LAKEWOOD RANCH, FLA. - Just as the cold winter temperatures rolled into Minnesota, the Shattuck-St. Mary’s Boys U19DA soccer team loaded the bus for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase in sunny Florida.
Coming off the much deserved Thanksgiving break, SSM took to the field against Beachside SC in the Florida heat to earn a hard-fought point. Demitrius Kigeya ‘18 put SSM ahead at the 44th minute mark to take the lead into halftime after a first half that saw the Sabres dominate in goal scoring opportunities. Coming out of the break, the opponent upped the tempo drawing level midway through, and while SSM had their chances to go ahead, it took late-game heroics by goalkeeper Finn Simmersbach to preserve the win with a stoppage-time penalty kick save.
The turnaround time was short as the second game of the event kicked-off at two o’clock on Friday. Eighteen minutes in the Sabres found themselves behind, but what proved to be a definitive strength SSM proved it could bounce back. Logan Sullivan ‘18 notched his first goal of the event in the 31st minute, but the quality opponent showed resolve as well, netting a goal just seven minutes later to go into halftime ahead 2-1. Undaunted, SSM took the field with determination and on this day, it paid off. Demetrius Kigeya ‘18 scored his second goal to level the game at two and the attacks continued until Frankie Ljucovic ‘18 netted the game-winner at the 80th minute. An excellent strike that hit Twitter with energy, SSM walked away with all three points for their 3-2 victory.
In their final game on Sunday, the Sabres took the field against Barca Academy. The game proved an entertaining one, once again, for all the fans in attendance. The SSM soccer started quite well; the passing, the moving, the thinking all quite good ... all but the scoreline. A defensive mis-step saw Barca take advantage to go up 1-0. Tired legs gave away a penalty just before halftime that put SSM behind 2-0 going into the interval. The players could take heart though as the soccer that had been played was quality, which gave every reason a comeback was possible. Possible it was as SSM struck quickly as Logan Sullivan ‘18 scored his second goal of the event. Soon thereafter, Felipe Fernandez-Salvador ‘18 had the audacity to try the Olympico (to score directly from a corner kick), and it worked, putting the Sabres even with Barca at 2-2. Though the referee marked it as an own goal, those in Sabre colors knew it was a goal of goals. The team was flying, but in the end, could not put another one across. One point; another point closer to the playoff dreams that will be determined later this spring.
The Sabres will return to Development Academy play on March 25, 2018, against St. Louis FC Academy.
Startling lineup against Beachside Soccer Club CT
Front row (l-r): Demitrius Kigeya '18, Logan Sullivan '18, Frankie Ljucovic '18, Jonah Kagen '18, Max Levy '18, Michael Vang '18
Back row (l-r): Finn Simmersbach '18, Nate Weaver '18, Bishop Washington '18, Amet Korca '19, Jack Hickey '18
Starting lineup against Bethesda SC
Front row (l-r): Tarek Nour '18, Logan Sullivan '18, Felipe Herrman '19, Felipe Fernandez-Salvador '18, Max Levy '18
Back row (l-r): JT Harms '20, Darling Ngoh '18, Oluwatoyosi Akinyemi '18, Bishop Washington '18, Victor Caggiano '18, Jack Hickey '18
Starting lineup against Barca Academy
Front row (l-r): Morrie Budler '18, Felipe Fernandez-Salvador '18, Frankie Ljucovic '18, Jonah Kagen '18, Michael Vang '18
Back row (l-r): Finn Simmersbach '18, Nate Weaver '18, Logan Sullivan '18, Amet Korca '19, Charlie Purcell '18, Jack Hickey '18