Game of the Week: International FC protects Green League throne

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Player from International FC (white) tries to curl a pass around a BBS Canaries (yellow) defender. Picture by Franklin Heinzmann

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – On Tuesday, the top two teams of the Tuesday Men’s Soccer Green League faced off in what some called a preview of the championship game. International FC defeated BBS Canaries by a score of 5-2. International FC came into the game on top of the standings, with BBS Canaries in a close second.

This game was played in front of very vocal and prominent fans for both International FC and BBS Canaries. Despite the electric crowd, the play on the field was just the opposite during the first half. Each team had one real scoring chance that was denied, until International FC’s Schwartz Abellend scored the first goal of the game with just 90 seconds left in the half. He curled a shot past the goalkeeper with great finesse to make it 1-0. The score held into halftime. Shots on target at halftime were 6-2 in favor of International FC.

Right off the bat, Abellend scored his second of the game to give International FC a 2-0 lead just two minutes into the second half. BBS Canaries did not take those two quick goals lightly, as they were able to string together a nice run of chances. Through the first ten minutes of the second half alone, shots were 4-2 in favor of BBS Canaries.

The Canaries efforts were rewarded as forward Ricardo Costa get them on the board with a beautiful jumping volley. Costa scored with 12:33 left in the game and closed the Canaries deficit to one goal. International FC’s Mark Paye, wearing a Liberia National Football Team jersey, scored with 10:08 left to make it 3-1, International FC.

Throughout the rest of the half, each team was able to generate more chances on offense than in the second half. That was shown through in the closing stages of the game. With 3:38 left, International FC’s George (no last name given) took a pass from goalie Juan-Wu Varisco and blew past several BBS Canaries defenders to score his team’s fourth goal. It was quite masterful the way he deked through several defenders.

However, the Canaries didn’t go down without a fight. Forward Fernando Westrupp scored with 1:06 left. Off the ensuing faceoff, George (no last name given) scored his second goal in the same swift fashion as his first to put a nail in the Canaries’ coffin to make it 5-2. His second goal of the game was his eleventh of the session, good for first in goals scored out of every player in Tuesday Men’s Soccer Green.

Final: International FC BBS Canaries 2

Shots on Target: International FC 15 BBS Canaries 9

 

To see standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.

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The Undefeated becomes The Defeated

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CORY JONES (QB) RUNS THE BRAVES OFFENSE. PICTURE BY SEAN GOODWIN

This past Monday, I watched three action packed flag football games at the Epic Center.  The last game of the night between Hellagoods and Buffalo Braves, turned out to be one of the most competitive, and close games I have seen.  Hellagoods was the favorite, coming into the matchup with a 4-0 record.  The Braves were not much of an underdog however, as they entered the game with a 3-1 record.  Wide receiver John Heberling was looking to stretch his three touchdown lead on the league leaderboard following his four touchdown performance last week.  Quarterback play was going to be a big matchup into the game coming in, as the leagues top two leading passers played for either team.  Chris Lonzi for the Braves, and Ford for Hellagoods had 30 touchdown passes between them coming in, and you can imagine both were on MVP watch at the start of this week.

The game started in the hands of Ford, and the Hellagoods offense.  After a 19 yard strike and run to Noah Huard, a Cory Jones sack of Ford on third down lead to a punt from the frustrated Hellagoods.  The teams first turn on defense was not much better, as they let Lonzi get lose early.  Lonzi had the first touchdown of the game. Lonzi had a clutch 19 yard touchdown rush on fourth down.  Then all of a sudden, the Braves went to sleep on the first play defending a lead.  Derek Mcgee took a short slant pass from Ford and took off down the middle for a sixty yard touchdown.  Ford would make a critical mistake on the PAT throwing a needless interception.  This gave the Braves two points and pushed their lead to 10-6.  Each team would score one more touchdown before the half, and the score was 16-12 in favor of the Braves.

During the intermission there were a couple heated exchanges between the teams, and I knew I was in for an even more chippy second half.

Within minutes of the half starting we had our first unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of the night as Robert Malave from Hellagoods, and Lonzi got four minute suspensions.  While the leagues touchdown leader, John Heberling, was held in check by Hellagoods, they were not able to stop the Braves’ Cory Jones on either side of the ball.  Cory Jones even took over for Lonzi at quarterback on the second drive of the second half due to Lonzi’s ti,e pn the bench as a result of a penalty.  Jones was able to lead the Braves into great field position and as soon as the ref said he could come back into the game, Lonzi threw a 10 yard touchdown fade to none other than Cory Jones.   The Braves jumped out to a 30-18 lead, and that turned out to be too much for undefeated Hellagoods as their comeback fell short at the final buzzer. Ford had a couple of nice plays in the pursuit of the comeback, but had no time to throw on their last possession.  He was sacked twice and Hellagoods turned it over on downs to end the game. The final score was 30-24.

The players of the game for the Braves were Lonzi, and Cory Jones.  Lonzi finished the game with three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdowns.  Cory Jones ended up with two receiving touchdowns, and a season high three total games.  Fortunately for Hellagoods, they will get their rematch in just seven days as these teams play each other again next week.  Both teams will have 4-1 records, and will be sure to put out another fantastic game at Epic Center.

Tuesday Roller Hockey mid-session word association

 

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Picture by James Krolikowski.

In last week’s Game of the Week, I associated one word with each of the team’s session in Men’s Soccer Blue and Green to date. It was received so well by ECSR readers, that this week’s Game of the Week is word association with both Tuesday Roller Hockey Leagues, Mixed and Green.

 

Mixed

Spartans: Undefeated

Spartans are a top of the Mixed League standings with a flawless 4-0-0-0 record. They lead the league in goals scored (39) and are tied with Helltwigs for the least amount of goals given up (16). Spartans forward Mitch Francemore has the most points in the entire league (8+6).

Helltwigs: Impenetrable

Helltwigs are tied for second with a 3-0-0-1 record Helltwigs are led by their defense. They’ve given up only 16 goals through four games. Out of every goalie who’s started at least three games, Goalie Shane Irwin leads the entire league in GAA (4.00) and SV% (.816).

Blazing Nuggets: Misleading

Blazing Nuggets are the other team tied with Helltwigs with a 3-0-0-1 record. On paper, their -1 goal differential and Goalie Dennis Fruehauf’s 6.20 GAA is misleading. Their 10-3 loss to Spartans earlier in the session mars their stats, and makes them look bad when really they are not. Without that game, Blazing Nuggets goal differential is +6 and Fruehauf’s GAA is 5.33.

Team Wheels: Acquainted

Team Wheels is the only new team in the Mixed league, so they’ve spent their first four games in the Mixed league getting used to their competition. They’ve split their first four games of the session as their record is 2-0-0-2. If the season were to end today they’d play Crystal Palace in the preliminary round of the playoffs.

Crystal Palace: One

Last week I used ‘One’ to describe a team that’s scored one goal in the entire session. This isn’t the case with Crystal Palace, as ‘One’ represents their points per game. They’ve played four games and have a total of four points, which is good for fifth in the league. Crystal Palace (1-0-1-2) will need to refine their strategy to make a deep run into the playoffs.

Puckin’ Monkeys: Selfish

Puckin’ Monkeys are sixth in the league with a 1-0-0-4 record. Puckin’ Monkeys top point getters have only recorded one assist in the four games they have played. Dating back to Pee Wee hockey, players are encouraged to pass the puck to score and therefore win games. If this team can spread the puck around, then they’ll be effective.

Regulation Hair Loss: Last

Regulation Hair Loss has two points through four games as their 0-1-0-4 record indicates. Joseph C. carries the team offensively as he has 10 points through four games (7+3). Regulation Hair Loss’s next leading scorer only has four points. Regulation Hair Loss has three games to get it together before the playoffs start.

 

Green

Queen City Bolts: Mixed

Queen City Bolts is by far and away the best team in the Green League. They have a 4-0-0-0 record, a +25 goal differential and six of the top ten point getters in the league play for Queen City. If they want to participate in the next session at the Epic Center, they’d fair very well in the Mixed league.

Don Bombs: Inspired

Don Bombs is currently tied for second with a 3-0-0-2 record. Don Bombs have had their troubles over the past few sessions, but this session they’re rejuvenated thanks to their newfound scoring option in Roy Wasiewic. He has 11 points (9+2) in five games.

Invaders: Netminder

Invaders is currently tied for second with a 3-0-0-1 record. Invaders goaltender Grant Szymanek is having a great season. Out of goalies that have played at least three games, he leads the league in SV% (.859), GA (14), GAA (3.50), and has faced the most shots (99). Szymanek and co. are lined up to go deep into the playoffs.

1017 Brick Squad: Uphill

1017 Brick Squad has been up and down this session, posting a 1-1-0-2 record. Their high point so far was beating Red Machine 4-3 in OT. Their low point this session was forfeiting what appeared to be a very winnable game against Road Runners due to lack of players. From here on out 1017 Brick Squad has an uphill battle. In three out of the next four games, they have to face the top three teams in the league.

Red Machine: Average

Red Machine have a 1-0-1-2 record. Nothing about Red Machine really stands out other than their bright red jerseys. They don’t score that many goals (13), they don’t give up many goals (19), and their goalie play is middle of the pack. So it makes sense that Red Machine sit firmly in sixth.

Thunderkatz: Fruitless

Thunderkatz is in sixth place with a 1-0-0-3 record. They have recorded 11 goals so far, but because their one win was a result of a forfeit, that means they’ve put 10 pucks past a goalie. 2.5 goals per game might win you games in the NHL, but it doesn’t win you games in any Epic Center Roller Hockey League.

Road Runners: Caboose

Road Runners are last in the league with a 1-0-0-4 record. Forward Joseph Hozdic is having a good session. He has nine points (5+4) and leads the team in goals and assists. Their only win came as a result of a 1017 Brick Squad forfeit. Their session might be dead in the water, but a win is a win!

 

Key:

(#+#) – (Goals Plus Assists)

GA – Goals Against

GAA – Goals Against Average

SV% – Save Percentage

Record Structure – W-OTW-OTL-L

The Battle of the Unbeatens

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QB #7 Jeff Beacham cocks back for a pass on Pup N’ Suds final comeback drive that fell short. Picture by Sean Goodwin.

Looking at Monday night’s flag football matchups, it was a simple choice as to what game I should write about this week.  That was obviously, the battle of the unbeaten.  Hellagoods and Pup N’ Suds both came into the game with 3-0 records.  It was a big test for Hellagoods’ number one scoring offense.  They were going up against the number one scoring defense in Pup N’ Suds.  The game ended after a low scoring affair, an 18-14 win by Hellagoods.  Defense was surely the name of this game.

The game began in the hands of Jeff Beacham and the Pup N’ Suds offense.  They came out of the gate fast, scoring a touchdown in just two plays. Ed Starr took a 10 yard slant pass to the house, following at least four successful spin moves.  Ed then scored the PAT for one point and Pup N’ Suds were up to a 7-0 early lead. Quarterback Ford and the Hellagoods then took their first turn at offense.  I could tell right from the first play that it was going to be a big passing night for Ford, who already leads the league in numerous passing statistics like touchdowns, and yards.  He completed four straight passes, and added a eight yard run before his touchdown pass to Leseaon.  On the next drive quarterback, and team leader, Jeff Beacham went down with a knee injury and Pup N’ Suds never looked the same following that moment.

Josh Thompson filled the backup role for Jeff Beacham and finished his first drive by getting sacked on fourth down from a great rush by Michael Austin of Hellagoods.  Pup N’ Suds caught a break on the very next play.  Ruben Lorenzo jumped sky high to pick off a deep pass from Ford in the endzone. Then backup QB Thompson had a fantastic 41 yard touchdown run to give Pup N’ Suds a 14-6 lead.  That would end up being the last time Pup N’ Suds scored, as the Hellagoods defense played unbelievably down the stretch of the game.  Even a return from Jeff Beacham at QB couldn’t carry the Suds offense in the second half as they were shutout.

QB Ford finished with another impressive stat line of 19-27 for 219 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.  That calculates to be a 116.13 passer rating in the NFL.   The standout players on the Hellagoods defense were Michael Austin with two sacks, and Leseaon who added to his receiving touchdown with a clutch interception on the goal line.  Hellagoods now have the number one seed after six weeks of play with a 4-0 record. They will be tested next week when they line up against another good team, the Buffalo Braves.  Pup N’ Suds will try to gain some momentum before playoffs when they take on Beast Elite, who lost on Monday.

Men’s Soccer Blue and Green Mid-Session Word Association

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Open Field 1. Picture by Franklin Heinzmann.

We are about midway through what has been quite an eventful session. One team dropped out, one Blue league team lost to a Green league team, and three teams are undefeated across both leagues. Each team’s session could be described in just a couple of word.

 

Blue League

Celtic Green: Balanced

Celtic Green have nine different goal scorers. Having a very deep and well-rounded roster is crucial for a successful team in not just soccer, but in any sport. They are currently in first place with two games to go before the playoffs start.

Mad Lads United: Attack

Mad Lads United have three goal scorers in the top five for goal scorers in the league. Ostap Tkalich, Lucas Metzger and Matt Kruszewski have accounted for just over 81% of the team’s goals. All three can also play each of the three positions on the front line. Mad Lads are currently second in the standings with a 2-1-1 record.

Celtic White: Alive

Despite having two wins and two losses, the team is still in the hunt to be the number one seed for the playoffs. Joe (no last name given) has scored seven goals and leads the league in goals. They face Santos FC in two weeks. Celtic White are on a bye next week.

Santos FC: Questionable

Santos FC, formerly known as The Roos, have been staples in the Tuesday Men’s Soccer Blue league for the past few sessions. This time around they’re cellar-dwellers as they are winless to this point. They face Mad Lads United this Tuesday.

The Quack Attack: Dropout

The aforementioned team that dropped out is The Quack Attack.

 

Green League

International FC: Logical

The word ‘logical’ can be used to describe International FC’s session. They have the most complete roster and great pace, so it’s logical that they’re the team that defeated Mad Lads United, a Blue league team, in a friendly. It’s also logical that they’re on top of the standings.

BBS Canaries: Defense

BBS Canaries don’t score many goals, but do not give up many goals. They’re defense currently leads the league in goals allowed with six. Whenever teams play BBS Canaries they can expect a tough gritty game of soccer which leads to low scoring games. Their 2-0-1 record puts them second in the standings.

Team Team Team: In

Team Team Team’s two wins this session have come against BSC Sky and BCC Soccer, both of which are winless. They play BSC Sky and BCC Soccer again before the exhibition part of the session is over, so on paper they should be inthe playoffs by session’s end.

BSC Sky: Flashy

BSC Sky have two players in that are top three goal scorers in the league. Trevor De Las Alas has five goals and Jason Do has four goals, but the team as a whole has zero wins. BSC Sky may look flashy offensively (and in their customized Juventus FC jerseys) but they aren’t providing any substance.

BCC Soccer: One

BCC Soccer has scored one goal in three games played. That is not a recipe for success, even in rec league soccer. They face BSC Sky on Tuesday. Either one, or both, teams will get on the board.

 

Announcement

Game of the Week will return on Thursday. If you like this different type of article, tweet us @epicctr on Twitter or comment on our Facebook and share your thoughts.

 

To see standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.

 

Cory Jones Takes Over Touchdown Lead in Braves 27-6 Win Against Beast Elite

Monday was the first time I was covering one of the new teams to this league, the Beast Elite.  The Beast Elite came in to Monday nights matchup with a 1-1 record.  The win was from a 32 -22 win against the Alumni Dogs two weeks ago.  The same went for their opponents this week, who came into the matchup off a bye, and with a 1-1 record the Buffalo Braves.  It was a fantastic matchup at quarter back.  Beast Elite’s Mark Drain is running away with the leagues rushing title, while the Braves Chris Lonzi was coming off a interception filled loss to Pup N Suds.

When the clock started rolling, Beast Elite QB Mark Drain had not showed up to the field yet.  The Braves took the ball at the coin toss so Beast Elite had some time to spare on defense for Drain to show up. Unfortunately for them, the Braves scored a 60 yard touchdown by Cory Jones on the first play with a great pass from Chris Lonzi.  Jones took the short pass from Lonzi, shook two defenders and pulled away with his speed straight down the middle of the field for the quick score. Now it was scrambling time for Beast Elite, as they did not have their quarterback. They first sent out Tremaine, who proceeded to throw a five yard pass and an incompletion, and then put in Dante on third down.  On Dante’s first throw he threw an off target pass which was spectacularly picked off with one hand by Dave Wilburn.  It was one of the finest catches I have seen in Monday Flag Football at the Epic Center, and it was an interception nonetheless.

With 10 minutes left in the first half, Drain finally showed up for Beast Elite.  He did not play as I expected him to as his first three drives were interception, punt, interception. The Braves played outstanding defense against the quick Mark Drain holding him to only 56 yards, and keeping him out of the endzone. Meanwhile on the other side of the ball, Beast Elite could not defend Cory Jones. Jones had three touchdown catches in the game, and took over sole possession of the touchdown leaderboard.  The best drive that Beast Elite ended up having in the game, was a seven play drive capped off with a 10 yard touchdown from Dante to Darrell Harper. The final score in a quick game was 27-6 in the Braves favor.

The players of the game were both from the Buffalo Braves.  Quarterback Chris Lonzi had a great comeback game finishing 10-22 for 248 yards and four touchdowns and just one pick.  He also played great on defense and had two interceptions in the second half.  The other player of the game has to be Cory Jones with the impressive stat line of three catches for 100 yards and three touchdowns.  Beast Elite look ahead to their game next week against winless Vinnie’s Lawncare.  While the Braves will look to go 3-1 when they play the other winless team in the league, Alumni Dogs.

Game Of The Week: Invaders penalty kill lifts them over Road Runners

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The second half face-off  featuring Invaders (left team) and Road Runners (right). Picture by Franklin Heinzmann.

Invaders (0-1) took on Road Runners (0-2) in a Tuesday Roller Hockey Green matchup for this week’s Game of the Week. Invaders pulled out a 6-4 victory over the Road Runners after nearly blowing a four goal lead.

As lighting and thunder literally shook the Epic Center, both goalies were thunderous forces to be reckoned with in the first half. Invaders goalie Grant Syzmanek stopped two breakaways in the first half while maintaining a shutout. Matt Warzyczek, goalie for the Road Runners, had a great first half stopping 16 of 18 shots. He did this after playing as Thunderkatz’s goalie just an hour before.

The two shots that got past Warzyczek in the first half were both scored on the short side. Invaders forward Brent Bemosky scored on the powerplay with about ten minutes left. Daniel Kirby scored to make it 2-0 with 7:35 left in the half, then proceeded to get a tripping penalty just seconds later. Invaders were able to kill the powerplay.

The Road Runners inability to execute on the powerplay was a theme of the first half. They went 0-for-3 on the powerplay. They were also down three in the shots on target category at halftime, but that didn’t stop them from having quite the second half.

After Bemosky added another goal and Invaders forward Jeffery Sipos scored to make it 4-0 at the ten-minute mark, Road Runners kicked it into overdrive to try and close their growing goal defecit.

Road Runners forwards Adam Revezzo and Joshua Benson scored their first goals of the night within the span of 90 seconds to close their gap to two goals. Ryan Flakeley scored for Invaders to make it 5-2 with 4:34 left in the game. That goal was an effort to mute the Raod Runners attack, but they would not go down quietly.

Road Runner forward Joesph Hozdic managed to score two clutch goals to make it 5-4 as the game headed into the final stretch. Both teams were getting super aggressive with their shot selection as the clock dwindled down, trying to give their team a critical momentum swing.

With about a minute left, Road Runners pulled their goalie to try and get a game tying goal. With 22 seconds left they took a timeout to draw up a play, but the Invaders man-down unit on defense stood tall once again as they read the play like a book and scored an open net goal to seal the victory.

Final Score: Invaders 6 Road Runners 4

Shots on Target: Invaders 34 Road Runners 32

These two teams will face off once again on Oct. 16. As for next week, Invaders plays Thunderkatz, and Road Runers play Don Bombs.

 

To see standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.

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