Winning is contagious for the Albertson Soccer Club Atomics as the U-11 Boys Travel Team posted three consecutive shutouts over the past two weekends in league and State Cup competition. The Atomics are 9-0-1 in the Fall season including an undefeated record in LIJSL Division N5 and a second round berth in the annual State Cup Tournament.
The series of victories began on September 29 against the Syosset Lightning in a game that was appropriately moved to Roslyn Middle School due to weather complications. The match was tight throughout the first half until Ben Newman dribbled around three defenders for a 1-0 lead at twenty four minutes. Goalie Matt Goldberg held the fort with three saves before turning the nets back to Newman in the second half. Six minutes into the second stanza Luke Unger took a perfect Goldberg cross and deked the keep down before pinching the post for the goal. Chaos reigned over the next ten minutes when a penalty kick converted by TJ Winters was disallowed, the ensuing opportunity called off after curving inside the goal line, a yellow card issued to the Lightning goalie for tripping Joey Mazzola and an unfortunate offsides call erased a beautiful exchange between Goldberg and Alex Werman for a score. Despite the numerous chances to increase the lead, the suspense of the game's outcome continued until Spencer Schwartz jumped on a rebound with two minutes to go for a final tally of 3-0.
The following Saturday, the Atomics traveled to Grove Park to face the Garden City Lions. The Lions are the only team to blemish the Atomics record with a tie in the season's second outing. Revenge and concern was on the minds of the brain trust as they approached the match carefully. In a game that was, at times, defensive and physical, Goldberg was one of the few Atomics to remain on his feet and slap home a Winters rebound for a 1-0 lead after fifteen minutes. The Atomics were aided by Lions chances that went wide early in the second half before the usual Atomic scoring spurt was on. Within seven minutes of the game's conclusion, Ben Carus fed Luke Unger; Unger returned the favor to Carus and Goldberg took an onsides pass from Mazzola to seal the fate at 4-0. Newman had sure hands in goal for seven saves but was protected in earnest by the usual strong fullback play of Billy Schlesinger, TJ Winters, Michael Merlo and Andrew Ines.
State Cup play began on October 6 at Harbor Links against division rival, Hicksville Sonics. State Cup is played under full field rules with eleven players enabling the team to take full advantage of abilities and manpower. Playing with only one substitute, the Atomics advanced to a lead at nine minutes on a Nick Franzini high header that was directed off a Winters skip pass. Two more goals would be produced over the next ten minutes to allow for a cushion of comfort. Winters scored courtesy of Mazzola while Evan Greenberg was led by Unger. Goalie Goldberg deflected a direct kick with five minutes remaining in the half to halt any Sonic boom. Michael Corrado saw key time in the defensive end and marked Hicksville forwards well. Mazzola collected his second assist on a Goldberg boot and Newman tallied twice (once from Carus, once from Schlesinger). The team defense was spectacular throughout the game. In a testament to sportsmanship, the Atomics passed without shooting for the final ten minutes of the match after a 6-0 advantage.
The Atomics see Tournament action under the lights in the North Hempstead Cup at Manorhaven Park on Saturday October 11 at 6:50 p.m. and Sunday October 12 at 2:00 p.m. League play continues on October 19 at Soccer Park versus the Farmingdale Wolves at 9:00 a.m. before a return engagement against the Sonics on their home turf on the 26th at 11:50 a.m. Second round State Cup action pits the Atomics against Division 3 road rival Plainedge Vipers on October 20 at 4:45 p.m. The boys are playing hard and deserve the community and club support for all their efforts and practice. Sideline seats are limited and should be secured an hour before all scheduled matches.