The weather was uncooperative this past Saturday, forcing the West Haven Youth Soccer League to cancel a good chunk of its games. But not all was off, as many of the travel teams were able to brave the conditions and get some key games in.
The Rock House School of Music U-11 boys had two key games this weekend. On Friday night, the boys battled a tough Meriden team in an important league matchup. The Westies came out strong, with Antonio Brown and Keifer Tandazo giving the team the 2-0 halftime lead. Meriden made some key adjustments at halftime and in the second half pulled even. With time ticking away, the Westies’ defense held off a Meriden counterattack, and giving the Westies with possession of the ball. Through the hard work of his team, Ethan Masoperh was set-up for a beautiful shot from 30 yards out that banged into the upper right hand corner, securing the game for West Haven. Tom Williams, Malik Ouro Adei, Dylan Petrie and Bobby Severino were all strong in this key win for West Haven.
On less than 24 hours rest, the boys had to travel to New Milford Saturday for their Round of 16 game in the Connecticut Cup. The pouring rain did not slow the boys down, as they took the game to their opponents from the opening whistle. Ethan Masoperh led the team with three goals, and following his lead and getting goals of their own were Angel Magana, Dylan Petrie, Brian Cruz, Matt Hunter, Tom Williams and Keifer Tandazo.
The Westies advance to the quarter-finals, where they will face a strong East Hampton. The Westies are down to the Elite Eight in a competition that started with 54 teams from all over the state.
The Gunning Law Firm U-15 boys played in the 24th Annual Clinton Invitational Tournament this past weekend, and won all four games to advance to the championship. The boys played hard through a rainy Saturday and a sunny and hot Sunday, scoring 20 goals throughout the tournament and allowing only two goals against.
West Haven faced Branford in the final, coming out on top, 2-1 in overtime. Holden Axlerod’s phenomenal goaltending helped lead the Westies to the championship. On the field the boys played well with quick passes and on point shots to the net. Donaldo Yanez, Mark Conchaga, Christopher Martinez, Antonio Guerrero led with scoring, while the defense was led by Wilson Cordova, Diego Soto, John Portillo and Rafael Gazcon. Midfielders Brian Carew, Alan Lopez, Jason Ardito and Bryan Rivas.
On Saturday the West Shore Family Dental U-9/U-10 girls played a friendly against Naugatuck in a rain-drenched atmosphere at home. With rain heavy and the field filling with water, it became a battle of wills to see who would come out on top. Marcy Funke had the game winning goal to put the Westies up 2-1 with a goal that had to cross through a puddle to reach the back of the net. Arya Mulmi played outstanding defense along with stellar play in the midfield by Bella Rose Ramirez and Madden Evangeliste.
On Sunday, the team took to the road, going to Hamden for an afternoon friendly and came away with a 1-1 tie. They had to battle the first heat wave of the season amid humid conditions. Kayci Gayle had the only goal for West Haven, off an assist by Valentina Mariconde. Ericka Tighe played solid in goal, and has become the backbone of the team in net. Michelle Mora and Kaylee Pellino fought hard on the offensive side of the ball. And Camilla Murphy’s late charge at forward almost lifted the Westies to the win, but the team couldn’t capitalize on a late penalty kick. The team remains undefeated in league and friendly play, with only a few games left in the season.
The Elite Soccer Camps U-12 girls fell at home to a tough Oxford team Saturday afternoon. The Westies jumped out to a 2-0 lead through two Brooke Flaherty goals, but Oxford tied it up before the half was out. Ariana Izzo added a third goal from a well hit shot from outside the 18-yard box, but it was not enough as the rainy conditions and a lack of subs got to the Westies. Oxford took the lead late in the second half and held on for the win. Cynthia Burns had a strong game on defense, while Brooke Throm worked hard at outside mid. Camryn Flaherty was the backbone of the defense, and came up with key plays throughout the game. Camryn Beauvais also showed a lot of hustle in the game for the Elite Soccer Girls Travel team.
The West Haven Youth Soccer League would like to announce tryouts for the 2018-2019 travel teams. All soccer players born between 2004 (only those entering 8th grade) and 2008 can try out for the travel teams. Tryouts for all girls teams will be held June 6 and 14, while all boys tryouts will be June 8 and 12. Rain date for all tryouts is June 18.
Players are required to attend one of two tryouts in order to be considered. West Haven Youth Soccer League encourages players to attend both tryouts if possible. Players that aspire to play at a higher level of competition and commitment, both on and off the field are encouraged to tryout. Any player that would like to play high school and/or college soccer someday should be playing travel soccer at the youth level. Most teams practice twice a week, with one or two games on weekends.
In addition, depending on the skill level, teams will take part in the Connecticut Cup Championship and tournaments, both in and out of state. Players must be registered before they are allowed to tryout. If you have any questions or would like more information, please email the West Haven Youth Soccer League Travel Team Director, Matt Petrie, at Competition@whysl.org.