The adult co-ed soccer season at The Center finished on schedule despite the seasonal rains, doubling up Thursday night with the last semi-final game and championship game played out within two hours.
Last week’s first semi-final game between underdogs Bins Be Clean and Mar/Kis Insurance was cut 10 minutes short because of lightning that took out the field lights and a torrential downpour that followed. Set to play out the final minutes, Mar/Kis, representing Uruguay in this season’s tribute to the World Cup, had to bow out due to lack of players.
The player shortage ended the game with Bins Be Clean up 6-4, awarding it the first slot in the big championship game.
Team Russia, sponsored by Ross Built Construction, took the field at 7 p.m. against Team Belgium to determine who played Bins Be Clean. Sponsored by Sato Real Estate, the undefeated squad easily handled number 4 seed Ross Built with the final score of 7-1.
Despite the size and stature advantage Greg Ross’ team had in the game, Ben Sato’s 16 saves just were not enough to stop big brother, Josh Sato’s, skill and confidence team from moving on to the final game of the season.
After a short break for Sato’s team Sweden, sponsored by Bins Be Clean, it took the field with Sato Real Estate in the Paul “Ace” Hayward Cup game. Coming into the playoffs in last place with not a single win to its name, Bins Be Clean had everything to prove and nothing to lose.
Having expended valuable energy in their first game, Sato Real Estate played determined to show why it finished the regular season in first place.
Both teams having impressive starters, the match-up made for an exciting 46 minutes of soccer.
Without its starting goalie in the box, Bins Be Clean played without Rico Beissert in scoring position. Beissert adorned the keeper gloves for the entire game, logging at least 20 saves, managing shot after shot by Sato Real Estate.
Bins Be Clean’s shots were limited but effective, setting the pace after five minutes of play with an amazing curving shot by Diego Felipe that went around the goalie to hit the far post and then the inside of the net.
Sato Real Estate’s Jessica Williams nailed a hard shot that went off the post and bounced just outside of the goal.
Team captain Sato soon found the net for himself, along with a nice shot by teammate Zack Lieb. Felipe and his brother Brayan each added a goal to the scoreboard keeping the game close and the spectators thrilled.
Taking advantage of another scoring opportunity, the assist by Amy Ivin gave Williams her solo goal of the game, bringing the game to a tie 3-3 with only minutes left on the clock.
Feeling overtime in the air, with no time on the scoreboard clock, Ivin hit the game-winning goal for Sato Real Estate.
Beissert tried to make something happen in the final seconds of the game kept on the official’s watch. Coming out of the goal, Beissert sailed a line drive over the wall of the field. Bins Be Clean’s players hustled, working for the tying goal until the final whistle blew, losing the championship to the extremely formidable opponent found in Sato Real Estate 4-3.
Starting the playoffs with not a single Bins Be Clean victory, the sure bet would have been an easy victory for Sato Real Estate. Both teams played a fast-paced, skill-filled match making the Hayward Cup championship game an exciting way to end another season of soccer on The Center pitch.