The daily rains got the best of the island pitch for the originally scheduled first-round adult co-ed soccer playoff games. A week later, after three games, four teams remain in contention for the Paul “Ace” Hayward cup.
With Sato Real Estate off the schedule with a bye week as the number one ranked team at the end of the regular season, the remaining six teams went into head-to-head single elimination matches Thursday night.
All three games were a great matchup, making it anyone’s game to win. Team Russia, sponsored by Ross Built Construction, started off the action against Team Croatia. The team sponsored by Progressive Cabinetry looked strong on the field and carried the lead for a good portion of the game.
Team captain Greg Ross sealed the deal for his team with a rocket shot low and powerful in the last five minutes of the game for Team Russia. Teammate Maxim Panchenko nailed the Progressive Cabinetry coffin shut with the final goal of the game, moving Ross Built Construction to the semi-final round of the season.
Third-ranked Moss Builders struggled in the second game to put it together on the field against MAR/Kis Insurance. The feisty Team Uruguay, sponsored by MAR/Kis Insurance, was called early for a foul when Omar Polar was caught pulling the arm of Team Brazil’s Aaron Parkin.
Tony Morales later got into it with Parkin with Moss Builders team captain Ryan Moss holding Parkin back to keep him in the game. With a zero-tolerance policy, either player could have been ejected out of the game for fighting had the incident escalated.
Moss relieved Olaf Krause of his goalkeeping duties, taking him off the field action. Meanwhile, David Greene started in goal for Team Uruguay until Mario Primo arrived in scrubs to protect his net.
All four of MAR/Kis’ goals were scored in the first half of the game with two goals for Miguel Ajoy, and Joel Sanchez and team captain Jeremias Gramajo with a single goal each.
Moss Builders tried to make a comeback in the last 23 minutes of the game. Team high scorer Chris Scott was the only Team Brazil player to score in what would be its last game of the season.
In the last game of the night, last place Bins Be Clean took advantage of Lancaster Design’s roster. Missing one of its key players, Robert Armstrong, Team England, sponsored by Lancaster Design fell short of victory Thursday night.
Bins Be Clean’s Team Sweden played smart soccer in its first win of the season. Team captain Nate Welch was on fire with a hat-trick. Additional goals by Ricky Anderson and Francisco Oliviera gave Team Sweden the goals needed to progress to the second round of the playoffs.
Despite the efforts of Team England, and the breadth of talent on the squad, the goals by Adam Mott, Jake Parsons, Steve Oelfke and Nate Talucci just were not enough.
The semi-final action starts at 7 p.m. on Thurs., Sept. 20, with the bottom two teams, MAR/Kis Insurance and Bins Be Clean, matching up. Sato Real Estate gets back on the field after weeks off at 8 p.m. against Ross Built Construction.