2011-11-18 / Sports

CYO Soccer Season Recap: SFDS Rookies Win It ALL

SFDS’s Breanne McDonnell and BT’s Emma Gross compete for the ball in the Bantam finale. SFDS’s Breanne McDonnell and BT’s Emma Gross compete for the ball in the Bantam finale. Teams representing SFDS from grades 4, 6 and 7 played spirited, nail-biting soccer competing for 2011 Diocesan Championships this week. The girls in grades 3 and 5 readied for their Big Shows.

The SFDS Rookie (7th grade) Boys had a dream weekend. The boys prepared well for Friday night’s physical semi-finals against Anastasia. Joey Morelli gave the team a scare, hurting his back before kickoff. But his aggressive, take charge attitude in the defensive zone gave promise he’d be OK. Jack Watt, Christian Lanzetta and Mario Cimino all stepped up their game and worked seamlessly together in the defense. Kyle Hoffman found the back of the net first, capping passes from Cimino and Teddy Stathis.

Middies Matt Coletta, John Keeler, Stathis and Hoff-Aman fully controlled the field at both ends. Jonathan Machado commanded his right power-foot, pitching several crosses from the right wing. Luca Bartoli manned the left side with James Munson turning out quick footwork and heads-up passes to strikers James Carlton and Danny Lynch. Carlton used speed and aggression, while Lynch’s speed and force kept the defense on their toes.

Hoffman added another goal in the 2nd to end regulation knotted 2-2. In overtime, Hoffman scored again, but Anastasia struck back to force a penalty kick shootout. Hard-playing Savino wielded magic gloves throughout the game, but now handed them over to a longer-armed Lanzetta. Having stopped one PK as a sub in the first, Lanzetta stood in with full team support. Morelli started off, blasting the ball past the goalie. Hoffman followed, hitting the left corner. Machado kept rhythm with a corner shot and Coletta topped it off with an upper 90. With Lanzetta proving true, SFDS rolled off a 4-1 decision in penalty kicks onto the championship game.

The boys’ adrenaline was still up Saturday night. SFDS’ record was 9-0-1. Finals opponent OLG had marred SFDS’ perfect season. The boys would not accept defeat. From first whistle to last, SFDS played hard, pushing and striving every play. Stathis, Morelli, Lanzetta, Watt, and Cimino took away OLG’s offense with communication, skill and heads-up play. Stathis and Cimino stripped OLG’s star player of his momentum, beating him to the ball, denying him full control and sticking with him at all times. Savino, a brick wall at the net, took charge vocally which was a big plus for the defense. The high scoring offense was in regular season form.

Carlton spotted Hoffman breaking through at midfield, dished off a quick-feed and Hoffman put it away. He later added another goal. His amped play kept SFDS up throughout the game. Machado directed a beautiful corner kick inside the 10 where Carlton jumped to head it in goal. Later Machado moved to striker, shot outside the 18 and stabbed the net’s left corner. Following a few calls against SFDS, the team only got hungrier to get to the net. Even the coaches felt the fire!

In the second half, Bartoli stepped up his game at right wing assisting on two goals – his best half of the year. Coletta (1 assist), Keeler and Lanzetta filled the need for speed on the right side, containing the OLG players while managing ball control. Sebastian Navas and James Munson showed team support along with quick passes to the front line. Come regulation’s end, SFDS had whipped up a 4-1 victory. (They actually scored all 5 goals; they like to add a little spice to their games.) The SFDS Rookies were crowned the Diocesan Champions! The boys played unbelievably. The team wants to thank Danielle Stathis for her time and help all fall.

The following Sunday, Fort Tilden hosted a trifecta of championship matches between SFDS and Blessed Trinity. The SFDS PeeWee girls team headed to overtime in their game. Playmaker Sydney Urban’s tying score off a free kick took the fourth-graders past regulation. Then late in the second overtime, unmarked striker Shannon Neiswenter, stationed patiently beyond the post opposite the charge of her attack line, drove a crowd-escaping roller by the reversing BT goalie. The PeeWee girls held on until time expired and followed the Rookie Girls in taking the Championship Sunday morning.

The field would next belong to the Bantams. After each kick in the Sixth Grade Girls’ Finals Shootout, whether hit or miss, save or slip, two circles of players grew just outside the net. SFDS blue and gold jerseys swirled around a Purple core. Gold and green BT shirts adorned a yellow center. Cheers and hugs were the rule. After three consecutive years as finals winners, the SFDS Bantam Girls gave way to Blessed Trinity as 2011 diocesan champs.

The match couldn’t have been more even, befitting a contest between familiar friends. SFDS’ aggressive offense peppered Trinity’s redoubtable defense, anchored by resilient goalie Katie McDonough. And after regulation, there was no score. BT’s backliners braved the sharp sun. SFDS playmakers cut through unbridled wind as the game finished scoreless at the end of overtime.

The slick athleticism, smart execution and plain-asday heart from the girls reminded us how extraordinary best efforts can be. Six rounds into the shootout, the game was decided, a winner determined, another South Shore team deservedly named Champions. SFDS’ sixth-graders congratulated Blessed Trintity, on another season of exemplary soccer and with an act of sportsmanship worthy of celebration.

Congrats SFDS for an excellent fall season!

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