Two of the Best Go at Each Other

Two games are slated for Ross on Sunday
David Mendez, center, “who’s been wanting to play with us for a long time,” according to John Romero, saw a lot of action at striker for the under-30 team. Jack Graves

   With UpIsland teams having forfeited to them, East Hampton’s under-30 and over-30 men’s soccer teams scrimmaged each other pretty much toe-to-toe on Nov. 10 at the Ross School, with the under-30s winning out 3-2, thanks to an own goal.

    The under-30 team, known as the East Hampton Football Club, which sports Aston Villa jackets provided it by Aston Villa’s owner, Randy Lerner, is undefeated in the third division of the Long Island Soccer Football League, and appears to be unheaded.

    The over-30 team, known as Hampton United, is in second place, behind Charruas 1950, a Brentwood-area club, in the Suffolk Men’s Soccer League’s second division.

    The East Hampton Football Club’s record is 6-0-0. It has outscored its opponents 30-4. Hampton United is 6-1-2, while Charruas is 8-0-1, though the locals were four players shy when they played recently at Upton, a game they lost 4-0.

    Hampton United played Charruas to a 1-1 tie here on Oct. 20, and apparently the fact that some players were banged up in the very physical game with the division leaders led to the shorthanded situation at Upton.

    When Olger (Quique) Araya, the over-30 team’s goalie, was asked before the Nov. 10 scrimmage started if this weren’t a matchup of Suffolk’s two best men’s teams, he said, “Yes, probably, with the exception of Charruas.”

    As for the forfeits, Araya said, “Teams from up the Island don’t like to come out here to play [and lose to] us.”

    “But you go to them. . . .”

    “Yes, as far as Queens. . . . We’d really like to move up to get more competition. But this is the first year in these leagues for both teams, and when you begin you have to start out in the lowest division.”

    Araya added that the under-30s, a powerful group that includes Diego Marles, Jefferson Ramirez, Mario Olaya, Gehider Garcia, Luis Correa, and Antonio Padilla, among numerous others, had been kidding the older guys, telling them to bring their walkers to the scrimmage, but the matchup, as aforesaid, was pretty even throughout. The under-30s were always ready to employ their speediness to advantage through counters, though their older opponents pretty much held firm.

    The over-30s’ defense was anchored by Leonardo Garcia, Gerard Lynch, and Roger Quinceno, and, in the persons of Marciel Luciano Correa, Hector Marles, and Antonio Gonzalez, they attacked well too.

    Olaya, on a breakthrough, got the under-30s on the scoreboard early, but not long after that a header by Marciel Correa of a cross from Garcia made it 1-1.

    Luis Correa upped the under-30s’ lead to 2-1 as he beat Araya, who had come out, with a gently lofted shot from the top of the box that went over Araya’s head into the right corner of the cage on one bounce.

    Following a yellow-carding in the under-30s’ goal mouth, Quinceno was awarded a penalty kick, which he deposited into the right corner of the nets as the under-30s’ goalie that day, Alex Meza, dived to the left. The score was 2-2 at the half.

    The last under-30 player to touch the own goal, scored off a defender early in the second half, was Ramirez. The over-30s tried hard to answer in the remaining minutes, but, despite putting Meza to the test on at least several occasions, could not tie it up.

    During those final minutes, Quinceno somehow missed what seemed like a sure goal, heading wide a high cross from Gonzalez, Marciel Correa misfired on a counter, and on several occasions Meza leapt to grab threatening corner kicks sailing into the goal mouth.

    Carlos Vargas coached the over-30s (whose uniforms have been provided by the builder John Hummel) that day, and John Romero and Luis Barrera oversaw the under-30s.

    Romero’s team is to play here at Ross against O.F.I. Crete of New York this Sunday, at noon, and will also play here Dec. 8 before the season goes into recess until March. Hauppauge is to play an over-30 game here with Hampton United this Sunday, at 2 p.m. Smith Haven is to play Hampton United here on Dec. 8, at the same time.

    In other local men’s soccer news, Maidstone Market, a team coached by Romero, and Tortorella Pools, overseen by Leslie Czeladko, went into Monday night’s 7-on-7 games at East Hampton’s Herrick Park tied for the lead, each at 7-0-2, the ties having come against each other.

    The 7-on-7 league’s final is to be played here Monday at 7 p.m.