Editor's Note: The following Travel/Competitive Division game summaries were submitted by the Lawrence Hamnett Soccer Association.
Lawrence U-9 Strikers
The Lawrence U-9 Strikers were on fire as they defeated the North Hunterdon Arsenal 5-1. Theo Sardain ignited the offense out after receiving a fantastic pass from Ryan Milano and then proceeded to make a cross from the left side onto the foot of Sam Bowes who redirected it into the goal.
Aidan McChesney worked his magic by setting up Sardain for two goals, and Harrison Bohra scored his first goal as a Striker after Dylan Adamsky sent the cross in front of the net. Adamsky followed with a goal of his own after Matt Sargent set him up beautifully and Adamsky split the defense and blasted a shot past the Arsenal keeper. Forwards Will Schuler and Luke Longo kept the offensive pressure on and defenders Zach Berardi and Andrew Lynch keep the ball in the offensive half throughout the majority of the game.
Lawrence U-11 Sharks
Sharks Visit Red Bull Arena
A few of the Sharks traveled to Red Bull Arena Saturday night to watch the NY Red Bulls take on visiting Sporting KC in a very important Eastern Conference match. There was a lot of excitement during the match but in the end the teams played to a draw. The treat for the boys didn’t end with the final whistle, as it was Fan Appreciation Night and after the match the Red Bull players wandered around the field signing autographs for those fans still remaining in the arena.
Sharks Mightier Than Griffins
The Sharks began the second half of their season Sunday afternoon hosting Highland Park Griffins. The Sharks came out a little flat and the Griffins were able to capitalize scoring in the 12th minute for a 1-0 lead. After a few substitutions the Sharks defense - goalkeeper Foster Wakeman, Jack Collins, Harry Lazelle and Ian Wang began to stop the Griffins’ runs.
The boys from Lawrence began mounting their own attacks and created shooting opportunities. In the last minute of the first half the Sharks were awarded a corner kick. Justin Krisak teed up the ball and served an exquisite ball to in front of the goal where it found Freddie Young Jr. waiting to bury it in the right corner past the diving goalkeeper to draw the boys even at half.
As the Sharks came out after the halftime break the large crowd at Zimmer Field began to sense the advantage switching to the home team. The midfield group of Trevor Stio, Michael Kemo, John Caccavale and Devon Meth began to control the speed of play. The ball seemed to be staying in the Sharks offensive side of the field when Stio found Kemo on a switch, Kemo felt the pressure at the top of the penalty box and turned to his outside and found Zachery Young sprinting down the sideline. Young gathered the ball, took one touch and ripped a shot, sailing it over the keeper’s head and into the back of the net to give the Sharks their first lead of the match.
Being down by a goal the Griffins began to play direct and play the ball over the backline of the Sharks but brilliant goalkeeper play by Aidan Kane kept the ball out of the net. The excitement continued to mount as each team had opportunities. The Sharks were not finished with their scoring. Joey Briggs used his cheetah like speed and out raced the Griffins’ back to the ball. He carried the ball to the end line and served a wonderful ball to Ben Cohen.
Cohen received the ball and was able to keep his shot away from the goalkeeper. With only seven minutes remaining in the match the boys could feel the win was in their grasps. The excitement mounted with each passing second. The Sharks were able to hold off a few more threats from Highland Park and gained their third win of the season improving their record to 3-2-1.
U-14 Lawrence Flames
After taking a few tough early losses in the season and multiple girls sustaining injuries, the Lawrence Flames came out with a win and fantastic shutout for keeper Nelle Evans in a 1-0 win over the Franklin Township Cougars. The game began with only twelve Flames dressed as Flannery O’Donnell, out with an injury, encouraged her teammates throughout the game and then speedy Sophie Slutzky going down with an arm injury just before the half, left the Flames with eleven on the field. Knowing they had no subs, the tenacity and physical stamina of forwards Kelsey Holt and Haley Skove helped set up Kinsey Ratzman for the lone goal of the game.
It was pure aggressiveness till the end as mid-fielders Jenna McGrath and Lauryn Jodoin set the tone early for the physical level of play, and defenders Katie Smith, Susi Dapprich, Alexis Davis, Madison McNulty and Lisa Smith demonstrated outstanding containment on the Cougars to allow minimal shots to be taken. Regular goalkeeper Ashley Shutack took a break from her duties and played amazing as a defender for most of the game. With just enough players on the field to get the job done, many players rotated through different positions to get the rest they needed to help maintain the shutout for Evans.
The Flames held the Cherry Hill Sharks scoreless in the first half, but the Sharks kept the pressure on and took a one goal lead early in the second half. Defenders Erika Allen, Alexis Davis, Lisa Smith, Susi Dapprich, Katie Smith, and Ashley Shutack helped keep the ball out of the Flames end for most of the rest of the game and capitalizing on the Sharks inability to clear the ball, Hayley Skove picked the ball out of mid-air and blasted a shot past the Sharks’ keeper.
Midfielders Lauryn Jodoin and Jenna McGrath played through injuries to maintain control and put offensive pressure on the ball while forwards Flannery O’Donnell, Kinsey Ratzman and Kelsey Holt put surmountable pressure on the Sharks’ defenders and goal keeper throughout the game. The Flames finished with a 1-1 tie with the Cherry Hill Sharks.