Downtown kickers roll on as mercury dips


By Ashley Winchester

The cold couldn’t keep Downtown Soccer League players away from the game this frosty fall weekend.

Newcastle vs. West Ham United

Newcastle took on West Ham on the north field Saturday morning. “There’s lots of enthusiasm with these kids,” Newcastle coach Tim Walsh said. “They just swarm the ball.” The six year-olds are working on basic skills such as passing, stopping the ball and making side, rather than toe kicks.

Leeds vs. Blackburn

Leeds faced Blackburn for the first time this season Saturday morning. Marina Ouranitsas scored Leeds’ sole goal, supported by forward Lee Perry. Violet Beinart worked to fight off Blackburn’s dominating forward line in a strong defensive effort.

Manchester vs. Tottenham

Despite a string of losses this season, Manchester players continue to practice and improve their play every week, coach Mike Barbieri said. In their Saturday morning match against Tottenham, excellent defensive efforts by Michael DiMaria, John Barbieri and Gabrielle Ponce helped keep Manchester in the game, supported by goalies Nicolette Catona and Michael Marino. Dean Scotti, Max Sperling and Chynna Basso played well on offense and defense. “One of the great things about these kids is that they never quit, they play tough week to week and they are one of the youngest teams in the division,” Barbieri said.

Juventus vs. A S Roma

Undefeated A S Roma played well in a game against Juventus in the divion for eight year-olds Saturday afternoon. Roma coach Steven Brown said his players are working on learning all positions, which gives them all a chance to shine at offense and defense. “I try to switch it around so that everyone plays everything and they’ve really taken to that,” Brown said. “We’ve had such a good season because they all step up all the time.” Juventus’ aggressive offensive attacks were fought off by A C Roma’s strong defensive line.

Dundee vs. Rangers

Dundee fell to an experienced Rangers team in a game Saturday afternoon. Rangers’ Kyle Maer and Jake Bader broke through the Dundee defense to score several goals in the first half. Dundee’s Rebecca Anthony hammered multiple shots on the Ranger goal, but was turned aside by the relentless Ranger goalkeeper. Despite a slow first half, Dundee made a stand in the second, led by a goal by Emmet Smith with an assist and excellent centering pass by Ellen Mullan-Jayes. Dundee goalie Milo Ben-Amotz fended off several Ranger attempts with rolling and tumbling saves. “We just need to warm up,” Dundee’s coach Dan Costa said. “If we had another half to play, I am sure we could have pulled this one out.”

Ipswich vs. Southampton

Ipswich and Southampton parents warmed themselves around the coffee urn as they watched their eager six year-olds take to the fields early Saturday morning. The first half was a well-played stalemate with both sides moving the ball well up and down the field. Outstanding goal play by Tao Hunt included a flying face stop to keep Ipswich in the game. Southampton scored first, matched shortly by a breakaway goal by Ipswich’s Aidan Rogers. Second half substitutions by Southampton led to several exciting goals, led by Jake Jiler and Noah Sutter, who controlled the ball well.

Motherwell vs. Celtic

Celtic and Motherwell kicked off at 2 p.m. Saturday for the first time this season. The teams were well matched with outstanding defensive plays on both sides. Casper Henak, Jospeph Demarco and Michael Martorana turned away a number of attacks from the Celtic squad, while goalkeeper Ali Rossi stopped all other shots in the first half. The matched remained scoreless until late in the first half when Motherwell’s Bryan Boyd passed the ball to Cameron Spector and placed a shot in the upper corner of the goal to break the ice. In the second half, Jake Miller scored from outside the box with an assist from Jake Shapiro to secure Motherwell’s win. Both teams will play again for the final contest of the season, Nov. 22.

Paris SG vs. Lyon

Paris SG met Lyon for a very close, very physical hard-fought match Sunday afternoon in the division for 11 year-olds. The first half ended in a scoreless tie as Paris and Lyon matched each other play for play. A large part of the game was played at midfield, as both teams’ defenses were adept at preventing scoring opportunities. Rashid Oord, Ian Tullis, Andrew Chow, Alex Lois and Alex Wedmore led Lyon’s defense in the first half, matched by excellent defensive plays on the Paris side by Zach Herman and others. Paris’ Rosie and Francie Seidl Chodosh and Eren Adriansen worked the midfield against Lyon’s Ian Tullis, Alex Wedmore, Alex Lois and Victoria Smith. Paris’ Carlos Parera held off continual offensive attacks by forwards Lila Low-Beinart, Matthew Hickey, Victor Smith and Jukie Tsai. The lone goal of the game came from a rare penalty kick on goal by Paris’ Parera, over the outstretched arms of Lyon’s goalkeeper Sam Fishman. Many parents commented this was the closest game of the season. Lyon will meet Paris for a season-ending rematch on Nov. 23. In the meantime, Paris players are looking forward to a make-up game against Bordeaux Wednesday night at 6:50 under the lights.

Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

Real Madrid met Barcelona in a nail-bitingly close match Sunday. Real Madrid fell behind with two early goals by Barcelona in the first half. Real Madrid roared back in the second half with a great pass and go from Miles Schuck to Max Sternberg. The team continued to pressure Barcelona goalie Rueben Sonz Barnes with several more shots but no more goals. Madrid goalie Reuben Sinder made several clutch saves to keep his team in the game. “I have never heard the parents cheer so loud,” Real Madrid coach Don Schuck said. In the end, it was 2-1 Barcelona, as both teams walked off the field to a standing ovation from the parents. Real Madrid players recovered from the loss by parading around the field with a 20-pound striped bass caught by Schuck off of Fire Island earlier that morning.

Sevilla vs. Celta

Sevilla played another great match against Celta Sunday morning. Sevilla’s offense quickly converged on Celta with plays by Diego Orellana, Nikita Rozhdestven and Max Cohen. The Sevilla midfielder passed to the offensive team and they took the ball up the field. The secret to Sevilla’s success was passing and teamwork, coach Mike Sheridan said. Sevilla’s defensive line of Brett Russell, Christin Hu and Harrison Spelman helped Gabby Eisenberg-Edidin stop shots in goal. Aggressive kicks by Sevilla’s Alexandra Martin helped support her team throughout the match. Celta’s Wyatt Leach held Celta’s defense, stopping all but two of Sevilla’s drives toward goal. Offensive player Nicolas Morton drove the ball with deadly accuracy toward Sevilla’s goal, but was fought off by Eisenberg-Edidin.

Metrostars vs. DC United

The 12-13 year-old Metrostars faced DC United in a 7 p.m. match under the lights Wednesday night. DC United scored twice in the first half and four more times in the second, countered by Metrostars’ three goals. The game ended at 8.p.m. as the field lights were turned off. Both teams showed impressive passing, heading and shooting talent for a very exciting game.

Thanks to the coaches who contributed to this report. Please e-mail Ashley@DowntownExpress.com or news@DowntownExpress. com before Monday afternoon.