Adult Soccer: Playoff scene takes shape

Thomas Cools of Team Clemens and Phil Pires of Team Pires contend for the ball during a Weston Adult Soccer League game last Monday, July 31. Team Pires won 4-2. — Scott Mullin photo

The following games were played in the Weston Adult Soccer League last week:

Team Pires 4, Team Clemens 2

Team Pires came into the match on Monday, July 31, needing a win to strengthen its playoff chances, while Team Clemens looked to maintain its strong form heading into the semifinals.

The game began with Team Clemens mounting some impressive attacks – even striking the post twice in the opening minutes – but without any success in finding the back of the net.

Fifteen minutes into the first half, Team Pires striker, David Sheptovitsky opened the scoring, with a left-footed shot from outside of the box that the evaded the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Gustavo Reaes.

Team Pires continued to create scoring chances, as Sheptovitsky delivered a perfectly threaded through ball that found Cole Marriyappa in the box. Mariyappa slotted the ball into the back of the net to give Team Pires a 2-0 advantage. With 10 minutes left in the half, Team Pires continued to pressure the Team Clemens defense and create opportunities. Knowing that his Team needed to win big to guarantee their playoff spot, Phil Pires received the ball in the midfield, and after evading a defender, he then played a give-and-go with Max Story before placing the ball past Res to bring the score to 3-0.

Now down 3-0, Team Clemens did not give up and only continued to press harder for a goal, led by Neal Clemens, Ben Eglash, Thomas Cools, Pat Scully and Jeff Rothlein. The opportunity came near the end of the half when Team Clemens drew a free kick five yards outside of the box. Rothlein delivered a free kick that Team Pires goalie Zach Gonzalez got fingertips to but could not save.

As the second half began, Team Pires adopted a more defensive formation. Team Clemens controlled the possession, but was stymied by the strong defensive play of Tony Carreras and Bruno Costa at the back and Paul Amado and A.J. Taccone in the midfield.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, Team Clemens managed to break through with Cools scoring on a low, decisive strike to bring the score to 3-2. Team Clemens, sensing an equalizer was within its grasp, continued to attack and press while Team Pires played defensively and attempted to counter

After soaking up a lot of pressure, Team Pires hit Team Clemens on the break. Edy Marraquin managed to win the ball near midfield and then played a through ball to Taccone, who held off the Team Clemens defense before slotting the ball home to bring the score to 4-2, which is how it would remain at the final whistle.

Team Shrager 6, Team Bear 3

Within a few minutes of play on Tuesday, the ball had bounced around the midfield and found itself at the feet of Emre Yazar, who played it towards striker Conrad Shrager. The ball deflected and landed at the feet of midfielder Alex Toutoungi, who played it  through to Shrager. Going one on one with Team Bear goali Stanley Okoro, he managed to tap it over and to the side of the and found the corner the goal.

Almost five minutes later Team Shrager had made another advance forward to midfielder Ian Richling, who played a pass to Shrager, who again just squeezed the ball passed Okoro into the corner.

Team Bear’s Xavi Eugebride advanced with some good connecting play and found himself in the box away from goal where Team Shrager defender Corey Brandfon came from behind and fouled him. Eugebride stepped up to finish his offensive play, only to see his penalty saved by the outstretched arm of keeper Johan Britz, who deflected the ball.

David Strider crossed the ball in and a handball was called, resulting in another penalty kick.

This time Chris Parkhurst stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way, making it a 2-1 game.

In the second half Team Bear pressed forward in search of an early advantage for the second 45 minutes. Within minutes of the restart Brandfon was called for a handball in the box and Parkhurst stepped up to take the kick, tying the score at 2-2.

A few passes of play persisted and Team Shrager was looking to take the lead again. The ball had been played around the box by its offense when a mis-kicked clearance from Team Bear resulted in another handball in the box. Richtling assumed penalty duties and blasted the ball towards the top corner of the net to get back the lead. After Bear pulled a goal back to make it 3-3, it was game on.

Team Shrager came together to press ahead. Neil Edwards played the ball out wide to Richling, who found Shrager deep in the box, hit a long cross in towards the back post. Shrager followed it but never got a touch, the cross simply went unexpectedly in the top corner to make it 4-3.

Team Shrager later won a corner in which Edwards handily hit into the box. Mike Levine leaped higher than all the players on the field and hit a sharp downward header inside the goal. The score went to 5-3.

Finally, with both teams seemingly winding down, Richting moved past Team Bear defenders and completed his hat trick.

Team Ba 3, Team Dacey 3

Team Dacey needed to win this game by five  goals to make up ground on the tie breaker of goal differential and
started the game pressing harder than they have all year. Right off the kick off Captain Joe Dacey and Max Singer hooked up on the outside with Dacey unable to finish the opportunity as Team Ba goalie Joe DeCanio would come up with the save. Team Dacey knowing they needed to score early and often

continued to press Team Ba and keep it under pressure, creating several goal scoring opportunities that all came up short until Robert Sztachelski fended off a few defenders and shot a perfectly placed ball to the lower corner to give Team Dacey the 1-0 lead.

After receiving a ball around the midfield area, Enjo Ba turned and struck. The ball bounced off the turf in front of Team Dacey keeper Brendan Blees with just enough spin to slip by his hands and into the net. A short time later, Robert Sztachelski earned a free kick and spun the ball into the corner to give Team Dacey the 2-1 lead going into halftime.

About 15 minutes into the second half  Ba collected a ball in the middle of the Team Dacey box, dribbled past the keeper and placed it in the net to tie the score at 2-2.

A few minutes later, Ba received a high pass from Roger Silva and controlled it down while being chased by Dacey’s defense. Ba dribbled through the defense from left to right, taking all Dacey’s defensive staff with him on a chase, then made a U-turn to find Eric Nalbandian, who had no trouble hitting the back of net to make it 3-2.

Team Dacey continued to push back. The pressure paid off when again Sztachelski dribbled around defenders with his left foot when he slid a ball in the box to Igor Pikayzen, who gave Team Dacey its third goal, as the game ended in a tie.

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