For the third time in its three years as a team, the Great Neck Thunder boys U12 soccer team has advanced to the Waldbaum's Cup Finals. With the addition of this year's new players, Oscar Corado, Eric Judson, Brian Lee, and Brandon Thomas, to complete the roster of returning players Jacy Baron, Lance Gabbay, Tal Grinbaum, Daniel Joseph, Jonathan Marvisi, Ori Matalon, David Melnick, Brandon Shapiro, Jake Winn, Sam Zaretsky, and Jared Zelin, the team, led by the seasoned coaching of Craig Newman and the dedicated management of Kerry Baron, has shown its best stuff in the Waldbaum's Cup competition. The tournament is a five round, single elimination event played over the spring season, beginning with the first round in March and culminating with the finals in June. In their rookie season, the Thunder made it to the finals. Last season, in their second appearance, they went all the way and won the championship.
In their semifinal game on Sunday, May 16, facing the Farmingdale Wolves, the Thunder preserved the opportunity to defend its title in an exciting, nail biting victory. Thanks to great passing, coordinated effort and outstanding team play, regulation time ended in a 2-2 tie. Faced with the pressure of one five minute "golden goal" overtime and then another, the deadlock remained unbroken after 10 minutes of overtime play. It was left to a penalty kick shootout to determine victory. When the initial five-player shoot out round was over, the game was still tied. After two more rounds of single players shooting it out, the Thunder edged out Farmingdale four penalty kick points to three. An energized Great Neck Thunder is eager to meet the Little Neck Warriors at the finals on June 13. Bring it on!