New Hyde Park was proud to host its 2nd Annual Special Soccer tournament for all the LIJSL programs at the Denton Avenue fields. Teams from Garden City, Huntington Boys Club, North Shore, Oceanside, Plainview/Old Bethpage, Sachem, Smithtown and New Hyde Park were represented.
Once again, I'd like to thank all the people who made it happen: The committee, consisting of Ray Andersen, Marcy Bauer, Brenda Bletsch, Rich Bursig, Brian Evers, Debbie Gilroy, Mike Hennessy, Rich Hess, Jim Lawler, Larry Spota and Kevin Walline; the helpers: from the Wildcat family and the NHP Memorial High School Key Club; and to all the generous people who gave financial assistance, Stan Epstein (Elite Limousine Plus, Inc.), UPS, Northrup Grumman (Larry Spota), Stormcats (Dom Marrano), the Schwemmer Family, the Chase Manhattan Foundation (Brian Evers) and ENYYSA (John Ehrhart), Michael Parisi, the owner of George's Deli on Hillside Avenue and the Garden City Park Water/Fire District. Thanks to our photographers: Jane Andersen, Mary Ann Minerva and Mary Jo Bursig.
Below is a letter from the LIJSL Chairperson for Special Soccer, Ann Marie Toth:
(Letter sent to Special Soccer Chairman Richard Bletsch)
All of us involved with special soccer would like to thank you, the New Hyde Park Soccer Club and all your volunteers for providing our athletes with such a wonderful tournament.
I missed last year's tournament but was told what a good job you all did. This time I could see for myself how professional everything was.
The athletes were thrilled to receive the medals, patches and water bottles you handed out. The food wasn't bad either. It also looks like we will have some nice pictures of the teams because the weather was so perfect.
Thanks again for a job well done.
Ann Marie Toth
Once again the International Division flexed its muscles in tournament play. This weekend, the fun started on Saturday in West Islip. The division showed its depth with each of three teams bringing home a first place trophy with a combined record of 12 wins, 0 losses and three ties. That makes 22 tournament games in a row without a loss over the last two tournaments with 23 different boys participating in the streak. Good work boys!
In the morning session, the boys started the undefeated day posting a record of four wins and one tie on their way to storming into first place. This was a total team effort as the kids buckled down against tough competition and rose to a higher level to play some outstanding soccer. Max Grant led the scoring for the Wildcats with four goals with all assists coming from the crafty and creative play of Mario Costa (two goals) and Robby Martines who scored a goal of his own. The unselfish, aggressive midfield play of Johnny Coster and Sean Rogers set the tone as they turned back run after run by the competition and in turn created their own opportunities as Sean scored twice. While our offensive fire power was raising some eyebrows, the defensive pairing of Matt Nathan and Danny Bravo were winning the battles in the trenches, rejecting numerous rushes and sending the ball back to the attack with booming kicks. The chances that did make it through were quickly snuffed out by the outstanding goalkeeping of Jimmy Clark, who allowed only one goal over five games. We are also proud of being part of the "New Hyde Park Trifecta" as all three teams took first place. Super job...one and all!!!
In the afternoon session, Michael Riccardi led the offense with four goals. His feisty attitude and determination to win every loose ball was contagious. Makis Konstantatos contributed three goals while creating many scoring opportunities with his unselfish passing. As usual, Makis played a solid two way game all day. Eric Wendt continues to excel at mid-field. His awareness of the entire field and ability to anticipate the play was a key to our success. No one plays this game harder or with more drive than Andrew Montoni. His efforts paid off when he scored the only goal in an important 1-0 victory. The quickness and aggressive play of Robert Maer on defense helped hold the opponents to only two goals in five games. In addition to sharing the goalkeeping duties, Patrick Nicoll showed off by blasting in a goal past the opponents stunned keeper from across mid-field. Joey Beltempo was nothing less than spectacular in goal. He smartly prevented many scoring opportunities by coming out and intercepting crossing passes.
An intramural tournament team comprised of eight BU9's and one BU10 registered in the Under 10 division was pitted against tough competition. Without any gym time practice under their belt, the boys went out and gave it their best effort.
NHP 2 - West Islip 0
Not knowing what to expect playing up, the boys quickly lit up the scoring as Andrew Morici capped a nice pass from Matthew Uy. Second goal was scored by Matthew Uy after heads-up passing from Jonathan DeFelice to Tony Peveraro. Kyle Sheridan controlled the keeper spot and notched the shutout with help from Matthew Simms and Daniel Viviano. This would be the only game played by Michael Santalesa, as he had to leave the tournament feeling a bit under the weather.
NHP 4 - Garden City - A0
Andrew Morici started the scoring for the second straight game with another heads-up pass from Matthew Uy. Individual skills resulted on goals by Andrew Morici, Kyle Sheridan and Matthew Uy. On the keeper spot, Daniel Viviano extended the teams' shutout streak with superb defensive plays from Matthew Simms and Gregory Fink.
NHP 3 - Garden City-B - 1
One-touch passing by Jonathan DeFelice and Matthew Uy resulted in an uncontested goal by Andrew Morici. One-touch passing continued between Andrew and Matthew Uy allowing Jonathan DeFelice to score his first of the night. Calm, cool, and collective passing displays were applauded and cheered-on by the enthusiastic crowd. Last goal of the game was scored by Andrew Morici after a perfect throw-in by Gregory Fink from the right touchline. Kyle Sheridan and David Viviano shared the goalkeeping duties. Tony Peveraro and Gregory started as left and right fullbacks respectively.
NHP 3 - Central Islip 2
The boys were not intimidated playing against a taller size team as Matthew Uy's quick throw-in was placed in the net by Jonathan DeFelice. Jonathan would score again, his third of the evening, as he exhibited excellent foot skills. Not to be outdone by the scoring party, Andrew Morici found the net with another patented cross-pass from Matthew Uy. Kyle Sheridan was kept busy from the keeper spot by the very persistent Central Islip team and needed help from Matthew Simms, Tony Peveraro, Gregory Fink and Daniel Viviano.
NHP 1 - North Babylon 1
A battle from the start as the front trio of Tony Peveraro, Jonathan DeFelice and Kyle Sheridan faced a very good and tall North Babylon goalkeeper. Andrew Morici found the back of the net, as he was the recipient of a rainbow throw-in from Matthew Uy. This duo's enthusiasm, field alertness, and aggressive playing marked the fifth time they've combined on an on-goal-scoring-opportunity. Matthew Simms and Gregory Fink were relentless on defense as Daniel Viviano kept them in-check from the keeper position. NB scored with 18 seconds left as the NHP boys' stamina was reaching the limit.
Playing the numbers game, birthday boy Andrew Morici scored on every game and led the team with seven goals, followed by Jonathan DeFelice (3), Matthew Uy (2) and Kyle Sheridan (1). Hardworking from the left attack and displaying his heads-up play ability is Matthew Uy as he led the team with seven assists, followed by Jonathan (2), and one each for Gregory Fink, Andrew Morici and Tony Peveraro. Jonathan DeFelice provided the strength and controlled the center-mid position throughout the afternoon. Daniel Viviano and Kyle Sheridan shared the keeper spot with one shutout each. Both keepers came through when needed most as they faced hard shots from the older and taller kids. Birthday boy Matthew Simms was a wall from the defensive position and kept the ball up-front for the most part. His aggressiveness and physical plays made it difficult for opponents to set-up.
Special thanks to all the parents for their continued support. Helping out on the assistant coaching duty was Strykercats (BU12) Head Coach Ralph Viviano. Thanks Ralph! Well done boys!!!
Teamwork, support and defense were the ingredients to success in Oceanside. NHP #1 put it together winning five of six games including five shutouts. With Eric Wendt patrolling the mid-field and Gary Mancini and Andrew Bott on defense, every attempt by the opponent was squashed before it had a chance to get started. The few shots that did get through were eaten up by the aggressive play in goal by Joey Beltempo and Andrew Bott. Makis Konstantatos led the scoring with five goals including a perfect header off a throw-in. The fine pass work of Andrew Montini helped Michael Riccardi put four in the net including a hat trick in the opening game. Some highlights include Andrew Bott coming far out of the net to take the ball off an opponent's foot on a breakaway. Eric Wendt prevented a sure goal with a sliding block at the side of the net. The boys lost the championship game on an unusual play. With the opponents taking an indirect free kick at our net from mid-field, our keeper correctly did not attempt to play the ball since a goal would not have counted because the ball was not touched by two players. Unfortunately, the ball hit the post and the rebound was shot into our net. Coach John Riccardi would like to thank the parents of both NHP teams for supporting the teams, especially those who gave up the watching the Jet's game.
NHP #2 played a tough four games at Oceanside but didn't get any breaks. Each of the three losses was only by one goal. The offense was led by Sean Rogers (three goals), Max Grant, Eddie Daly and Paul Roantree. Solid midfield plays from Mario Costa and Kris Kapela. Alan Joseph played excellent defensive and John Coster was solid in goal.
In a very competitive tournament featuring some very talented and skillful teams, the U8 girls showed they can play with anybody. When the day was done, they came away with a well deserved second place finish.
NHP 1 - W. Islip 1
The girls dominated the entire game. Nicole Daly finished off a nice cross from Kelcey Zacarese for our only goal. Ann Marie McHale had several good shots on goal only to be denied by the hot West Islip goalie. Erica Southern stopped everything that came her way. The only West Islip goal came on a funny bounce off a corner throw.
NHP 0 - Bayshore 0
Goalie Dina Nicastro came up with two big saves to salvage the tie against a real tough team. The defense of Dominque DeFelice and Nicole West was dazzling. Aileen McGonigle controlled the midfield and fed the forwards well but the Bayshore goalie had the lid on.
NHP 0 - N. Babylon 0
Ann Marie kept us in this one with at least five saves including one on a penalty shot. We lost Kelcey to injury about halfway through, but the rest of the team showed their defensive toughness and kept it a scoreless tie.
NHP 2 - W. Islip 0
Erica, Dominique and Nicole W. starred in this one as they controlled the game with skillful lead passes that enabled us to get off about 10 shots. Nicole D. found the back of the net twice, once thanks to a perfect, unselfish pass from Aileen and another on sheer determination.
NHP 0 - N. Babylon 1
A fluke goal on another corner throw was the only scoring in this one as goalie Erica S. and the entire team played their hearts out. Dina, Kelcey and Nicole D. had some good chances but the ball didn't find the twine. North Babylon took first but they did beat us - we just ran out of time.