On the heels of the excitement of World Cup action, the Island soccer community came together Thursday night to start another season. Representing the countries that made their way to the semi-final round of the sport’s big show, more than 50 adults took to the pitch for a summer season of fun on the field.
Seven teams make up the league for the last-minute added soccer season, as summer adult flag football did not come to fruition for the first time in the league’s history. This shift in interest came at the perfect time, allowing Team Brazil, sponsored by Moss Builders, and Team Croatia, sponsored by Progressive Cabinetry, to set the tone for the night in the first game of the season.
With the co-ed rule of one female player on the field lifted, Erin Felipe represented for the limited girl power this season. Felipe plays on Team Croatia with Damir Glavan, who proudly represents his home country that made it to the finals of the World Cup.
Utilizing other portions of the field at The Center, the slightly wider but shorter field allowed more open play with five and a goalie for each team manning the field.
Progressive Cabinetry’s Ryan Hogan hit the first of his three goals early in the game with the assist by Hakan Toka. Third round pick Toka proved to be a player to watch with his performance week one.
In the fourth minute of play, last season’s sleeper Chris Scott showed why he has to be picked in the first round in the last two drafts with a solid shot after making the moves against Croatia team captain Kris Yavalar.
Aaron Parkin returned to Island soccer this season with a goal of his own less than three minutes later to put Moss Builders up by a goal in what looked to be a close game.
Hogan struck back quick to tie the game against goalkeeper Olaf Krause. Krause guarded the house until the 12th minute of play. Team captain Ryan Moss put on the goalie jersey just in time to stop a ground shot by Glavan.
Moss could not stop the Yavalar-Hogan combination moves, as Hogan solidly placed the ball in the net for a hat trick giving Progressive Cabinetry’s Team Croatia the lead once again.
As the scoreboard showed the score at 3-2, Moss made a beautiful throw to Parkin, taking advantage of the shorter field. Parkin found Ed Moss in perfect position near the Croatia goal. E. Moss’ shot went wide right.
The scoreboard clock showed a little more than two minutes left in the first half of the game when Brazil’s Scott took a shot that was finished by Raymond Gardner, tying the game at 3-3.
Toka scored his second goal of the game to put Progressive Cabinetry up again to finish the first half of play.
Less than two minutes into the next half, Parkin and Scott made easy work of the field taking the score to 4-4.
Nearing the 30th minute of play, E. Moss scored his last goal before his 60th birthday on a play made possible by the long pass of now-goalkeeper Gardner, giving Moss Builders’ Team Brazil the lead.
Yuri Pereira and Krause score goals of their own, putting the Moss team up by three goals.
In the 40th minute of the game, R. Moss found himself in the goal in a one-on-one situation against Toka. Toka’s strike could not be defended, giving Team Croatia a glimmer of hope with plenty of time on the game clock.
Toka narrowed the gap to a one-point lead with another on-target shot before Parkin and Gardner tag teamed goalie Will Case, putting the shot through his legs.
Unselfish play by Parkin gave the soccer ball to Pereira who found Scott open for yet another point on the board.
As the clock ticked down, with four seconds left in regulation play, Scott sealed the deal with a goal ending the game with the score 7-10 and giving Moss Builders’ Team Brazil the first win of the summer season.