The Eskimos triumph! The boys varsity team celebrates after their tournament victory. Not in the photo is Charlie Uzdavinis who is recovering just fine after being taken away by ambulance. He’s home and feeling pretty good, according to his mom.
By Dave Clark
For the Express
Playing in the 50th Columbus Day Soccer Tournament, it was very fitting that Old Forge would win the championship in a very competitive boys and girls weekend of soccer held last Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7 and 8.
On Saturday, the first game of the tournament was an entertaining game between the Blessed Virgin Mary team and the Utica Academy of Science Charter School. BVM defeated UASCS 5-3 to move on to the championship game on Sunday. UASCS was very impressive until a couple of circumstances changed the game. One key player foolishly got a red card in the first half and they had to play one man short the rest of the game. At the same time, their goalie got hurt and BVM scored two quick goals to tie UASCS in the first half. I felt that Old Forge was lucky not to face them and they will be tough in the playoffs.
The last game of the day pitted Dolgeville against Old Forge. Twenty three seconds into the contest, Waddie Kalil scored a goal and the heavily favored Eskimos felt the rout was on. However, Old Forge could only score one more goal that half while the defense gave up two goals to Dolgeville and we had a 2-2 tie at the half. It was a very poor half of soccer for Old Forge as they dominated the game but could not shoot accurately.
The second half was better as they got goals from Charlie Uzdavinis, Noah Lamphear, Sully Ulrich and Wyatt Beckingham and the defense gave up nothing in their 6-2 win. Josh Kelly scored the other goal in the first half and assists were earned by Kalil, Tyler Rudolph and Lamphear.
Old Forge outshot Dolgeville, 37-9 and David Ehrensbeck only had to make two saves in the game against 15 for the Dolgeville goalie. All told, it was not a great game for our team and they knew they would have to play better to win the championship.
Sunday, in the boys consolation game, UASCS defeated Dolgeville 10-2 and it could have easily been worse as they displayed some great passing and quickness that will make them a team to reckon with in the upcoming playoffs.
In the boys championship game, the fans were treated to a hard nosed competitive game that truly was exciting. Only a little over three minutes into the contest, Dylan LaPorte gave his team a 1-0 lead with his unassisted goal. They continued to control the game, but with no goals. Many shots continued to go wide, well over the cross bar or right at the goalie. BVM scored before the half was over and it was tied at the half.
Both teams battled hard throughout the second half with the defenses taking care of any offensive challenge. Neither team could score.
They started the first 10-minute “sudden victory” overtime and a few minutes into the period BVM missed a golden opportunity to win the game with a wide open shot that hit the upright and out. Old Forge took advantage of that miss and a few minutes later Kelly took a pass from Ulrich and slammed the ball past the goalie for a great victory. Needless to say, the crowd was a very happy group.
At the team presentations, it was announced that Tyler Kearns was named the MVP of the tournament based on his excellent work on defense. That honor came as no surprise as Kearns has been having just a great season so far this year.
With the team’s two wins, the Old Forge record going into its last week of play, was raised to 9-4-1 with two games left to play against Hamilton. They play Hamilton, a league opponent, on Wednesday at Old Forge and at Hamilton the following day. Both are very important games to establish a good seeding for the sectional playoffs.