Week 12 Recap: Physical Games Ensue as Freedoms and Lansdowne Impress

By Michael Battista

Week 12 Recap: Physical Games Ensue as Freedoms and Lansdowne Impress

It was a busy Sunday as all Division 1 teams took part in Cosmopolitan Soccer League play for Round 12. Doxa FC continued its spring winning ways, the NY Pancyprian Freedoms grip on the division lead increased, and multiple teams slow start to the second half continued. 

Here’s the full recap:

Sunday, March 24

Hoboken FC 1912 v. Lansdowne Yonkers FC (2-5)

In the shadow of Snake Hill, Lansdowne Yonkers FC completed its' season sweep of Hoboken FC 1912 with a win, 5-2, at the latter’s home field in Secaucus, NJ in the CSL Game of the Week. 

Each had chances in the first half, but between the 29th and 34th minute both teams fell into a fast paced, chaotic press where both put up shots and finishes. 

Throughout the first, the Bhoys had the ball for a majority of time but kept missing chances against the Hoboken keeper. The shooting gallery mentality did pay off eventually as Lansdowne opened up scoring in the 29th with a goal from Stephen Elias, assisted by Samuel Gehma and Carlos Bonilla. Under a minute later off the restart, Ovan Oakley scored his second goal in two games off a sloppy giveaway in the Hoboken end. 

“We moved the ball quickly and we opened up a lot of spaces when we moved the ball quickly,” Lansdowne head coach Jim Kelly said in a post game interview. “We (have) good players and it’s because of interruptions in pre-season - we played a lot of games but we still need to get to a fitness level. But overall I was very happy with the performance.”

It looked as though the visitors would put up a third, game clinching goal in the 34th when David Arvidsson had a chance to beat the advancing Hoboken keeper Jon-Paul Francini one on one, but his slow shot drifted wide right to the dismay of his teammates and coaches on the bench.

Hoboken began to rally in the last 15 minutes of the first half behind Thomas Hogue and the steady hands and often challenged Francini. Hogue put his team within one in the 31st with a great shot passed the Bhoys keeper while the defense forced a Lansdowne shot on goal to be taken from deep, which slammed off the left post and away from the net.

Despite ending the first and starting the second half quickly, Lansdowne Yonkers regained control early on. Oakley scored his second and third goals in the 52 and 66 minutes respectively, completely the hat trick with a pass off a free kick that snuck past the Hoboken defenders. 

Lansdowne slowed the game pace from there and dominated possession without taking too many chances. Coach Kelly explained that following last week’s come from behind close win this sort of result was what the team needed.

“I know from the training that it’s really important,” Kelly said. “We do a lot of work with the ball. So it’s really important that they keep (the game in control). It’ll just give them huge confidence going forward.”

Kevin Halliday would score for 1912 in the 82nd off an assist from Hogue but Yonkers responded one final time with a Carlos Bonilla goal in the 87th. 

Both teams are on the road in League Round 13 as Lansdowne takes on Cedar Stars Academy and Hoboken faces off against Zum Schneider FC 03.

Cedar Stars Academy v. Doxa FC (2-4)

In its’ second straight game against a top four table opponent, Doxa FC defeated Cedar Stars Academy, 4-2, on Sunday. With the win, the team (16 pts) inches closer to a playoff spot as 5th place NY Shamrocks SC (18 pts) lost its match and Doxa plays 4th place NY Greek Americans next week on Sunday, March 31.

Cedar Star team owner and manager Oliver Papraniku said that Doxa deserved the win and described his team’s shortcomings during the match.

“We missed five easy goals and lost our positive work rate, while Doxa gained in confidence and caught us on the counter” Papraniku said in an email. “They deserved the win after our missed chances in first 15 minutes of each half.”

The visiting Doxa stuck to its’ game plan early to keep pressure on CSA. Four shots within the first 30 minutes of the game got passed the home team’s defenders and needed to be saved, point blank, by the Cedar keeper. After Kareem Joachim broke through twice for goals, Cedar ended the first half as the attacking force. With under a minute to go, Jean Voltaire’s shot deflected off a Doxa defender and into the net putting his team within striking distance off an assist from Chris Katona.

For Cedar, the game was about missed chances. In particular, five missed opportunities on net could have made the difference with game within reach early in the first half and early in the second. 

Rasmus Hansens and Jimmy Mulligan both scored for Doxa and Cedar respectively, with the latter assisted by Katona once again, keeping the lead at one goal early in the second. Doxa missed chances kept CSA in it but a Bradley Nestor goal sealed the game. 

“Great effort by all the players showing that last week’s win was not a fluke,” team manager 
Peter Legakis said in a post game email. 

During the match Doxa’s Robert Cabrera earned two assists, while Joachim and Hansens both earned one each. 

NY Greek Americans v. Central Park Rangers Whites (4-2)

The NY Greek Americans remain in the CSL Division 1 Top Four for another week after coming back against a resilient Central Park Rangers White team, 4-2. 

The Greek-Americans poor defense nearly cost the team on multiple occasions, inclduing twice conceding penalty kicks during the second half which were missed by Whites’ James Greco and Byran Dia. The wasted goal opportunities would come back to haunt CPR as the score would have been tied should those goals had gone in.

The bottom table CPR White took the lead early in the first half when Lance Dotzman scored off an assist from Raphael Carvalho. The Greeks answered before halftime though with a equalizer from Shaun Foster

CPR’s Ruben Areiza made it 2-1 from close range after a free kick from Greco set up the former early in the second half. But the aforementioned missed PKs and a controversial second equalizer, which some players yelled should have been called dead due to offside, the game fell away from the visitors. Two goals from Pat McCann and one from Tyler Botte finished out the game and result. 

Zum Schneider FC 03 v. NY Shamrock SC (1-0)

NY Shamrock SC lost by a single goal, 1-0, to Zum Schneider FC 03 which drops the Rocks out of the CSL Division 1 Top Four for the first time since November 2018. For ZSFC, the Round 12 win keeps it on pace with fellow surging side Doxa FC and sweeps the season series with Shamrock FC.

On the balmy spring evening on Randall's Island, Zum Schneider played with a emphasis on defense. Despite the Rocks playing three strikers up front none could get a clean shot on net for a majority of the game. 

Offensively, the home side ZCFC worked the sides of the field tirelessly looking to get passed the Shamrocks backline. Head coach Alexander Berscheid praised Andres Munoz for his work on the left wing all game. Despite this, it wasn’t until midway through the second half when the visitors conceded. 

With about twenty minutes to go, Yusuf Mikaheel found Alec Cutter open and in position to score the deciding goal. The team had another clear shot for another goal around 10 minutes later off a Ivan Berterame chance that was saved by the Rocks keeper. 

Coach Berscheid’s squad plays at home again next week as it takes on Hoboken FC 1912. 

NY Pancyprian Freedoms v. NY Athletic Club (3-0)

With their win over NY Athletic Club, 3-0, the NY Pancyprian Freedoms put some distances between themselves and second place Cedar Star Academy for the top spot in Division 1. 

The gap now sits at six points, meaning the Freedoms (34 pts) would need to drop multiple games for CSA (28 pts) to just tie them with consecutive wins. 

Hector Guerrero, James Nealis, and Lukas Ostermann all scored for the Freedoms while Andreas Iosifidis, Jonathan Borrajo, and Himeno all notched up assists. 

NYPF plays on short rest on Saturday against a struggling NY Shamrocks SC while NYAC looks to change its fortunes against CPR Whites on Sunday, March 31. 

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