Champions Sato Real Estate starts season strong

center soccer sato
With Ross Built defender Erin Felipe hot on his heels, Sato Real Estate’s Eric Pullen agilely moves the soccer ball down the field at The Center. - Monica Simpson | Sun

After two weeks of play in the fall adult co-ed soccer season, Team Sato Real Estate remains on the top of the leaderboard, despite the challenges of a new squad. Lead by team captain Josh Sato, the current Hayward Cup champions easily defeated Ross Built Construction Thursday night.

Ross Built Construction, without its leader Greg Ross, struggled to take shots and stop offensive powerhouse of the Sato team.

Sato Real Estate’s roster proved to be too much for the Ross Built defense, with Eric Pullen, Mark Rudacille, Francisco Oliviera and Sato all scoring for the team in purple, along with assists by Andrew Schmidt and Matthew Staggs.

Pullen started the offensive challenge with a pass to Oliviera. Oliviera’s shot was stopped by Ross Built Construction goalkeeper Robb Marshall, who returned to the team after a couple of seasons out of the league.

Less than a minute later, Schmidt got his first assist to Sato, who scored in the first minute of the game. Pullen struck with a beautiful arching shot just over the head of Marshall for the Sato Real Estate second goal taking the score to 2-0.

Four minutes into the game, Ross Built’s lone female player, who predominately plays defense, found a scoring opportunity to put her team’s first point on the scoreboard.

Defender Alta Bujarski showed her skills against Schmidt. Schmidt pulled away from Bujarski finding Pullen in striking position to score his second goal for Sato Real Estate, once again giving the team a two-point lead.

Ross Built Construction worked well on the Sato Real Estate side of the field but could not get the ball in the net. Ten minutes into play, Max Gazzo took the corner kick getting the ball to Vince Circharo, whose strong leg sailed the ball over the crossbar.

The Ross Built defense and Marshall’s goalie skills shut down the Sato Real Estate offense for a solid 10 minutes. In that time, Gazzo made a nice slide to the soccer ball to keep it in bounds, getting it to Chris Circharo for the second Ross Built Construction goal, narrowing the gap with the score 3-2.

To end the first half of the game, Team Sato scored its fourth goal of the game with a shot by Oliviera.

Coming onto the field with a two-point deficit, Ross Built Construction tried to build the momentum to keep up with its opponent. Gazzo’s pass to Felipe alone in front of the goal outside of the box just missed the net.

Marshall proved to be a force to be reckoned with a shot by Mark Rudacille that ricocheted off of the goalie’s hands, giving Sato Real Estate a corner shot. The corner taken by Sato put the soccer ball to Pullen’s feet in a swarm of defenders.

Working the ball out of traffic, Sato was finally able to take a shot that hit hard into the side of the net.

At minute 30, a rocket shot by Pullen bounced off the hands of Marshall and into the goal at the right post.

With the biggest lead of the game and the score 5-2, Sato Real Estate found itself on the defense for the better portion of six minutes, with only a few shot attempts.

After keeping the ball from going out of bounds, V. Circharo nailed a beautiful shot attempt that curved just short of the goal.

On a penalty on Sato that put C. Circharo flying in the air, V. Circharo took the free kick. Leaning back on the kick, V. Circharo’s goal attempt landed in the nearby tennis courts.

Rudacille finally found his footing and scored his first goal of the game after several attempts. Seconds later he scored his second point with a shot that went above Marshall’s head, increasing the Sato Real Estate lead to 7-2.

Once again running across the field at full speed, V. Circharo sent a missile right to the hands of Marshall. The shot was too hard for Marshall to handle, sending the soccer ball into the net for the third and final Ross Built goal, and the final goal of the game.

The last three games of the night were close battles once again showing the parity in the league.

After 90 minutes of play, Ryan Moss’ Moss Builders tied Jiffy Lube, captained by Danny Anderson, with six goals each. Going into week three, Moss Builders finds itself in a three-way tie for fifth place with Slim’s Place and AMI Locals.

Lancaster Design walked away with a two-point victory in game three of the night against Slim’s Place. Its win currently puts Team Lancaster Design tied with Sato Real Estate in the first place position.

The third game with AMI Locals against Eason Builders Group was a close game during both halves of play. The come from behind victory by Eason Builders put it in fourth place in the league with a 1-1 record.

With four teams that have yet to capture a victory, Ross Built Construction starts this season much like the last at the bottom of the rankings with five more regular season games to play.

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