Editor's Note: Several teams from Lawrence Township took part in the West Windsor-Plainsboro Soccer Association’s Sunburst Tournament that was held this past Saturday and Sunday, June 2-3. The following game summaries were submitted by the Lawrence Hamnett Soccer Association.
Lawrence U-8 Strikers
The Lawrence U-8 Strikers came back strong on Sunday after suffering two close losses on Saturday to finish the tournament weekend with a 1-2-1 record.
Ryan Milano crossed a beautiful ball over to Davin Jodoin for the lone goal by the Strikers in Saturday’s games. On Sunday, Theo Sardain was on fire as he scored two goals in a 2-2 draw with the Watchung Hills Scorpions. While dribbling into the box, Luke Longo took a quick look to see the open Sardain in front of the net.
After the rain delay, Sardain continued his scoring streak as the Strikers defeated the Hamilton Cyclones 4-3 in an exciting comeback match where the Strikers were down 3-1 but refused to give up. The Cyclones were dominant in the first 15 minutes scoring two quick goals, but Aidan McChesney was persistent and triumphed over the defense to get a quick shot off that fooled the Cyclone keeper.
Sardain scored a hat trick with a beautiful cross from Dylan Adamsky just inside the box, a strong corner kick that curved behind the keeper who could only catch it once it was already past the goal line, and another left-footed shot that flew just inside the far post giving the Strikers the lead.
Rounding out their ability to play both off and on the field, keepers Davin Jodoin, Zach Berardi, Aidan McChesney, Will Schuler, and Dylan Adamsky held the Strikers in the games as they were strongly supported by teammates Matt Sargent, Andrew Lynch, Harrison Bohra, Sam Bowes and Ian Stuckey, who were dominant as both defensive and offensive threats.
Lawrence U-12 Charge
Capitalizing on the ability of the Charge players to play multiple positions on the field, the U-12 Charge dominated the Sunburst tournament recording two shutouts by keepers Kyle Schuler and Sal Rego and claiming first place with an undefeated record.
Defeating the Piscataway Tornadoes 5-0, Sean McLaughlin received passes from Logan Hillegas and Luke Annand and scored on two great shots from about 20 yards out that rippled the back of the net. After Schuler set up Kiernan Humphreys for another hard shot from 18 yards out, he then put in the rebound off Estuardo DeLeon’s free kick. Adam LeCompte blasted the last goal just under the crossbar to complete the first game.
The Charge then defeated the Bordentown Blaze 6-2 as LeCompte received passes from Ryan Monaghan and Aidan Jodoin and then managed to outrun the defenders and the beat the keeper to record a hat trick in the game. Luke Annand had a tap-in from long cross that bounced in the goal area, and also a great breakaway shot where he beat the keeper with a shot that hit the far post and went into the net. Kyle Schuler recorded another goal as he kicked a firm shot into the goal off a corner kick.
The Hibernian Fire were no match for the Charge as defenders Patrick Franceschini, Hutch Collins, Matthew Paragamian and Joseph Giuliano stepped up to keep the ball in the offensive end throughout the majority of the game helping them defeat the Fire 2-0. Composed and confident, Kiernan Humphreys stepped up to score the first goal on a penalty kick as LeCompte was hauled down inside the box and Hakim Hachicha set up LeCompte who scored on a low, hard strike to the near post that was too much for the tall keeper. Dylan Pawar and Christian Fang demonstrated exceptional passing and possession throughout the tournament giving the Charge an exceptional offensive threat that was difficult to contend with.
The Charge finished up their regular season taking second place in their flight with a record of 6-3-1. Each of the main goalkeepers – Kyle Schuler, Logan Hillegas and Sal Rego – recorded full game shutouts and the Charge were the only team in the division to defend the flight leaders, the Cranford Rush. Throughout the season, all players rotated between forward and defense and all three losses were only by one goal. The Charge bounced back strong in the spring season after losing their dear coach, John Pawar, back in October.
This Sunday, June 10, at 4:30 p.m., the U-12 Charge will be dedicating a bench in John’s honor in Village Park. Community and friends are invited to join in his dedication and are encouraged to meet at the pavilion on the Yeger Drive side of the park.
Lawrence U-13 Flames
Only thunderstorms could stop the U-13 Flames from taking over first place in the Sunburst tournament over the weekend as keepers Ashley Shutack and Ali DeSalvatore recorded two shutouts on the weekend’s play.
Defeating the Freehold Extreme 4-0, Kaley Stinson scored two goals from outstanding crosses from Jenna McGrath and Niki DeSalvatore. Alexis Davis, from 20 yards out, received a pass from Madison McNulty, and then pounded the ball past Freehold’s keeper. Erica Martins capitalized on a defensive error by Freehold and blasted the ball past their keeper.
After suffering a Saturday afternoon game loss to the Hibernians, the Flames came out strong Sunday morning defeating the Hamilton Wildcats 7-0. Kaley Stinson recorded two goals while Erica Martins tallied a goal and an assist. Kelsey Holt proved her speed is to be reckoned with as she blew by a few defenders and blasted the ball past the Wildcats’ keeper.
The defensive pressure by Katie Smith, Erika Allen and Lisa Smith helped keep the ball in the offensive end throughout the game as they set up opportunities for Jenna McGrath and Nikki DeSalvatore to score two more goals. Midfielders Lauryn Jodoin and Sophie Slutzky contained the ball well in the offensive end setting up opportunities for Allison Klei and Haley Skove. After Skove set up Stinson for the first goal of Sunday’s late afternoon game, thunderstorms rolled in and the game was called prior to the half being over.