertz. Goalie Dillon Beehler denied all of Boston's attempts on goal.

In Division 2, the cream rose to the top in the boys bracket with the regular season's two top teams, Notre Dame and Boston College, battling for the title. The match was worthy of the league leaders. Notre Dame beat BC in overtime, 2-1.

In the girls finals, three different clubs claimed titles. In Division 2, Seton Hall won the gold by edging Villanova, 1-0. It was a very well-played game that featured great plays by the goalies.

Lindsey DeBoer of Villanova made three fabulous saves. The Hall's Angelina Meringolo made a great save of her own and saw the goalpost deflect another shot. Her midfielders (Grace Kane, Maddie McDade and Carly Mc- Cann) managed to keep the game on Villanova's side of the field. The only goal was in the last minutes when Kane was able to slide the ball past DeBoer.

It was a well played and fun game for everyone involved.

In Division 3 Girls, St. John's was a sleeper team. After an inconspicuous regular season, the sixth-seeded Red Storm knocked off #3 seed Marquette and #2 seed Notre Dame en route to the title game. However, top seed Boston College proved to be an upset too far for SJU. Boston College claimed the title with a 2-0 victory.

The championship game for the Division 4 Girls was a nail-biter throughout. Both teams (St. John's and Villanova) played hard. The game was scoreless for much of the first half.

St. John's broke out in force several times but was thwarted by the strong defense of Emma Knox. Villanova's Jenna Hoffman and Taylor Veigh slipped through the Red Storm defense to get a breakaway but goalie Megan Shelvin was ready and stopped the shot.

Marissa Scotto would not let that happen again and gave a lead pass to Veigh to find Hoffman at the inside of the 18 to score the first goal of the game.

In the second half, St. John's continued to press but Knox, Celene Mc- Mahon, Katherine Kelly, Anna Charles and Samantha Prevot looked strong defensively as did goalie Raina Dziuk, who did a great job clearing the ball with her strong punts. Midfielder Scotto played a great two-way game, using her speed and leg strength to turn around several St. John's sorties.

Scotto and mates Kristin Sullivan and Emma Collins worked the ball well to their forwards with quick and sharp passes. Casey McDade, Hoffman, Isabella Arikian, Liz McGee, and Veigh worked well together on the forward line to keep the pressure on St. John's. It was a well played game by both teams. Villanova rose to a 2-0 win.

HEADERS: The success of the Peninsula Cup is not due to one person, but several people who put the time, effort and heart into the program so it will be something that the children in the community enjoy and learn from.

The Cup is a program that gives the Rockaway and Breezy Point communities a way to become one family....Our community got great weather Sunday for the annual, season-ending awards barbeque at Ft. Tilden.

Thank you to all our cooks (John Meringolo, Guy Maranga, John Blum) and set up crew (Kyle Hoffman, John Meringolo Jr., Joanne Blum, Barbara Hart, Christina Tammaro, Dina Tammaro and Margaret Meringolo)....The games would not go off each week if not for the tireless and selfless efforts of Robin Hoffman and Anthony DiCarlo. Anthony lined the fields on his off days and Robin made sure each game had players and referees. She also did some first class grounds keeping on rainy days.

A special thanks to web master Sean Shelvin who has down an unbelievable job of keeping the community informed with pictures, standings and stories of the Peninsula Cup. Visit http://home. earthlink.net/~pcs2009 to see Sean's work.

Finally, thank you to all of our referees, most of whom are high school students. It's a tough job but they set a great example of giving back for our younger players....That's all until Peninsula Cup 2010. Enjoy your Rockaway summer.

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