Italy and England Are First To Grab Peninsula Cup Soccer Titles
In the Girls 6-8 Grade Division, Italy raised the Championship banner in a hard-fought overtime victory against Argentina. Playing in a stiff wind, the teams battled to a scoreless tie at the half behind the strong goalie play of Meghan Shevlin (Argentina) and Anna Charles (Italy). Ten minutes into the second half, Italy broke through. Playing against the wind, center forward Nicole Maranga burst though the middle of Argentina’s defense for a breakaway goal.
The intensity on both sides was raised as Italy tried to ice the game and Argentina pushed to tie it. Seven frantic minutes later, Morgan Koenig took a throw in, worked to her left quickly and chipped the ball into the top corner to knot the game at 1-1.
In overtime, Argentina had the wind first. They pressured Italy’s defense but it was the Italians who got the big break. Isabelle Arikian and Annie Reinhardt pounced on a muffed clearing attempt and with a strong second effort knocked the ball inside the right post. Argentina just missed tying the game in the final two minutes when Daisy Trusttum’s shot sailed just outside the post.
It was a thrilling end to the season and a fitting final game for eighth graders AnnaClare DelVechio, Kelly Casey, Katie King, Anna Charles, Daisy Trusttum, Meghan Shevlin, Hannah Kirk, Amy McManus, Victoria Rivera, Alexis Feldman, Nicole Maranga, and Annie Reinhardt.
In the Girls 4-5 Grade Division, Italy came out on the opposite end of a 2-1 decision, falling to the new champions, England.
England also had a strong finish in the First Grade Boys Division. They held Brazil to a 0-0 tie to end a terrific season. They succeeded in keeping the ball close to Brazil’s goal throughout the game and applied significant offensive pressure throughout. England goalies Matthew Celentano, Michael Ormiston and Sean Peter Mullen did a great job preventing Brazil from scoring. The defensive line was flawless
with John McMorrow, Ryan Murphy and TJ Mahoney guarding the net.
Brendan Powers, Danny Grillo, Joe DiGiacomo and Brian Duggan constantly pushed the ball upfield
throughout the game. It has been a terrific season for England, learning the fundamentals of the game and
working together as a team.
In 4-5 Boys Division semifinal action, Italy and Brazil squared off in two divisions. In the semifinal, the ball was going back and forth for the first 10 minutes of play until Josh Zweifler broke it open with a shot from inside the box. Kyle Hoffman led the offense, and kept the pressure on Brazil with the help of James Carlton, Teddy Stathis and Noah Rogers.
Brazil’s goalie Jack McNamee made it tough for Italy. Hoffman, Ryan Dougherty, and Zweifler with two goals were able to find the net to give Italy a 4-0 win. Italy’s defense was lead by Joey Morelli and goal keeper Eric Potter and backup Teddy Stathis.
Aidan Gallagher, Brendan Gallagher, Aidan O’Connor, Jack Kimmeth and Conor Tacopina worked well defensively and passed the ball well to their front line, which kept driving to the goal. Brazil’s Baldwin, Rodman, MacNamee and O’Sullivan kept Italy on its toes. Italy will be playing Argentina in the finals.
The 6-8 Boys Division semifinal game, Italy against Brazil, was a well played game. Goalies Joe Moran for Brazil and Joe Joe Brown for Italy worked hard in net the entire game. Andre Lipiec broke the ice with a shot outside the 18 to find the back of the net. Ryan Hoffman took control of the midfield for Italy while Max Frankel worked the back field. John Boyle, Jack Carter, JR McDononagh and Alex Goldberg, with their speed and smart plays, held Brazil back. Zack Willis, Mario Kennedy and Dillion Beehler, had the front line under control with quick passes and strong shots outside the 18.
Kevin McDonoagh, James Amedeo and John Stewart took control of the midfield with their hustle and going to the ball. Brazil’s Mike Tammaro and Jerry Twomey each did a great job defensively for Brazil. Augie Ameruso and Austin Sullivan kept the pressure on Italy. Ryan Hoffman was fed a cross from Max Frankel to hit a one touch into the net. Sullivan came back with a goal for Brazil. Italy was able to hold Brazil off to win 2-1. Italy heads to the finals against Argentina.
HEADERS: Don’t miss the famous, must-attend end-of-year party at Fort Tilden on Sunday, May 23.