Week 15 Recap: New York Athletic Club Shocks NY Shamrocks SC & Freedoms Down Doxa FC

By Michael Battista

Week 15 Recap: New York Athletic Club Shocks NY Shamrocks SC & Freedoms Down Doxa FC

Following another break last weekend, Week 15 play started early in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League last Tuesday night (4/23) and will end a little later than usual with another game tonight (4/30). Between those two goal posts there's been a late season upset that may save a team from possible relegation, the Freedoms eliminated Doxa from a possible playoff spot, and Cedar Star Academy advanced in the U.S. Amateur Cup in Region 1.

Here's everything you need to know about the week that was:

Tuesday, April 23
Doxa FC v. NY Pancyprian Freedoms (0-3)
The top team in CSL Division 1 scored another win as the NY Pancyprian Freedoms beat Doxa FC, 3-0. The Freedoms total has stretched to 40 points through 15 games while Doxa is now officially eliminated from the playoff conversation.

Both teams played hard in the first half with neither finishing on attempts. The Freedoms mostly controlled the ball to start but Doxa’s defense held them back. Doxa manager Panagiotis Legakis said his team kept pace with one of the best but couldn’t find the all important goal.

“We played well against a very tough opponent pancyprian Freedoms,” Legakis said in an email. “We both missed chances in the first half which left us at 0-0 at half time.”

The second half is where the seven-time league champions pushed through. In the 65th minute, Adam Himeno took the ball down the sideline before cutting back and finding Lukas Ostermann who sunk the ball in past the keeper. Doxa responded by trying to open space in the middle but gave the Freedoms too much room to work with. After multiple passes and cutbacks, John Borrajo found Jimmy Nealis who curled the ball in from the top of the box to double his team’s lead.

The final blow came late in the game. Nealis, who had been a standout directing his team from the middle of the field, played a part in one more goal as his corner kick fell to Pantelis Konomis who made it 3-0.

Freedoms technical director Panayiotis Onisiforou said the win means the team is one step closer to the end goal.

“Team has great momentum now, three games to go then play offs and state cup final,” Onisiforou  said in an email. “It's in our hands.”

For Legakis he now wants his team to finish out the CSL season strong and look towards the future.

“We have three games left plus the kilby cup,” he said. “We would like to end off the season on a strong note and leading the way into the summer U-23 Ryder Vass cup. Eighty percent of our team is under-23 which is good to keep the guys playing together in the tournament which we finished runners-up last year but looking to do better this summer. “


Sunday, April 28
NY Athletic Club v. NY Shamrock SC (2-1)
No goal scorer information given by NY Shamrock SC
New York Athletic Club put some distance between itself and the relegation zone with a win, 2-1, over NY Shamrock SC at home. The loss may come back to seriously hurt the Rocks as the team sits just barely in fourth place in Division 1, with Lansdowne Yonkers FC able to jump them and take the final playoff spot depending on Tuesday night’s result.

For most of the game NYAC looked to be in control with plenty of team plays giving the squad an edge. The team’s first goal started with a Jimmy Lannon long ball that Alejandro Sucre headed past the Shamrocks’ back line. Jake Mann made a run down the middle of the field to beat the defenders and finished with a low shot, past the keeper’s right side.

Both teams had chances but the next score came in the middle of the second half. The Rocks tried to clear a Athletic Club throw in but the attempt was deflected past their own defensive line. Amara Sesay found the ball just inside of the 18-yard box, took a quick touch, and finished with a side-netting shot to the opposite post.

The Rocks’ made a valient push in the last twenty minutes. Shortly after the second goal, the team broke through New York’s defense and cut the deficit to one. A few more chances came up but the home side saw the game out and came away with the three points.

Both teams will play top four teams next week as NYAC faces second place Cedar Star Academy on Sunday, May 5 while Shamrocks face NY Greek Americans the same day.

Zum Schneider FC 03 v. Central Park Rangers Whites (4-1)
After withstanding an early attack, Zum Schneider FC 03 was able to cruise to a win, 4-1, over Central Park Rangers Whites on Sunday night. The win puts Zum at 20 points with a chance at a playoff spot still in the cards while CPR has yet to record a win this season.

The match started in a familiar fashion for the Rangers; quick pressure and forcing the opposing team back. Rin Ishiguro gave CPR the lead, beating his man on the right wing and sneaking it past the keeper from an angle, but following this the squad couldn’t get a clear shot on net though and the few chances Zum did have translated into goals of their own. 

During a counter attack, Lukas Hauer scored his third goal of the season off a Saad Alif cross from the right side. Before the halftime whistle, Julian Poppenseiker headed in a second score off a corner kick to give his team the lead.

Whites coach Eli Vovsha said the last 45 was a struggle for his team with a hill they just couldn’t climb.

“We didn't play well enough in the 2nd half, and their 3rd goal killed the game,” Vovsha said in an email.

Zum changed its formation and played 4-2-3-1 with Tomas Gomez coming on to play number 10. The move paid off and within 5 minutes of him being subbed on Gomez beat a player on the edge of the box and laced a hard shot bottom left corner. CPR struggled to keep up with the team after this and the finishing touch was Ivan Berterame playing Hauer through one on one, with the latter netting his second of the game off a light touch over the advancing keeper.

Zum team admin Tommy Ricketts said he was proud of the team and knows how important the win is.

“Great win backing up terrific start to second half of the season,” Ricketts said in an email after the game.


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Lansdowne Yonkers FC v. NY Greek Americans (0-0)
In the midst of the playoff push two teams currently in D1's top four couldn't find the back of the net as Lansdowne Yonkers FC and NY Greek Americans tied, 0-0.

Greeks team captain Sean Foster was out of action, as he will be for the remainder of the season due to injury, leaving a hole on the lineup where his teammates needed to fill. Lansdowne took advantage by moving the ball around constantly and getting off multiple chances, but like their opponent the Bhoys were also dealing with missing players due to suspensions and injuries.

NYGA keeper Brad Johnson suffered an injury in the early on in the contest, forcing the team to travel five minutes away to the site of the on-going match between the two team's reserve sides. Greek Reserves keeper Kern Griffith arrived from Tibbets Brook Park to fill in for Johnson at halftime and made two big saves to keep the game level.

Considering everything, both teams were lucky to leave the field with a point as the race to the end of the season continues for both.


Non-League - Sunday, April 28

Cedar Star Academy v. Mosteiros FM (Mass.) (3-0)
Cedar Star Academy advanced to the Region I semifinals in U.S Amatuer Cup tournament with a win, 3-1, over Mosteiros FM of Massachusetts at Ramapo College. They will now play Newtown Pride FC (Conn.), which beat New Jersey’s Jackson Lions FC on the same day, on May 19 in Connedicut.

CSL lead scorer and assist man Chris Katona took part in every one of his team’s goals - scoring two and assisting on the third and final one. Gabriel Hernandez knocked back the clinching goal late in the second half as Mosteiros looked for a late game equalizer. 

The team took a lead into halftime when Daniel Cordeiro won a 50/50 at midfield and played a through ball between the two center backs to Katona, who took one touch and shot around the advancing keeper.

It didn’t take CSA long to take on another goal after the restart. RJ Allen received the ball on the right touchline and played a through ball between the left back and left center back to Katona. The later finished to the near post from inside the 18 yard line for his second of the day. Mosteiros pushed back and brought the game to within one after a turnover in the midfield allowed them to get the ball wide left and make a long goal of their own.

After a tense back and forth, former Cosmos midfielder Jimmy Mulligan played a diagonal ball to Katona who brought it down on the right flank. He dribbled into the top of the 18 and passed to the middle where he found Cordeiro who dummied it where Hernandez received the ball. One touch and a lefty shot to the bottom right of the goal saw the game out.

Cedar Star is two wins away from winning Region 1 and earning at least fourth place in the national amateur cup tournament, which will put the team up for potential prize money and direct qualification into the 2020 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

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