Saturday Was a Great Day for Soccer for Those on Artificial Turf, Including the U16 Boys Wildcats
September 10 -- While all of BRYC’s sodden grass fields were closed on Saturday, a few Senior Division BRYC teams were lucky enough to play their games on the turf at South Run, Franconia, and Pine Ridge, including U16 Boys Coach Mitch Peyser’s Wildcats, playing in the SFL’s first Division against a powerful team from Springfield (SYC), in an afternoon game at Franconia. With only two practices this season before the game, the boys were still in good form, relying on the fact that many of them had played together last season as U15’s. As for integrating the old with the the new team members, Coach Peyser remarked after the game how nice it was "...to see them start to get to know each other and how they play."
With the score tied 1-1 at the half (BRYC’s goal coming on a PK), the second half began poorly for the Wildcats, going down 2-1 when Springfield scored on a high, looping ball that trickled off the outstretched fingertips of goalie Jack L. who played the entire game between the pipes. It was about midway through the second half when Jack deftly fielded an easier ball, surveyed the field, and rather than kick it out to mid-field, decided to give it a hard roll on the turf. About twenty yards away, Andrew B, a regular forward turned defender at this moment, deftly picked it up and finessed the ball through SYC’s offensive front before passing ahead to forward Harold P., who outraced SYC’s defenders, charged toward the goal, pulled SYC’s goalie out for a one-on-one confrontation, deked around him, and tapped the ball into the net. From Jack’s roll-out of his own goal area to Harold’s tap-in couldn’t have taken more than fifteen seconds. It was a thing of beauty Coach Peyer thought worthy of an ESPN highlight reel (if only they’d been there!).
With the score now tied 2-2 but plenty of time remaining on the clock, neither team was content to play for a tie, with SYC getting the better of it. The Wildcats were tested repeatedly by their strong passing, crossing, and excellent footskills as their defense thwarted any serious BRYC advances toward goal (keeping the ball in their offensive end most of the time), and the goalie barked out instructions and encouragement as he played far up the pitch. SYC’s chance for the win came in the final minute of the contest with some frenetic activity in the BRYC goal mouth, the Wildcats unable to clear the ball, until finally, goalie Jack L. made a terrific stop of a point blank shot that was headed for the near corner of the goal. And then the whistle sounded.
Coach Peyser and his assistants, David Burns and Rich Bautista, were thrilled with a come from behind tie against such a strong team on their home field to start the season. The webmaster was happy to be there, seeing some great action and grabbing a few photos below.
Coaches Burns and Peyser discuss lineups and strategy at halftime. Andrew B. scored on PK and assisted on second-half goal.
Harold P. scored "ESPN worthy" goal in second half. Jacob P. played strong defense and midfield, launching Wildcats’ attack.
Seok Huyn H. played strong midfield, shutting down SYC offense. Coach telling goalie Jack L. he was needed there in 2nd half.