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June 12th, 2007: US Open Cup - First Round
Aegean Hawks FC - 0 vs. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-2) - 4

(Harrisburg, PA, June 12, 2007)
The Hawks traveled North to Harrisburg on a stormy June evening to open up the team's first ever Open Cup tie against the Harrisburg City Islanders of the United Soccer League's Second Divsion. Hopes were high that an upset was in the cards for the high-flying Hawks and that the team would continue its winning ways in Harrisburg. The Hawks entered the game with a 35-1-1 record in the last year and full of confidence that an upset was attainable. The scouting report was prepared, the players were all accounted for, and as the team charter bus made it's way up Interstate 83, anticipation brewed.
What the Hawks found in Harrisburg, however, was the confluence of a single-minded opponent, a poor pitch, and ill-timed electrical storms that all culminated in the Hawks ouster by a 4-0 margin to a hungry and persistant City Islanders side.

Blustery winds and occasionally heavy rain conspired to make the game's early going more than a little choppy, and lightning in the area around 7:30 resulted in a delay of just over an hour and a half. Prior to the delay, 23 minutes were played which saw the Hawks absorb City Islanders' initial pressure and counter with some key opportunities of their own. In the 15th minute, Hawks striker Carlos Garcia's free kick lightning strike clanked off the crossbar. In the subsequent minutes, several more Hawks chances were generated by exploiting the space in the Harrisburg flanks and sending crosses into the City Islanders box. The Hawks momentum was stifled by the weather delay and the lads sat an hour and a half inside the locker room with doubts creeping in as to weather the match would be played that evening. Harrisburg's front-office were fantastic hosts, despite the fact that pizzas were brought to the Aegean Hawks locker room during the delay (and to player/coach Jon Knight's horror - some of the boys took down more than a slice just before the restart). Savvy pros teaching the amateurs a small lesson in chicanery!

When play resumed close to 9:30, the teams set out initially to regain their form. Harrisburg nearly took the lead in the 31st minute when Brian Ombiji broke through the defense only to have his one-on-one attempt stifled by Hawks keeper Anthony Peters. Harrisburg's momentum started to press the Hawks defensive corpos as the USL-2 team mercilessly executed on the strengths of their 4-3-3 formation by sending long balls to criss-crossing forwards that were somehow stifled by the Hawks defense. Neither team mounted a decisive attack before the end of the first half, which ended scoreless. After Harrisburg's Chad Severs put a 20-yard drive directly on Peters in the 50th minute, Adam Clay got the hosts their first score off a corner kick. In the 56th minute, Clay stretched to head a David Schofield corner kick back into the goalmouth and through Peters for a 1-0 Harrisburg lead. Harrisburg's Mo Oduor upped the Islanders' advantage to 2-0 in the 68th when he settled a pass from Ryan Pierce and thundered a 30-yard rip low to Peters' right. With the Hawks forced to throw numbers up, Harrisburg continued to press their advantage and in the 69th minute, Schofield made it 3-0, as the midfielder bent a curling 25-yard effort around Peters from the right wing.

The Hawks' best chance came in the 82nd minute, when forward Watson Vaughan-Prather pounded a shot high from the top of the penalty area. But Aegean Hawks FC would come no closer, and when Steve Fisher finished Schofield's centering pass on a counter attack in the 87th minute, the Islanders had sealed the 4-0 win.

All in all, it was a tough day for the Hawks but valuable experience was gained for the squad that will certainly pay dividends in future matches.

The team looks forward to the USASA Region 1 finals on June 24th and their final regional obstacle to USASA Nationals - Danbury United of Connecticut. Danbury - a team of former Brazilian pros and local CT talent that has professional aspirations - showed very well in their Open Cup debut tonight, taking USL-2's Western Mass Pioneers (a team that beat Harrisburg 2-0 earlier this season) to double OT before falling by a score of 3-2. Of course, the observers of the Open Cup are sure to perceive the Hawks as the underdog in this Region 1 matchup due to tonight's scoreline. No more motivation needed - bring on Danbury United.

Harrisburg 4, Aegean Hawks FC 0
Scoring: HAR Clay 1 (Schofield) 56', HAR Oduor 1 (Pierce) 68', HAR Schofield 1 (Severs) 69', HAR Fisher 1 (Schofield) 87'
Shots: AEG 3, HAR 17
Corners: AEG 7, HAR 7
Fouls: AEG 13, HAR 15
Cautions: AEG Bodiya 19', HAR Morman 28', HAR Velten 64', HAR Pierce 67'
Goalkeepers: AEG Anthony Peters L, 0-1-0 (6 saves), HAR Dave Kern W, 1-0-0 (1 save)
Lineups: AEG Anthony Peters, Eddie Thurston, Ricardo Valverde, Nick McMorris, Trevor Martin, Michael Goldman, Justin Bodiya (Alex Nydal 70), Alan Golden (Robby Wright 69), Watson Vaughan-Prather, Rich Ryan (Andreas Nydal 67), Carlos Garcia (Geoff Thompson 69);
HAR Dave Kern, Ryan Pierce, Dustin Bixler, Tim Velten (Mike Lookingland 67), Anthony Calvano, Chris Morman (Nate Baker 63), Mo Oduor, Adam Clay, David Schofield, Brian Ombiji (Matt Tanzini 60), Chad Severs (Steve Fisher 70)
Attendance: 874

News/Match Report Archives

 


Scorers
HAR: Adam Clay - 56'
HAR: Mo Odour - 68'
HAR: David Schofield - 69'
HAR: Steve Fisher - 87'

Assists
HAR: Schofield - 56'
HAR: Pierce - 68'
HAR: Severs - 69'
HAR: Schofield - 56'


Saves
Anthony Peters - 9

MVP
Anthony Peters - GK

Honorable Mention
Nick McMorris - CB







 

 

 

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