Super Y Finals U-13: A Long Island sweep
Tuesday was a great day for Long Island at the Super Y League’s Under-13 Finals.
Both the Long Island Rough Riders’ boys and girls claimed Super Y League championships in Bradenton, Fla., with the boys defeating Match Fit Chelsea 3-0 and the girls beating Virginia Alliance 1-0.
U-13 Boys: First half goals lead Long Island Rough Riders to Super Y League championship
BRADENTON, Fla. – The Long Island Rough Riders scored three first half goals against Match Fit Chelsea in the U13 boys championship game on Tuesday and captured the 2012 Super Y-League North American Finals title with a 3-0 victory at IMG Academy.
Long Island looked poised from the first whistle and raced forward calling Charlie Vanorden into action on multiple occasions. Ryan Innes got the breakthrough the Rough Riders were looking for. Matthew Sloan fed the striker who put his side up 1-0 less than a quarter of the way through.
Sloan was at it again in the 19th minute this time feeding Anthony Pinto who doubled the Rough Riders’ advantage. Match Fit looked for Miles Franklyn up top to get things going but couldn’t break down the composed Long Island defense. The halftime whistle couldn’t come soon enough for Match Fit looking to break the momentum that the Rough Riders built with the two early goals. It just wasn’t to be, however.
“We said at the beginning that both teams would be nervous, understandably so,” stated Rough Riders head coach David Stapleton after the match. “It’s a big game, big stage. The goals definitely settled us and I think in key times allowed us to try and relax a bit to stay in the game.”
Storm Strongin put the game on ice with a fine effort after Nicholas Sabetta played him in. Holding a 3-0 advantage with just 35 minutes to play Long Island could taste victory.
Match Fit pressed forward desperately trying to pull one back but Alex Stein was never seriously tested in goal throughout the contest. Long Island continued their superb play in the second half finishing out the game to claim the championship.
“End product of a lot of hard work,” Stapleton continued. “We counted down the number of teams there were fifty at the start of the year. Fought to be here. Sixteen got to the finals. Four to the semis. Two to the finals. We want to be the one in the end and thankfully we were.”
Both teams entered Tuesday’s contest having won their semifinal matches after going to extra time. The Rough Riders finished the five day stretch posting a 4-1-0 record while Match Fit went 3-2-0 during the tournament.
Long Island captures U13 title
BRADENTON, Fla. – The Rough Riders boys were not the Long Island team to claim a trophy on Tuesday at the 2012 Super Y-League North American Finals at IMG Academy. The U13 girls defeated the Virginia Alliance 1-0 in one of the only championship games to not need extra time.
Both teams finished their semifinal matches earlier in the morning due to Monday’s lightning delay that caused an evacuation at the fields in Bradenton. Long Island defeated the Cleveland Internationals 2-1 and Virginia beat Alliance Academy 1-0.
The finalists started slowly because of the short break, but the Rough Riders got an important goal in the first half.
“It was tough, playing two games in one day,” Long Island coach Paul Roderick said. “You could see that it took its toll. We weren’t as sharp as we normally are; it’s the same for them, obviously. But I thought getting an early goal allowed us to sit back a little more than we normally would.”
After playing five games in as many days, during which time the Rough Riders allowed just one goal – in the semifinal against Cleveland – and won all five games, Roderick could only praise his team.
“It’s great to come away and win the whole thing,” Roderick continued. “It’s a testament to the strength of our squad. You need 18 strong to compete and do well at a tournament like this.”
Long Island’s Sabrina Cristodero was a rock at the back in her team’s most important game. She closed down spaces and did not allow Virginia Alliance players to win headers that could have created scoring opportunities.
The Rough Riders, as an organization, fared well at the Finals.
“From a club perspective, it’s excellent,” Roderick said. “We came down with five teams and four made the semifinals.
“The facilities are fantastic [at IMG Academy]. The players had a great time. They loved it.”
Virginia Alliance had a strong tournament, as well, going 2-0-1 in the group stage before losing the championship game. The South Atlantic Division-winners will hope to avenge the loss at next year’s Finals.