While the Maidstone Market still, when at full strength, appears to be the team to beat in the Wednesday evening men’s soccer 7-on-7 league, it is being challenged by two younger squads, East Hampton Soccer Fever’s 23-and-under entry in Islandwide competition and Sag Harbor United, which used to be the league’s patsy.Asked at East Hampton’s Herrick Park on May 22 what had propelled Domingo Perez’s Sag Harbor United team to first place midway through the season, Leslie Czeladko, the league’s spokesman, said, “They have a goalie now.”That goalie, Victor Velasquez, was put to the test in that evening’s second game, a showdown between United and Soccer Fever that provided nonstop action.The first half was scoreless, though each side had its chances. Soccer Fever’s Justin Carpio, about midway through the first half, blew a penalty kick taken from seven yards out, missing wide to the left.Sag Harbor’s Marlon Ellis, the quickest player on the field, beat a lone defender in the opening minutes of the second half, and, from about 12 yards out, unleashed a hard ground-hugger that beat Soccer Fever’s goalie, Esteban Aguilar, as he dove flat-out toward his right.Ellis’s goal looked for a while as if it might hold up, but, with five minutes left, Soccer Fever, taking advantage of a man-up situation, tied it, Mouhamadou Gaye tapping back into the left corner of the net the ball he’d received from Carpio, who had dribbled into the left corner of the goalie box before dishing off to Gaye on the right. A Sag Harbor defender tried to kick the slow-roller away, but it had crossed the line by the time he got to it.The Market, with Gehider Garcia, Gerber Garcia, Julian Barahona, Antonio Padilla, Eddy Juarez, Jorge Naula, Maicol Parra, Mathew Ramirez, and Alex Mesa on hand, was out in force for the night’s first game, with Hampton Construction, with a predictable result. Only Cristian Rios’s acrobatic goaltending kept Maidstone, which won 3-1, from running up a score.Naula and Gehider Garcia combined in the early going for the first of the Market’s goals, but Cristian Baros, Hampton Construction’s chief — and often sole — attacker, replied soon after by beating Mesa to the lower right corner. Gehider Garcia missed an open cage moments later, but, with 11 minutes left in the first half, Padilla pounded in a shot from about 15 yards out that eluded Rios, who was partly screened.Maidstone clinched the win when, with about two and a half minutes remaining, a high, curling cross from Padilla found Gehider Garcia, who, from the right side, beat an on-rushing Rios. After the ball had come to rest, Rios lay for a few moments flat on his back.In the evening’s finale, F.C. Tuxpan defeated Tortorella Pools, Czeladko’s team, 4-2, thanks to goals by David Amaya, Jose Gutierrez, Donald Martinez, and Faustino Meza. David Rodriguez, near the end of the game, with his team trailing 4-0, scored Tortorella’s goals, one on an assist from Eddie Lopez, and the other on an assist from Esteban Uchupaille, whose entry into the game with about 10 minutes to go energized his teammates.Going into yesterday’s games at Herrick, Sag Harbor United and East Hampton Soccer Fever continued to be tied for first place, each at 3-0-2, trailed by Maidstone Market (2-1-2), F.C. Tuxpan (2-2-1), Tortorella Pools (1-3-1), and Hampton Construction (0-5-0).Maidstone and Soccer Fever played to a 1-1 tie on May 8, with Juarez scoring for the Market and Carpio for Soccer Fever. Sag Harbor United, taking advantage of a shorthanded Maidstone team on April 24, outscored the Market 6-0, but the fact that Maidstone was using a player, Nick Escalante, who’d been red-carded while playing for Tortorella Pools in last fall’s championship game with Tuxpan, resulted in Maidstone having to forfeit. (Red cards result in two-game suspensions.)With only five players showing up, John Romero played in the goal for the Market, “and played well for the entire match,” according to Czeladko’s account on the eastendsoccer.org website.
Published 3 weeks ago
Last updated 3 weeks ago