June 19, 2012 NPSL INFORMER News and notes from around the league
Looking to clinch
The undefeated San Diego Flash (9 – 2 – 0) take on the Phoenix Monsoon (0 - 0 - 7) this Saturday (June 23) at Del Norte High School (7pm) knowing that three points will see the club successfully defend their 2011 NPSL West-Southern Conference Championship.
The Flash are seven points clear of their nearest rivals, the Santa Clarita Storm. With three games left in the regular season, a win on Saturday will guarantee the club a postseason appearance and a shot at the NPSL title.
Flash Head Coach Warren Barton is keen to see his young charges reap the rewards of a great season.
“To remain undefeated at this stage of the season and potentially become conference champions with games in hand is a great reflection of the hard work, team spirit and professionalism of the San Diego Flash organization both on and off the field.
“We still have a job to do this weekend and we acknowledge that no team in this conference is easy. Our team will be focused on taking their chance to write another successful chapter in the club’s short history.
“We only beat Phoenix 1-0 when we travelled to Arizona earlier in the season. In the last game, they had a plan and turned up with a well-structured and disciplined backline. We won’t be underestimating this side and I will make sure the players are aware of this during training this week.” Barton said.
Kicking up a Monsoon
The Santa Clarita Storms' Tyler Coombes must love playing against the Phoenix Monsoon. On Saturday in Phoenix, Coombes scored four goals and assisted on a fifth, as Santa Clarita romped to a 7-1 win. Coombes was selected the player of the game for his performance.
Coombes has won player of the game honors one other time this season, on April 14th against----the Monsoon. That night, he scored five goals, also earning the NPSL Player of the Week nod.
Some Double dipping
Sonoma County Sol's Michel Arroyo likes double dipping. Arroyo scored two goals in the Sol's 3-1 win over the Bay Area Ambassadors on Friday, his second two-goal game in as many appearances with the team.
Back-and-forth match produces 4-4 tie
The Morris County Colonials came back twice from being down two goals, and salvaged a 4-4 draw with the Buxmont Torch last Wednesday.
After Chris Vaccaro was brought down in the box, a penalty was awarded to the Colonials, which was coolly converted by Jonathan Yazo on ten minutes. With the 1-0 lead and plenty of confidence, Morris County were keen to push on and get more, but Buxmont responded.
A nasty challenge on outside mid JP Fulton gave the Torch a free kick from midfield. The ball sent in was helped on by Cory Greiser and fell to Gary Bruce, whose volleyed shot took a deflection before settling into the net in the 25th minute, tying the game at 1-1.
In the final ten minutes of the half, the game turned in favor of the Torch. Greiser played a blind cross into the eighteen. The ball fell to Ryan Pereus on the back post who headed the ball goalward . Bruce helped it into the net for his second of the game, giving Buxmont a 2-1 lead.
In stoppage time, a ball cleared over the head of the Colonial defense was chased down by Greiser. His pressure was enough to force a weak header back to the keeper from the Colonial defender. Greiser was able to get a foot to the ball and poke it in the net before the keeper could cover, making it 3-1.
A stunning 35-yard volley by Andy Wilkinson got the Colonials back into the game in the 60th minute.
The Torch took another two-goal lead minutes later, when Teddy Krzywiecki played a ball into the area that a Colonials defender got a toe on, directing it into his own net.
After renewed pressure, as well as a saved PK from Morris County keeper Chris Duggan, Wilkinson got a second goal, drilling the ball into the left corner of the net in the 87th minute. Buoyed by this late push, the Colonials fought on and a minute later, Ben Strong and Josh Spivack linked up to feed Jonathan Yazo the ball, who in turn fired the ball across to last week’s NPSL Player of the Week, Luke Huggett, who netted his fifth goal of the season.
Player of the Week
New York Athletic Club forward Etienne Lussiez has been selected as the National Premier Soccer League Player of the Week for the week ending June 17.
Lussiez came off the bench in the closing minutes of the first half and scored twice in a three-minute span to power NYAC past Atlantic Conference leaders New York Red Bulls 2-1 on Saturday. The University of Michigan forward, who was making his first appearance with NYAC, almost scored on his first touch of the game, and leveled the score 1-1 in the 66th minute, splitting the two center backs and dribbling in to beat the ‘keeper one-on-one. Three minutes later, he again got past the Red Bulls defense for a clinical finish off a cross from the right flank.
HIGHLIGHT REEL: FC Sonic goalkeeper Charlie Sales made eight saves in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Junior Lone Star FC, his fifth shutout in six games.