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May 9, 2006 > Newark Cup Soccer

Newark Cup Soccer

by Biff Jones

It turned out to be a gorgeous weekend for a group of elementary school kids looking forward to the 16th annual Newark Cup Soccer Tournament during the last weekend in April at Newark's Sportsfield Park. Teams of 4th, 5th and 6th graders, both girls and boys (no co-ed) from eight elementary schools in Newark participated in the three-day event. The schools represented were Bunker, Graham, Kennedy, Lincoln, Milani, Musick, Schilling and Snow, plus a 9th, St. Edwards in the boys division only.

Teams were divided into two four-team flights (or pools) in the girls division and one four-team flight and one five-team flight in the boys division. In the preliminary rounds played Friday evening, Saturday morning and afternoon, and Sunday morning, the teams squared off against each other in their own flights only. The games were played in 25 minute halves in the preliminary rounds with teams receiving 6 points for a win, 3 points each for a draw, 0 points for a loss and 1 point per team for each goal scored up to a maximum of 3 goals allowed for points. The top two teams with the highest point totals in each flight of the girls and boys divisions after all the preliminary games then played against each other for the championship on Sunday afternoon. The two teams with the second highest point totals played in the consolation games that afternoon.

Since one boys flight had five teams and played one more game each than teams in the other flights, they accumulated more points. Because they were playing against each other only to determine which two teams advanced to the final games on Sunday afternoon, the extra points had no bearing on what point totals teams were accumulated in the other flights. The four final games on Sunday afternoon consisted of 30 minute halves. If the games were tied after regulation, then two 10 minute periods of extra time were added to the game. If still tied after 20 minutes, then two 5 minute periods of sudden death would be played. And finally, if all equal after 30 minutes, penalty kicks would be used to determine a winner.

The boy's consolation game started at 3 p.m. between Kennedy and Bunker. The game turned out to be the Cody O'Conner show as he scored a hat trick with 2 goals in the first half in the 11th and 25th minutes and 1 goal in the second half in the 57th minute. The final score was Kennedy 4 Bunker 0.

The girls division consisted of a huge upset. Kennedy, the winner of the previous six Newark Cups, not only got knocked out of the championship final by Bunker but then proceeded to lose the consolation final to Lincoln in a hard fought contest. Lincoln started the scoring in the first half on goals in the 8th and 10th minutes as Renee Waldschmidt scored twice. Kennedy answered in the 25th minute on a goal by Maddie Kohler. However, Lincoln was awarded a penalty kick in the 39th minute which was converted by Melissa Rosales. In the second half Kennedy fought back on a goal by Andrea Caro in the 47th minute, but that would end the scoring as Lincoln prevailed 3-2.

The girls' championship final pitted Bunker against Milani and this turned out to be the most lopsided game of the afternoon. Alicia Gonzales got head coach Karen Stevenson's Milani team off to a fast start as she scored 2 early goals in the 5th and 13th minutes and was soon followed by a goal in the 19th minute by Leah Akierman. The Milani defense held firm and kept Bunker off the score board for the entire first half. In the second half the Milani rout continued as they scored in the 57th minute on a goal by Susan Le and again in the 59th  minute as Nathali Garciagot into the scoring column. Before the final whistle blew, one more goal was to be scored as Patricia Guzman found the back of the net in stoppage time to make the final score 6-0.

The boys' championship final not only kicked off late, but it turned out to be a game that would not end. The boy's final was a match between last year's champion Musick and the previous year's champion Graham. Graham's Anthony Pietrobono opened the scoring with a goal in the first half of regulation. This was answered by a goal before half time by Musick's Jose Andrade. The two teams then dug in during the second half and held each other scoreless to send the game into two extra-time periods of 10 minutes each.

Unfortunately the first extra-time 20 minutes did not include a Golden Goal or sudden death provision and the whole 20 minutes had to be played. After a lengthy break at the end of regulation, Graham again struck first on a goal by Jose Romero during the first 10 minute period. After another lengthy break, the two teams changed ends of the field and Musick equalized on a goal during the second 10 minute period by Jesus Godinez. Thus the two teams were again tied, this time after the first extra-time session.

Now it was time for a second session of extra-time, which included two periods of 5 minutes each, with teams again changing ends between the first and second 5 minute periods. However, the Golden Goal would be in effect and if either team scored during either 5 minute period, game over. But if no one scored in either 5 minute period, then the teams would move on to penalty kicks to determine a champion. By this time, organizers, officials, parents, coaches, photographers and the press were saying, why no Golden Goal during the first 20 minutes of extra-time. Enough already! Then thank goodness it was Jesus Godinez to the rescue as he blasted a shot over the head of the Graham goalie during the first session of the two 5 minute periods of extra-time, and now it was, game over! Final- Musick 3 Graham 2.

Both coaches, Eric Ramirez of Musick and Steve Pietrobono of Graham praised the kids on what a great game they played and hoped they could meet again next year in the final of the Newark Cup. Good job to all involved in a long weekend of soccer.
 
For more information visit www.leaguelineup.com/newarkcup or the Newark Soccer Club at www.leaguelineup.com/nsc and www.newarksoccerclub.org.

 
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