Wave Teams Wash Out Plantation Eagles
U17 Boys in First Round of State Cup Play
Two teams known as the Wave washed the Plantation Eagles U17 boys out of the Spring Qualifying League at Village Park in Wellington Saturday, ending the teams run for the State Cup. Its the first time the Plantation side has failed to qualify for the Florida Youth Soccer Association State Cup since it became eligible for the tournament as U13s.
Wellington defeated Plantation 4-1 in the morning and Miami Lakes beat the Eagles 3-1 in the afternoon. Plantation and Homestead, also double losers on Saturday, agreed to a mutual draw rather than play a meaningless match on Sunday.
Defensive breakdowns and an inefficient offense, in part stymied by strong goalkeeping, did in the Eagles. Plantation took more shots, 22, than its opponents, 17. The Eagles and their opponents each put a total of 10 shots on goal, but the opponents scored seven times and the Eagles scored just twice.
Plantation forward Sayan Blake scored unassisted against Wellington. Central midfielder Luis Alva converted a penalty kick against Miami Lakes.
Wellington struck first in the second minute of the opening match. The Wave caught the Eagles napping with a quick start after a foul call. The unchallenged shot, from nearly 40 yards out, hit the nets at the left upper 90. The Wellington keeper protected his teams lead with two saves shortly thereafter, first stopping central midfielder Davide Bombonato in the 13th minute and then outside midfielder Matt Mobley in the 17th minute.
Wellington made it 2-0 in the 30th minute. Again getting a quick start after a foul, the Wave took the ball though a gap left in the defense by the two Plantation players arguing the foul call. Plantation made it 2-1 just three minutes later when Blake scored unassisted on a defensive breakdown in the middle of the area.
The Wellington keeper made another good save, this time on forward Jonathan (J.T.) Thiel in the ninth minute of the second half.
The very next minute, the Wave made it 3-1. Plantations defensive backfield collectively threw up their right hands hoping for an offside call as a Wellington player broke through the middle and beat the keeper from 10 yards out. Five minutes later, the Wave scored again with a crossing pass within the area that caught the Eagles keeper out of the goal.
The game ended at 4-1, even though both teams recorded the same seven shots on goal.
In the afternoon, the opposing goalkeeper once again made a significant difference. The Miami Lakes keeper stopped two Plantation shots from near point-blank range and then a penalty kick, all in the seventh minute of the match. A goal in the 11th minute by Thiel was disallowed when the referee ruled the ball was kicked out of the hands of the opposing keeper.
The very next minute, Miami Lakes scored. The Wave beat the left side of the defense and centered the ball into the box. The Eagles keeper got his hands on the ensuing shot, but couldnt keep it out of the goal. Five minutes later, Miami Lakes made it 2-0 with a goal scored from an offside position that was not called. It took only five more minutes for the Wave to score again, once again beating the left side of the defense.
With less than 10 minutes remaining in the match, Thiel was taken down in the box and Alva converted the ensuing penalty kick. The match ended 3-1, Miami Lakes.
Head coach Roberto Mercado started Chris Martinez in goal against Wellington, playing Taylor Lorenz in the second half. Also starting were Eric Gant at sweeper, Leo Caldeira at stopper, Danny Ellis and Barry Quarrie at fullback, Mobley and Jeremy Weber on the outside in the midfield, Alva and Bombonato in the central midfield and Blake and Thiel at forward.
Against Miami Lakes, Mobley started at sweeper. Bombonato took Mobley's outside midfield slot, Brian Velasquez played alone in the central midfield, and Caldeira and Justin Wieland played twin stoppers.
Also playing for Mercado and assistant coach Fernando Rodrigues, all in the midfield, were David Lee, Andres Osorio and Martin Urrutia, playing his first match for Plantation. Cesar Valderrama, although on the roster, could not play because his birth date had not yet been verified.
Alva and Thiel had been named to the All State team for Class 5A high school team and Caldeira had garnered honorable mention for Class 3A teams the week before by the Florida High School Sports Writers Association. Seven of the Plantation players Ellis, Lorenz, Mobley, Quarrie, Thiel, Urrutia and Velasquez -- were on the St. Thomas Aquinas High School team that won the Class 5A state championship in late February. An eighth Plantation player Weber played for the American Heritage Plantation team that won the Class 3A state championship.
Steve Ellis served the team well all year as manager.