In the second half things went back and forth unremarkably for a while, Steiner getting no real chances, Emerson generally controlling play but not finishing on their own chances. Midway through the half the Eagles drew a foul outside the top of the Stars penalty area. On the ensuing free kick, Thomas, with his trademark cool demeanor, easily blasted his shot past the keeper for a 3-0 lead. Just a few minutes later, another Steiner foul, a bit farther out and to the side, but the same result – Thomas’ heavy shot essentially overpowered the keeper, going through his outstretched hands (in baseball we call it THTH: Too Hot To Handle) – and the Eagles held a commanding 4-0 advantage. From there the defense took the reins, handling any attack the Stars attempted to mount, and bringing the championship home.
Emerson Wins Soccer Championship
The Emerson Middle School soccer team concluded the 2013 season with a strong team performance in the AAIAA tournament championship game. Playing at Steiner’s home field, the Eagles jumped out ahead of the Stars early when Vincent Pelosi broke free of the Steiner defense on the side of their penalty area and fed a lovely cross to Thomas Halloran near the pk spot, and Thomas calmly beat the keeper inside the right post. A little more than midway through the first half Greta Downey rewarded Vincent’s earlier selflessness with a similarly crisp feed in nearly the same spot, and Vincent capitalized on the chance, scoring and putting Emerson up 2-0. The Eagles carried that advantage into intermission thanks in large part to staunch defense and solid goal keeping. The back line of Isabelle Crumm, Molly Pribble, Austin Sarns and Marshall Hayes was nearly perfect, and on the rare occasion that the Stars were able to muster a shot it was inevitably from afar and easily handled by Michael Pelosi. Likewise, any Steiner attempts at through balls were aggressively gobbled up by Michael or swept away by the Eagles backs long before Stars forwards were able to catch up to them.
For the statistically inclined, Emerson finished the season with 12 wins and one tie. In their first 7 games, the kids outscored their opponents 35-9, and in the final 6 games 30-2 – the scoring average of 5 per game held up even as the defense all but eliminated opponents chances. Emerson only trailed once the entire season, and that was in a game in which the Eagles 6th and 7th graders took on Steiner’s full team on the road – the Eagles stormed back to win that one 7-1. Likewise, the tie game also happened on the road, with Eagle 6th & 7th graders taking on opposing 8th graders. After this weekend’s championship game, the Steiner AD noted that Emerson could be even stronger next year, as this year’s team had only 3 8th graders and a very balanced, selfless and numerous core of younger players.
— Written by Coach Lenny