Luis Correa’s hat trick at East Hampton’s Herrick Park on Thanksgiving eve enabled his team, Maidstone Market, to take over sole possession of first place in Wednesday’s 7-on-7 soccer league and vaulted him into first place in the league’s “Golden Boot” goal-scoring competition, with seven.
As a result of the loss, Bateman Painting, which had been in first by one point, dropped to second. The Market was to have played fourth-place Hamptons Arsenal, and Bateman was to have played third-seeded Tuxpan in semifinal matchups at Herrick Monday night. The fall final was to have been played last night.
Correa scored early on in the showdown with Bateman, taking a pass from the center midfielder, Diego Marles, and putting a shot by Carlos Cardenas, who was subbing in the goal that night for Francisco Wazhima. (With Wazhima in the goal, Bateman and the Market played to a 1-1 tie on Nov. 14.)
Correa followed up soon after, converting the rebound of a direct free kick taken by Marles, whose low rocket broke through a four-man “wall” set up about 10 yards from Bateman’s cage.
But then, when things appeared well in hand for the Market, Bateman’s Carlos Torres came up big twice in succession to tie the score at 2-2 before the half. Juan Zuluaga assisted on Torres’s second goal.
Because of the raw, rainy weather, the referee, Alex Ramirez, waived the halftime break, and play resumed after the teams switched sides.
Midway through the second period, after a cross by Torres had zipped through the legs of a teammate, Julian Munoz, who had been in position to capitalize, Correa notched his third score of the night after having gathered in a long cross from Winson Elegolda near right post. Correa had other close chances that night, but the three goals he scored were enough to win the game for Maidstone 3-2.
In other games played on the 23rd, Tuxpan, facing a must-win-or-tie situation, defeated Hamptons Arsenal 2-1, and Tortorella Pools defeated Espo 2-0.
According to Leslie Czeladko, who oversees the league and its Web site, “Arsenal was missing several key players who, had they been there, would in all likelihood have made a difference.”
Following a scoreless first half, Arsenal got on the scoreboard when a ball struck by Tony Shoshi went in off a defender Reynaldo Yanes’s back.
“An Arsenal win would have enabled Tortorella [Czeladko’s team] to make the playoffs, but that did not happen,” Czeladko said. “Minutes after Arsenal’s score, Bernabe Hernandez tied up the match for Tuxpan and, sometime later, he scored again to give Tuxpan the win.”
Tortorella Pools (3-5-2) wound up in fifth place, behind Maidstone Market (6-2-2), Bateman Painting (4-2-4), Tuxpan (4-4-2), and Hamptons Arsenal (2-2-6), thus missing the Final Four. Espo finished sixth at 1-5-4.
Before the night’s action began, John Romero, who also coached Maidstone Market in a high-powered UpIsland Sunday league this fall in which he said a number of pros played, reported that the locals had finished with a 13-4-2 record and had placed third in the playoffs.
In addition, Romero, who owns Maidstone Market (also known as the Red Deli) in Springs, was named the league’s coach of the year.
Interestingly, the Market didn’t begin the 7-on-7 fall season well, losing the first two games it played, by scores of 1-0 to Tuxpan and Hamptons Arsenal.
But then the Market righted itself, winning three straight before playing to a scoreless tie with Arsenal on Nov. 7.