Haddon Township falls to Waldwick in Group 1 final


NJSIAA representative Derryk Sellers (left) presents the Group 1 state championship trophy to Waldwick coach Jonathan Noschese and his squad after its 2-0 win over Haddon Township Saturday.

UNION — The soccer gods had one final trick in store for the Haddon Township boys soccer team.

“One hundred percent, I’ll remember how this team overcame every adversity that we were faced with,” Hawks coach Jim Bonder said, after his squad’s 2-0 loss to Waldwick Saturday in the Group 1 state championship game at Kean University. “From injuries to illness — it was unbelievable. I feel like every game, there was something new, and somebody else was going to have to step up.

“The coaches and I laugh — there’s nothing else they can throw at us that we haven’t seen."

But there was. Waldwick launched an all-out assault on the Haddon Township net for the first 10 minutes of the game, racking up chance after chance and corner after corner.

Somehow the Hawks emerged from that with the game still scoreless, and even had a chance to take the lead, on a tricky 18-yard shot off Dermot Sheehan’s foot in the 19th minute that Waldwick keeper Connor Dillon just barely got his hands on.

And then came the own goal.

A Haddon Township defender leaped to get his head on Kyle Jahnke’s shot from the perimeter and sent it over the hands of Hawks’ keeper Cole Johnston. It came down in the back of the Haddon Township net with 11:56 left in the half.

The Warriors had come that close to having nothing to show for their dominating start.

“It wasn’t frustration,” Waldwick captain Kyle Carroll said. “We knew one was coming. The whole state playoff run, we haven’t gotten one on the first five minutes, which we like, but the coaching staff always gets us ready for these moments.”

The Warriors seized the next one, as well. Daniel Perdomo made it 2-0 with 21:30 left in the game.

“Jahnke got a through ball; a cross in and I called for the ball near the penalty spot and just hit it in the top corner,” Perdomo said.

The Hawks were down 2-0 now against a team that hadn’t allowed more than two in a game all season.

There wasn’t any way back from that.

And that was the idea.

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“We’d just been saying, the last three games, I think, we were up 1-0 at halftime,” Carroll said. “We know when we get that next one, it’s game over for us.”

It’s the first state title for the Warriors since 1995.

“This just says that anything is possible,” Perdomo said. “We’re underdogs who came up short last year, and then this year we just persevered and came through.”

Haddon Township knows a little about perseverance.

The Hawks were 7-5 after a loss to Sterling on Oct. 4. They battled to a 1-1 draw with Rancocas Valley the following day and won nine of 10 after that.

“I don’t know that we had one moment where it all came together,” Bonder said. “But you can kind of tell, just like in a game; there’s good momentum, and there was a stretch of the season where we had lost that momentum. And then, you could just see that they had a sense that they could do something good. They could make a run and they started to believe in themselves.”

John A. Lewis is a sports writer for the Burlington County Times, Courier Post and The Daily Journal. E-mail him at jlewis@thebct.com or follow on Twitter @JohnLewis19. Please consider supporting local journalism with a subscription.

This article originally appeared on Cherry Hill Courier-Post: Waldwick downs Haddon Township in Group 1 championship game


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Leicester vs Chelsea, live! How to watch, TV info, prediction, odds


Leicester vs Chelsea promises plenty as the Foxes hope to jumpstart their season by halting Chelsea’s title charge on Saturday (start time 7:30am ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at the King Power Stadium.

The Foxes saw a two-match win streak turn to a two-match winless run before the break, and beating the table-topping Blues would send a serious message to the PL.


Chelsea’s coming off a draw but still leads second-place Man City and third-place West Ham by three points. The Blues’ 26 points are impressive, and so are the paltry four goals they’ve conceded en route to the PL’s best goal differential through 11 matches.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Leicester vs Chelsea.[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Premier League news

Manchester City vs Everton: How to watch, team news, TV, start time, odds,... Premier League injury report, 2021-22 season Liverpool vs Arsenal: How to watch, team news, projected XI’s, odds,... Leicester City team news, injuries, lineup

Wesley Fofana is still out, as is James Justin. Marc Albrighton return for the Foxes but Youri Tielemans is out.


Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup

Chelsea fans will be happy to hear that Timo Werner and Marcos Alonso are fit to return, and they are on the bench. Mateo Kovacic is out and so too is Romelu Lukaku, but the latter may be back soon. Christian Pulisic wasn’t fit to start either of the USMNT’s World Cup qualifiers and he is on the bench for Chelsea.

Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Chelsea is a favorite to win to the tune of -130, while a draw pays +260. The payout is +350 if Leicester City claims all three points.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.Prediction

Anything can happen coming out of an international break, but Thomas Tuchel’s men are well-equipped to deal with the challenge of a trip to Brendan Rodgers and Co. Let’s hope for a Christian Pulisic start, but either way we expect something like Leicester 1-3 Chelsea.

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How to watch Leicester vs Chelsea live, stream and start time

Kick off: 7:30am ET Saturday
TV Channel: NBCSN
Stream: Online via NBCSports.com

Latest USMNT news

USMNT, Canada climb in latest FIFA world rankings VIDEO: PST unfiltered – USMNT progress report; Gerrard to Villa; Premier... Confident USMNT sees home wins, road draws as path to World Cup

Follow @NicholasMendola

Leicester vs Chelsea, live! How to watch, TV info, prediction, odds originally appeared on NBCSports.com


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Savannah's Elise Holcey to be first player on Statesboro's new USL W League soccer team


Elise Holcey, a Savannah Arts Academy senior and soccer player in the Tormenta FC Academy, is the first player signed with Tormenta's team in the new USL W League starting in May 2022.

Elise Holcey might be considered a late arrival to the game among her peers, having started playing soccer at the ripe old age of 9.

"I get that a lot. People always expect me to say I was 3 when I started," Holcey, now 17, said Wednesday. "On my ninth birthday I remember scoring a goal. It was YMCA soccer when I started."

That was in Zanesville, Ohio, where she was growing up on her grandparents' farm. Her family moved to Savannah when Holcey was 11. She got involved in club soccer, played with and against girls older than her, and proved to be an elite talent.

Holcey will be first among her peers locally to sign with the South Georgia Tormenta FC women's team in the new USL W League, a national association which starts play in May 2022 with playoffs ending in late July. The Statesboro-based organization on Friday will announce Holcey as the first player on the roster.

"When I heard they were brainstorming to come up with this (W League), I said I really wanted to be on that," Holcey said. "I really want to get to the next level, and this is the next step to do that.

"I'm so exited to play up and play bigger soccer," she said. "I'm just ready to play now thinking about it."

Coming to Statesboro: South Georgia Tormenta FC soccer club to add women's team in 2022

Holcey's goal is to play professionally, such as in the National Women's Soccer League. The United Soccer League announced in June the formation of a new women's pre-professional league positioned as a pathway to the top pro league that would include high school and college players who can maintain their amateur status.

Holcey is a senior at Savannah Arts Academy, where she has played for the school soccer team and plans to compete this spring. She also has bolstered her soccer education by joining the Tormenta FC Academy at age 15 in 2019.

"It is full-time and year-round soccer," said Holcey, a striker and attacking midfielder currently the team captain of the Under-19 Select squad, Tormenta Academy's highest-level girls team.

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"I have been thoroughly impressed with Elise, both on and off the field, since we started working together this past August," said Jim Robbins, the head coach of her academy team and the new W League entry. "On the field, she possesses all the soccer abilities needed to be successful in the USL W League.

"She has a unique attacking skill set that we can continue to develop and showcase here at Tormenta FC this summer and for the next few years of her career. She is a crafty dribbler, has great vision, creates opportunities for her teammates, and she can score goals of all different varieties in and around the penalty area."

More W League: Tormenta to field one of 8 founding women's soccer teams in USL W League in 2022

Robbins called her a dynamic and dangerous scorer. He also said she's professonal and a consummate teammate who has earned the respect of her teammates.

Holcey calls herself a natural leader in that she communicates well and encourages her teammates. Her strengths include ball control and ability to finish on scoring opportunities, but she sees areas for growth, too.

"I feel like I should work on my technique more and my skills getting around players, and I should probably be a little more confident, too," Holcey said.

She especially enjoys her role as a coach of academy players ages 2-10, particularly those 7-10 because they better understand coaching direction. There's one instruction all youth soccer coaches have to stress.

"Sharing is a really big deal, sharing the ball," Holcey said. "We have to teach them a little bit of life lessons. Other than that, it's a lot of soccer."

Her younger sister, Ava, also plays for the Tormenta FC Academy.

"Away from the field, Elise embodies everything that Tormenta FC is known for," Robbins said. "She fits seamlessly into our club culture, has great character, is a natural leader, and is a strong student. She is also an excellent teammate and a positive ambassador of the game. She truly defines what it means to be an athlete of good character. I look forward to working with her at the USL W League level."

As seen on TV

While soccer wasn't her first sport as an elementary school student — she was into volleyball and archery — Holcey fell in love with it while watching the powerhouse U.S. women's national team on television. Her favorite player was Abby Wambach, and she models her game after Carli Lloyd's.

"You get a feeling when you're watch it, like I really want to do that," she recalled. "It just sparks something. Then when you're playing with your friends and you don't want to stop, it's that type of feeling. You just want to keep playing."

The Savannah Spirit's Elise Holcey comes up to defend a pass during a 6 vs. 6 soccer tournament on Jan. 23 at Benedictine Military School.

Holcey played last summer for the Savannah Spirit, another squad on the Coastal Empire soccer scene in the Women's Premier Soccer League. The Spirit's roster included current high school and college players as well as a few post-college players.

"It was so fun playing with college girls because they're older so you look up to them. They coach you as well," Holcey said.

She plans on playing in college, and said she has an offer from Southern Wesleyan, which she visited in Central, S.C. She's currently dual enrolled at Savannah Arts and the Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus in Savannah.

More: Tormenta FC offers soccer skills camps with emphasis on fun for children with disabilities

Player tryouts scheduled

The Tormenta FC W League team, which will start play in May, is having an open tryout on Sunday, Dec. 12, with sessions from 10 a.m. to noon, and 2 to 3:30 p.m., at The Clubhouse Fields in Statesboro.

Athletes who want to try out can register ahead online for $75 at TormentaFC.com/trials or register as a walk-up on Dec. 12 for $100. All participants will receive a Tormenta FC training shirt.

The new women’s team will play its matches on Optim Health System Field at Tormenta FC’s new stadium in Statesboro. The facility also will serve as the home to the professional USL League One team, the amateur USL League Two squad and Georgia Southern University men’s and women’s NCAA Division I soccer teams.

For more information, follow Tormenta Women on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. To learn more about the USL W League, visit USLWLeague.com or follow the W League on Twitter at @USLWLeague.

Nathan Dominitz is the Sports Content Editor of the Savannah Morning News and savannahnow.com. Email him at ndominitz@savannahnow.com. Twitter: @NathanDominitz

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: USL W League South Georgia Tormenta signs Savannah's Elise Holcey


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Westport High boys soccer team shows grit and gratitude in Division V Final Four loss


WALPOLE — The town of Westport is best known for its quiet residential areas and large, farming community.

It's even a spot for tourism in the summer along with its nice beaches.

But for the last two weeks, the Westport High School boys soccer team captivated the hearts and soul of the town that was founded in 1670.

Although it wasn't the ending the Wildcats had hoped for in Wednesday's Division V state semifinal 3-0 loss to Douglas, it was a magical ride to the Final Four the nearly 17,000 residents and the team will never forget.

Westport's Nick Arruda lays on the field after Douglas scored their second goal during Wednesday night's Division V semifinal game at Walpole High School..

"It makes me feel amazing that a small school like we have, we can do such a big thing with just a great group of kids," Westport senior Domanick Vitorino said after the game. "I was honored when we got to the Elite 8, never mind the Final Four. So getting here is a huge step for the school. This was one special moment in my life."

Senior Nick Arruda said he couldn't be more proud of his team.

"This team has taken my standards to the next level," he said. "This was an experience I'll never forget and a memory for a lifetime. I can't thank my boys for that.

Westport's Hunter Brodeur makes a play on the ball during Wednesday night's Division V semifinals game against Douglas at Walpole High School.

"Like coach preaches to us every day, making everyone on the team and myself a better young man. That is what I accomplished in my four years playing soccer. I became a better young man and learning how to treat other people on the field."

Vitorino agrees.

"This program is just more than soccer. It's about developing young men of character," Vitorino said. "Coach did a hell of job. He changed not only myself, Nick and others but changed everyone. Even the freshmen coming up."

From the bottom to the top: Westport boys soccer making deep run in state playoffs

Just to be the last four teams standing in Division V out of 82 teams speaks volumes as far as Westport head coach Chris Parker is concerned.

"I don't care what endeavor we're talking about or whatever industry," Parker said. "Whether it is in professional life or an academic or in athletics. To get this level, you better have a large group people with grit. That's what these guys have."

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Westport's Coltrane McGonigle looks in disbelief as a penalty shot is awarded to Douglas' Aidan Ferguson (on the ground) during Wednesday night's Division V state semifinal game at Walpole High School.

The Wildcats began their journey with a 4-0 win over Taconic High. Three days later, Westport edged KIPP Academy to advance to the Elite 8.

On Monday, the Wildcats won 1-0 over Millis in the final moments to capture a sectional title and trip to the Final Four.

"Westport is a hard-working team and they're well coached," Tigers head coach Alex Ferguson said. "They are very structured defensively. They had a great season."

Westport's Domanick Vitorino makes a play during Wednesday night's Division V sate semifinal game against Douglas at Walpole High School.

As they gathered around each other for the final time this season, Vitorino said they ended with their warrior mentality.

"Our mind is set for purpose. My body is ready for challenge.

"My spirit is primed to sacrifice so that my teammates claim success. I'm a pitch warrior."

How it happened

Both teams slugged it out for nearly 69 minutes before Aidan Ferguson snapped a 0-0 tie with the first of his two goals on the evening.

Ferguson was tripped in the box and was awarded a penalty kick. In one motion, he fired the shot past the dive of Westport goalie Noah Amaral to the far left corner to give Douglas a 1-0 lead at the 68:45 mark.

"I knew I had to hit because (Westport) is dangerous. No. 2 (Hunter Brodeur) is up top and he's fast. They get one and it will be tough to score against them. I knew we needed the momentum."

Westport's Hunter Brodeur, right, is surrounded by several Douglas defenders during Wednesday's Division V state semifinal game at Walpole High School.

Less than five minutes later, Michael O'Toole sent a pass to Owen Gray, who went in all alone of Amaral and tapped a shot by him for a 2-0 lead.

Ferguson capped the scoring with 5:16 remaining with a beautiful, high rising shot that found top corner from 42 yards out to give the Tigers a commanding 3-0 lead.

Wildcat leading scorer Hunter Brodeur was blanketed all night long from the Douglas defenders. Brodeur, who finished with 35 goals, saw double and even triple team for most of the night.

Amaral made several big stops, including a kick save early in the contest to keep it scoreless.

Taking a piece from the alumni

Parker said his team's foundation was built on his first Wildcat team that won just three games.

"Those guys back then set the stage. On my ride up here today, I sent out a group text to all the alum or at least the guys that I coached. I let them know that this run was every bit theirs as much as it is with the guys on the field. They changed the culture of this program. Now, it is going to make my job a little bit easier.

"The younger kids will pick up the mantle and run with it now."

Herald News and Taunton Daily Gazette sports editor Steven Sanchez can be reached at ssanchez@heraldnews.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @Chezsports. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Herald News today.

This article originally appeared on The Herald News: Westport High boys soccer loses Division V state semifinal to Douglas


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Southgate expects no issues over new England contract


England manager Gareth Southgate says there should be no complications with his negotiations over a new contract.

Southgate's side booked their place at next year's World Cup in Qatar with a 10-0 thrashing of San Marino on Monday.

Reports over recent weeks suggested Southgate is set to sign an extension to his current contract with the Football Association, which runs out at the end of the World Cup.

Southgate had refused to be drawn on the situation while England were focused on securing their qualification.

But after their biggest ever victory in a competitive fixture, he admitted he sees no reason why his reign will not be extended until at least Euro 2024.

"When you work with staff like I work with and with a group of players who are as receptive and have the talent that we have then that's clearly very enjoyable," Southgate said.

"So there's been no other reason for not sitting down other than the fact that we felt it was right to concentrate on the European Championship and to get this qualification done.

"Now it's an appropriate time to be able to sit with (FA technical director) John (McDermott) and (chief executive) Mark Bullingham and go through everything - but I'm not expecting for that to be complicated at all."

England are still waiting for a first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup, but Southgate has them trending in the right direction after a memorable 2021.

Having led England to the final of Euro 2020 in July and the World Cup semi-finals in 2018, Southgate's men will be genuine contenders in Qatar.

But England's World Cup challenge will be complicated by a lack of preparation time.

The Premier League announced last week it will pause the season after the weekend of November 12-13, with the World Cup kicking off just over a week later.

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Whereas most pre-tournament camps would allow time for several warm-up fixtures, the scheduling means Southgate is not expecting to play a friendly before the World Cup.

"Ahead of the tournament, I'm not sure what that's going to look like for anybody but I would think it's really unlikely that teams are going to be able to play a friendly," Southgate said.

"If you think about the Premier League teams playing on a Saturday or Sunday then you'd need three or four days before you'd play and I think you normally have to be in the country five days ahead of a major tournament anyway.

"So it's going to be the teams that adapt best and we've got some experience of that with the Nations League and the European Championship where we had so many players involved in the Champions League finals, so at least we have been through that experience."



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Chillicothe (Mo.) HS Soccer Hornets Hit Late Roadblock in State-Title Quest


Chillicothe High School soccer Hornets senior goalkeeper Jaxon Albertson makes a diving save on a Harrisonville Wildcats shot in the 27th minute of the teams' 2021 Class 2 state-tournament quarterfinals match Saturday, Nov. 13. Harrisonville scored with just over eight minutes remaining to prevail 1-0, ending CHS' season with a 20-4 record.

Chillicothe High School soccer Hornets junior midfielder Wyatt Brandsgaard heads a pass farther toward the Harrisonville Wildcats' goal during the first half of their 2021 Class 2 state-tournament quarterfinals match at Harrisonville Saturday, Nov. 13.

Chillicothe High School soccer Hornets head coach Tim Cunningham (red cap at upper center) addresses the team prior to their 2021 Class 2 state-tournament quarterfinals match at Harrisonville Saturday, Nov. 13. Harrisonville ended CHS' record-breaking season with a 1-0 victory.

By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — For a second-straight Saturday, a fall 2021 Chillicothe High School fall sport’s phenomenal season concluded shy of its ultimate target, but not through any fault of the CHS squads involved.

Following the 3-2 state-championship-game loss that wrapped up the softball Lady Hornets’ sensational season seven days before, the soccer Hornets – having advanced farther along the postseason path than either the boys’ or girls’ program ever had before – played a very strong, virtually-error-free match at Harrisonville Saturday afternoon, but it was not quite enough to produce the desired result.

Just inside the final 10 minutes of scheduled time in their 80-minutes Class 2 state tournament quarterfinals clash, the host Wildcats executed a sterling play to produce what proved to be the only scoring of the match, defeating CHS 1-0.

“We tried to make everything tough on them, just like they were making things tough on us,” Tim Cunningham, his 11th season in charge having just ended, shared in a post-match chat at the game site with the C-T.

Of Harrisonville’s coming out on top, he verbally tipped his cap: “They earned it.”

The loss prevented the Hornets from advancing to what would have been their first-ever appearance in the soccer state semifinals and finals.

Instead, Chillicothe, defeated for the first time in just over two months and after 18 triumphs in a row, bows out at 20-4, the most wins in a season in the program’s 15-seasons history. Multiple individual records also were bettered this fall.

“They’re kind of setting the standard for what Chillicothe soccer is,” Cunningham said he stressed to the team in his post-game comments to them.

Chillicothe High School Hornets junior outside midfielder Jackson Reeter battles Tucker Lawson of the Harrisonville Wildcats for the ball in the first half of their 2021 Class 2 state-tournament quarterfinals match at Harrisonville Saturday, Nov. 13. Lawson scored with just over eight minutes remaining to give the Wildcats a 1-0 win.

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From a seemingly-innocuous situation just on the Harrisonville offensive side of midfield at Harrisonville Memorial Stadium, a dribbling Wildcats sophomore Zane Masden made a quick, slick reverse pivot back toward the center of the artificial-turf pitch, momentarily slipping the shadow of a hounding Hornets defender.

Whether by design or instinctive reaction, Masden used the moment of time and the small gap of space his turnaround provided to send a low, but long, line-drive pass ahead toward the Chillicothe penalty are where teammate Tucker Larson, a junior forwarded seemingly was bracketed on each side by backs Logan Distler and Josh Adams with sweeper back Nate King behind them and, beyond them, senior goalkeeper Jaxon Albertson.

As the ball rose to perhaps 10 feet off the ground as it sailed toward and then beyond that group of players, Masden’s aiming accuracy had the ball zip right over Larson’s head and into the CHS penalty area with the single Harrisonville player and three Chillicothe backs in hot pursuit.

Larson won the chase to the ball just ahead of the three backs with Albertson and the CHS goal perhaps 12-15 yards away to his left. Deftly and subtly eluding the effort of the first back to try to get the ball from him, Larson, like Masden, used that instant of space and time to cut loose a right-footed shot attempt.

Aiming and hitting it well despite the rush, the Harrisonville forward pulled a hard, low shot across the goal front, its velocity fast enough to prevent ’keeper Albertson – out a few yards from his line and not far from the left (short-side) goalpost – from being able to intersect its path with a desperate dive to his right and its direction allowing it to zip across the goal line and into the net with about 6-8 yards to spare inside the right post.

After 71:48 of defense-owned play, the host Wildcats had broken through, leaving the Hornets only 8:11 to try to respond.

Larson is “a really special player,” Cunningham praised. “… Our guys did an incredible job marking him and making things tough on him most of the match.”

Playing with increasingly-aggressive offensive desperation with each passing second, Chillicothe generated a few reasonable opportunities for the tying goal against the very solid and well-coordinated HHS backline.

As a direct free kick by Gabe Hansen from about 30 yards drops into the goalmouth with about 16 minutes left in a scoreless match, Chillicothe High School soccer Hornets forwards Chace Corbin (left) and Sam Reeter (right) crowd Harrisonville Wildcats sophomore goalkeeper Travis Eddleman as he tries to reach and punch it away during the teams' well-played 2021 Class 2 state-tournament quarterfinals Saturday, Nov. 13. Although the leaping Corbin, CHS' leading scorer on the season, got his head on Hansen's kick, the ball caromed farther away from the goal. About eight minutes later, host Harrisonville scored the match's only goal, its 1-0 win ending CHS' sterling season with a 20-4 record.

After one about 10 minutes earlier had resulted in the Hornets’ best scoring chance of the day when leading scorer Chace Corbin managed to get his head on it right in front of goalkeeper sophomore Travis Eddleman, only to have the ball carom harmlessly farther from the goal, a direct free kick by Gabe Hansen from about 25 yards out with 3-1/2 minutes left was pushed over the goal by the wind at his back.

Then, with about two minutes to go, for the only time in the match, the Hornets gained a corner-kick opportunity, but again the wind pushed Drake Cosgrove’s boot from the offensive right side beyond the end line and out of play.

“We really thought, coming into the match, that we were going to have to be effective on our set pieces, but we didn’t get a corner (kick)” until the last 2-1/2 minutes, Cunningham noted. “That says a lot about their defense, because – especially in the second half – we put some pressure on them, but their defense stood tall and was able to keep (all the play) in front of them.”

Prior to Lawson’s goal, both squads had applied pressure to the opponent’s defense, but been rewarded with only intermittent shots that made it through to the respective goalkeepers.

“Everything was going to have to be earned today; nothing was going to be given. There was nothing that was going to be easy about today on either side,” Cunningham capsulized.

Of those that did, Albertson had to handle the most and toughest, including a diving stop to his right in the 27th minute and a good stop on a low, 20-yards shot after the Hornets’ backfield briefly misplayed a long, high pass by Harrisonville 11 minutes into the second half.

“Our defense has been so locked in for months now, it seems like, and it played really good again today against a pretty high-powered team,” lauded the CHS head coach.

“Our ‘layering’ was really good again today,” he detailed. “… They’ve gotten better every week and they work really hard in practice to understand positioning and layering and making sure they’re covering for each other and today was just another really good example of that.

“Even the shot they made (for the lone goal), he beat one guy and another guy was stepping to him and he just made a great shot. It wasn’t like we were out of position.”

Playing against the wind in the opening half and focusing first on defensive integrity, Chillicothe did not get its first shot even in the direction of the goal – it went high and wide – until the match’s 31st minute.

“We knew it was going to be physical and our guys matched that part of the game, as well,” Cunningham saluted his squad. “… It was just a tough match.”

The Chillicothe (Mo.) High School soccer Hornets had a strong turnout of supporters for their road match at Harrisonville in the 2021 Class 2 state-tournament quarterfinals Saturday, Nov. 13.

Taking note of Harrisonville’s 2017 trip to the state semifinals and finals and its four 20-wins seasons in the past decade, the Chillicothe coach observed about his own squad’s taking the game into the final 10 minutes level at 0-0, “They’ve got a really good team that’s battle-tested and has played in a lot of games like this one.”

“(HHS coach Dan Coleman has) a great program going and the fact that we competed with them and were right there with them I think says a lot about our program and where we’re at, how far we’ve come.”

Briefly simultaneously reflecting on both the day, which included support in the stands from an estimated 100 CHS supporters, and the now-complete season, Cunningham offered an emotional postscript.

“An incredible effort by our guys and it’s just been an incredible season and that’s what makes this tough, is that it’s over now,” he commented. “Just a great ride. And I appreciate everybody that drove the two hours here to watch us. Hopefully we made Chillicothe proud.”

This article originally appeared on Chillicothe News: Chillicothe HS Soccer Hornets Hit Late Roadblock in State-Title Quest


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Aircraft operator in Sala case gets 18-month prison sentence


CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — The businessman who organized the flight that resulted in the death of Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Friday.

David Henderson was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court, having already been found guilty by a majority verdict of endangering the safety of an aircraft. He had previously admitted to a separate offense of attempting to discharge a passenger without valid permission or authorization.

Sala died when the single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft in which he was traveling crashed in the English Channel on Jan. 21, 2019. Sala, who had played for French club Nantes, was flying to join his new team, Cardiff, in Wales.

The body of the pilot, David Ibbotson, was never recovered.

Henderson was the aircraft operator who arranged the flight. He had asked Ibbotson to fly the plane because the businessman was on vacation.

Ibbotson, who regularly flew for Henderson, did not hold a commercial pilot’s license or a qualification to fly at night, and his rating to fly the Piper Malibu had expired.

Henderson’s wife wept in court as Mr. Justice Foxton sentenced her husband to 18 months in prison for endangering an aircraft, with a three-month sentence — running concurrently — for attempting to discharge a passenger.

Henderson’s legal team is considering an appeal.

An inquest into Sala’s death is to be held next year.


More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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Soccer, volleyball teams deliver standout seasons


Watterson senior midfielder Gabriela Rotolo goes up for a header during a 3-1 loss to Olentangy Liberty in a regional semifinal Nov. 2. After missing time at the beginning of the season, Rotolo scored four goals in eight games.

On the same day the eventual state-champion Watterson field hockey team earned its second consecutive regional title, three of the school’s other fall programs celebrated championships.

The boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams each won district titles that day before having their seasons end at the regional semifinal level.

It marked the longest postseason run for the boys soccer team since it won a Division II district title in 2014, the final year of Chad Smith’s first tenure as coach before returning in 2019.

The Eagles were district runners-up a year ago when they went just 4-10-4 and improved to 12-4-2 overall this season, also earing a runner-up finish (3-1) in the CCL behind St. Charles (4-0).

“This is kind of a new feeling for this group, playing in these big moments and knowing how to react,” Smith said. “These are big moments for all the boys.”

Trent Maisano, a forward who scored 24 goals and was the district’s Player of the Year, led a nine-player senior class.

Owen Ferguson (midfielder), Johnny Haemmerle (midfielder), Sean Nyhus (defender), Isaac Ohlin (defender), Alex Spiers (midfielder) and Joey White (forward) were other key seniors.

Sophomores Dillon Brown (midfielder), Alex Ferguson (forward) and Jordan Vais (defender) should be among the top returnees.

“We’ve got nine seniors, with five or six that played quite a bit, so we’ve got some things to figure out, but we’ve got boys coming,” Smith said.

The volleyball team, despite having just one senior in defensive specialist Layla Bergman, followed its first appearance at the Division I state tournament last season by going 21-6 overall, winning the CCL at 6-0 and competing in a pair of heart-stoppers during their last two postseason matches.

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After edging Watkins Memorial 25-22, 18-25, 25-27, 25-21, 15-13 on Oct. 30 in a district final at Whitehall, the Eagles lost to Olentangy Orange 18-25, 25-17, 25-19, 13-25, 15-11 on Nov. 4 in a regional semifinal at Hilliard Darby.

Watterson has won four consecutive district titles.

Junior Clara Vondran (outside hitter) finished with 267 kills and juniors Mercedes Motton (middle hitter) and Ava Hoying (outside hitter) had 239 and 236 kills, respectively. Hoying surpassed the 500-kill mark for her career during the district final.

Junior Riley McGee (middle hitter) also was a key member of the offense.

Sophomore Maija Egletis and junior Sydney Spears split time at setter, with Egletis having 489 assists and Spears having 381.

Junior Callie Kasun (defensive specialist) led in digs with 280, and junior Maren Jenkins (right-side hitter/outside hitter) also was a key contributor.

“I’m really fortunate at Watterson,” coach Stephanie Grieshop said. “We have a lot of great feeder schools and great coaches, so when I get them, I have great girls to choose from. As a group, we train together and we don’t train separately and what that brings is we just push those incoming freshmen and make them stronger and stronger.”

The girls soccer team went 4-4-1 over its first nine games without senior midfielder Gabriela Rotolo but went 4-2-1 during the remainder of the regular season after her return.

As the eighth seed for the postseason, the Eagles went on to win their third district title in four seasons, upsetting top-seeded Olentangy 2-1 in overtime in a Division I district final Oct. 30 at Worthington Christian before falling 3-1 to Olentangy Liberty in a regional semifinal Nov. 2 at the same site.

While Rotolo finished with four goals in eight games, senior forward Brooklyn Scythes had 20 goals and five assists, junior forward Rachel Spencer had 10 goals and five assists and junior midfielder Sydney Workman added five goals and nine assists.

“It’s all about growing and developing through the course of time and obviously we were a little bit undermanned at the beginning of the season,” coach Scott Dempsey said. “As we got healthier, we grew into the team we wanted to be. Things really turned around for the better as we made a run down the stretch and in the second half of the season, we had really strong performances by our girls.

“I don’t know how many teams in the Central District have been to four straight district championship games, but this senior class accomplished that for the first time in Watterson history. I’m pretty proud of the way things turned out in the long run. We’re losing a great senior class, but we’ve got a lot of players coming back.”




•Record: 12-4-2 overall

•CCL standings: St. Charles (4-0), Watterson (3-1), Hartley (2-2), DeSales (1-3), Ready (0-4)

•Seniors lost: Liam Besser, Owen Ferguson, Johnny Haemmerle, Trent Maisano, Jake Myers, Sean Nyhus, Isaac Ohlin, Alex Spiers and Joey White

•Key returnees: Dillon Brown, Alex Ferguson and Jordan Vais

•Postseason: Def. Heath 11-0; def. Johnstown 4-0; def. Granville 4-3; lost to Lexington 1-0 in regional semifinal

•Recap: Watterson won just four games last season and lost 5-2 to Whetstone on Sept. 4 to drop to 1-2-1, but lost only one more regular-season game.

The Eagles earned the No. 2 seed for the Division II district tournament and beat fifth-seeded Granville 4-3 in a district final with Maisano, a senior midfielder who was the district’s Player of the Year, leading the way.


•Record: 12-7-2 overall

•CCL standings: Watterson (3-0), Hartley (2-1), DeSales (1-2), Ready (0-3)

•Seniors lost: Maddy Bellisari, Sarah Cobb, Ellie Copeland, Lexie Francis, Bella Matre, Ryan McGinn, Jordan Morales, Evie Owens, Gabriela Rotolo, Brooklyn Scythes, Erin Tracy and Lauren Tracy

•Key returnees: Gabby Capozello, Rachel Spencer, Sydney Workman

•Postseason: Def. Logan 9-0; def. DeSales 5-0; def. Olentangy Berlin 2-1 (OT); def. Olentangy 2-1 (OT); lost to Olentangy Liberty 3-1 in regional semifinal

•Recap: The Eagles won their third Division I district title in four seasons despite playing the first nine games without Rotolo, a senior midfielder and Ohio State commit.

Watterson took off after Rotolo’s return and beat top-seeded Olentangy in a district final despite being the No. 8 seed.


•Record: 21-6 overall

•CCL standings: Watterson (6-0), DeSales and Hartley (both 3-3), Ready (0-6)

•Senior lost: Layla Bergman

•Key returnees: Maija Egletis, Ava Hoying, Callie Kasun, Riley McGee, Mercedes Motton, Sydney Spears and Clara Vondran

•Postseason: Def. Groveport 25-14, 25-14, 25-16; def. Briggs 25-6, 25-5, 25-7; def. Lancaster 25-17, 25-22, 25-17; def. Watkins Memorial 25-22, 18-25, 25-27, 25-21, 15-13; lost to Olentangy Orange 18-25, 25-17, 25-19, 13-25, 15-11 in regional semifinal

•Recap: After third-seeded Watterson had to go the distance before beating second-seeded Watkins Memorial to win its fourth consecutive Division I district title, it came up just short against Orange in a regional semifinal in another five-set match.

The Eagles accomplished that feat, as well as winning the CCL championship, despite having just one senior in Bergman, a defensive specialist.

This article originally appeared on ThisWeek: Watterson Eagles: Soccer, volleyball teams deliver standout seasons


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Gregg Berhalter can cement new place in USMNT vs Mexico lore on Friday


The United States men’s national team has momentum but not history on its side as it prepares to host Mexico in a big World Cup qualifier on Friday.

The Yanks beat El Tri in this summer’s inaugural CONCACAF Nations League final then used an almost entirely new squad to beat Mexico in the Gold Cup final.

The two pieces of silverware matter greatly to U.S. fans as well as coach Gregg Berhalter and his players, but there’s more than a hint of anxiety as the rivals descend on Cincinnati for Friday’s match-up of CONCACAF’s top two nations.

The United States has not beaten Mexico in three consecutive competitive matches in the history of the rivalry and has only won three-straight matches including friendlies against El Tri twice, between 2000-01 and 2005-07.

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Longer unbeaten run are more common, with the U.S. boasting two four-match unbeaten runs and a six-match unbeaten run over the last 20 years, while Mexico last won three-straight competitive fixtures against the USMNT between 2009-11.

That was a remarkable run which included a 5-0 win in the 2009 Gold Cup Final, a 2-1 win in a 2010 World Cup qualifier at Azteca, and a 4-2 win in the 2011 Gold Cup Final.

And while the CNL win is a brand-new competition to go with the Gold Cup triumph, it’s easy to say that adding a Friday win to make the streak three — especially if it could carry a scoreline of, oh, I don’t know, dos a cero — would make Gregg Berhalter the author of the most impressive rivalry run in U.S. history.

We should also take a step back and note that the USMNT truly had dramatically swung the tide of the rivalry in the 2000s. The U.S. won the first ever meeting between the nations, a 1934 World Cup qualifier in Italy, but lost the next 10.

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Mexico’s record stood at 21 wins, three draws, and one loss by the time the U.S. finally struck gold in a 1982 home World Cup qualifier.

Drawing a line before that qualifier and after the 1982 qualifier in Mexico won by El Tri provides a stark contrast.

More USMNT news

Report: USMNT forward Daryl Dike wanted by Serie A clubs Thomas Tuchel sends message to USMNT over Christian Pulisic, Berhalter responds 2022 World Cup qualifying: How to watch, schedule, odds

USMNT record versus Mexico, 1934 to November 9, 1980

Overall: 1W-3D-21L
Excluding friendlies: 1W-3D-13L

USMNT record versus Mexico, November 23, 1980 to present

Overall: 20W-12D-15L
Excluding friendlies: 12W-6D-13L

Yes, you’re reading that right: A U.S. win in Ohio on Friday would effectively level the rivalry in matches that matter over the last 40 years.

That’s saying a lot for a U.S. squad still perceived as a younger sibling of El Tri, even with the Yanks eliminating Mexico from the 2002 World Cup in what must be considered the most significant match between CONCACAF teams of this century and likely some distance prior to it.

Berhalter’s playing history against Mexico Includes some real momentous matches. He was on the bench when the Yanks knocked Mexico out of Copa America 1995 on penalties and played 120 minutes in the 1999 Confederations Cup semifinal loss to El Tri.

He went the distance in the 2002 World Cup Round of 16 dos a cero, lost a World Cup qualifier at Azteca in 2005, and won another dos a cero at home six months later.

What would it mean for Berhalter personally to help author another huge moment in the history of a rivalry destined to last as long as the nations themselves? Almost as much as it would to the Yanks’ 2022 World Cup fate, which would take a huge step toward being sealed with a win in Cincinnati.

Premier League news

Premier League player Power Rankings Thomas Tuchel sends message to USMNT over Christian Pulisic, Berhalter responds Paul Pogba out with injury; Ogbonna suffers ACL issue

Follow @NicholasMendola

Gregg Berhalter can cement new place in USMNT vs Mexico lore on Friday originally appeared on NBCSports.com


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Gloucester boys soccer dismantles East Boston in First Round rout


Nov. 7—The Gloucester boys soccer team showed some serious maturity in Saturday's Division 3 North First Round game.

No. 8 Gloucester was hosting No. 40 East Boston in a big postseason game under the lights, and while some teams would get themselves a little too fired up before a big game, the Fishermen played like they had been there before. They were disciplined and at the same time aggressive enough while not leaving themselves open for a counter. The result was a 5-0 rout at Newell Stadium.

"We were cool, calm and collected and really took care of business today," said senior captain Andrew Coelho, who scored two goals and set the program's single season scoring mark which is now at 28. "We opened up well with a big first half, we played our game and the results showed."

The host Fishermen (15-2-2) jumped right out to an early lead in the sixth minute and never looked back. After East Boston was hit with a hand ball in the box, Coelho scored on the ensuing penalty kick for a 1-0 lead.

Coelho set up Gloucester's next two goals as he crossed to Geremy Palacios in the 11th minute. Just over 10 minutes later he lofted a pass from the left end line that Gino Tripoli caught at the high point for a header goal and a 3-0 lead.

Gloucester's aggressive play style up the wings kept the Jets on their heels throughout the match, dominating possession while allowing just one shot on goal in the first half.

"We really wanted to come out and attack," Gloucester head coach Armando Marnoto said. "We forced them into some mistakes and we really caught fire. And it was all unselfish play, all of our goals were set up beautifully. That first half was great for us and it really set the tone."

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In the second half, East Boston came out with the much needed desperation and played its best 10 minutes of soccer. The Jets looked like they had cut into the lead with a nice cross into the box and a hard shot on goal within six feet of the goal. But Fishermen keeper Max Sperry showed off his reflexes with a quick dive to his right for a huge save.

"We were up by three goals but we knew the first ten minutes of the second half or the next goal were going to set the tone for the rest of the game," Coelho said. "That's why it was really important that Max had that save down there, it helped us close out the game."

Sperry's save turned the momentum as less than five minutes later Gloucester added to the lead with a slick give-and-go from Palacios to Coelho for a 4-0 Fishermen advantage.

Gloucester finished up the scoring with another impressive goal in the 67th minute, this one off the foot of Jack Patten on a free kick from about 35-yards out to make it 5-0. Aiden Almeida, Keith Horne, Leo Vitale, Brendan Anderton and Patten all played well defensively while Sperry earned his 10th shutout of the season.

"After Max's big save we really went back on the attack," Marnoto said. "When we got that fourth goal it really put us in control and we finished strong. I'm really happy for the seniors and the captains for the way they have kept it all together this season."

The Fishermen will be back at home in the Division 3 Second Round on Wednesday night with No. 9 Greater New Bedford visiting Newell Stadium for a 6 p.m. kickoff.


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