The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 16 No. 27 - May 4, 2016


The Center soccer kicks off another successful season

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

monica simpson | SUN

Kieran Cloutier, playing for Team LUX, settles the ball
at his feet while Elek Brisson and Dante Tilelli move to take
the ball away for The Feast.

Instead of the competition on the inside at the Center, as usually seen in the spring season with basketball, the kids hit the pitch once again for some more soccer fun. With over 100 players, the play began last week for all of the youth teams.

A new round of instructional league players, playing most of their games on Monday nights, hit the small field. The four teams in the 3- to 5-year-old league and the four teams in the older age group for 6 and 7 year olds are learning their skills with volunteer coaches.

Meanwhile, the older kids, many of whom have been playing at the Center since they were 5 years old, have transitioned themselves to club soccer and school team soccer in town. Playing for the Manatee Magic, Braden River Rage and Sarasota Chargers or for their middle and high school teams is the natural progression for many of the kids who kicked the ball around at the community center.

The participation in the 11- to 13-year-old and 14- to 17-year-old leagues often diminishes as a result and this season is no different. Many of these players who grew up at the center returned in April after growing their soccer skills off the island to comprise a total of fun but competitive five teams.

The 17 players in the 14- to 17-year-old age group played their first game on Wednesday night. The two teams sponsored by Sugar Beach Digital and Beach Bums will go head-to-head every week, but to keep it interesting the players that comprise each team will be mixed up periodically.

Longtime Island players Jaclyn Schlossberg, Savannah Higgins, Angelina Sculco, Leo Tilelli, Katie Krokroskia, Lila Naeher, Anna Pears, Ava Zink, Joe Peery, Cortni Wash, Hannah McCracken, Adra Dupuis, Sela Zaccagnino, Lukin Heffernan and Lindsey Smith, laced up their boots and played 40 minutes of soccer.

The first goal of the game was made by Schlossberg, who came off of the sideline to assist the Beach Bums team on offense after seven minutes of play.

Tilelli and Michael Thompson supported their teams in goal for the majority of the game. Both boys came out of goal to play offense for their respective teams. Smith, for Sugar Beach Digital, took over in goal for the moment and saved an early goal attempt.

Beach Bum's Naeher played strong defense in the backfield along with Krokroskia, Pears and Sculco. Heffernan scored a goal with six minutes left in the first half for Sugar Beach Digital tying the game 1-1.

Two minutes later, Schlossberg answered back with her second goal of the game. Wash attacked the ball and stopped the shot by Zink after moving the ball down the field 20 yards.

Not to be denied, Zink got her second goal with less than three minutes on the clock. With a two point lead, Naeher nearly scored on a corner kick ending the first half 3-1.

After another Beach Bums score, Paighton Hall scored Sugar Beach Digital's second and last goal of the game. Schlossberg hit her third goal of the game for Beach Bums.

Despite a 5-2 lead by Beach Bums, Smith made a strong defensive stop of Zink's shot. McCracken, playing for Sugar Beach Digital, using her speed, nearly took the game to within three points. Time ran off the clock before Sugar Beach Digital could score another goal.

Zink, playing both teen leagues this season, had a hat trick in the game helping her team for the week, Beach Bums, to capture the win with the final score of 6-2.

Facing off for the first time in the season, the 11-to 13-year old Beach Bums team and Team Coldwell Banker will play Wednesday, May 4 at 8 p.m. This league finds six Saint Stephen's Episcopal School middle school soccer players on two different teams, along with many long-time friends meeting on the field for a friendly game of soccer at the Center.

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