2009: USASA Region I US Open Cup Semifinals
Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC - 1 vs. Charm City FC - 0
Hawks Edge Out Charm City to Earn Second Lamar Hunt Open Cup Berth in Team History
(Waldorf, MD - 3:00 PM, Denison Nursery Field)
The Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC played host to NPSL side Charm City FC in Waldorf, MD today in a USASA Region I Semifinal match with high stakes. The winner would qualify for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup as one of 8 USASA Regional Finalists with the opportunity to play Cinderella against a pro team in US Soccer’s oldest competition. A win would also secure advancement to the Region I Finals for a chance to represent Region I at USASA Nationals in Orlando, FL on July 24th -26th. In a tight defensive battle, the Hawks were able to notch the game’s lone tally mid way through the second half and hold on for the important victory.
Momentum started in Charm City’s favor with constant pressure over the first 8 minutes of the match which saw them garner 3 corners. As the Hawks warmed to the opportunity, the game see-sawed back and forth with neither team owning momentum. The Bermuda pitch at Denison was hard, and while the surface was flat, both teams had a hard time settling the ball on the first touch. The result was direct play and a fairly ugly game of soccer marked by gritty defensive performances from both teams. Charm City looked to be going out in front in the 25th, when a Hawks clearance looped out to Charm City’s outside left back, Powell Cucchiella. His well-driven shot screamed low and hard for the near corner, but Hawks outside back Eddie Thurston was able to lunge in the goal mouth and provide the necessary backboard to avert disaster. In the 35th, Hawks left back Kubiak Valverde sent a screamer from 30 yards that was destined for the far corner, but Charm City’s netminder was able to stretch and stroke the ball away to safety off his finger tips. As the whistle blew for halftime, the score remained 0-0.
The second stanza would provide much of the same dynamics of the first, with neither team enjoying any significant momentum and most of the threats coming from long balls or throws into the penalty area. In the 73rd minute, the game would change thanks to a brilliant play by Hawks striker, Anders Kelto. Fed into space along the corner flag, Kelto conjured a fantastic individual effort to scoop the ball forward, run around his defender to collect it, and fire a driven ball low and hard across the goal mouth. Hawks left outside midfielder William Fierro was fed perfectly and his shot pinged off the far post and into the goal for what would be the decider. The remainder of the match saw Charm City pressing for the equalizer and the Hawks protecting their precious lead. Charm City was able to come close on several occasions, the closest in the 82nd minute when a deflected shot looped past Hawks netminder, Nick Carlin-Voigt, and just wide of the far post. However, the Hawks defense stood strong and as the refs final whistle blew – it was done!
A dream that began on a cold January evening against local rivals World Bank, when the Hawks were staring at elimination in the 85th minute before equalizing and prevailing in overtime , has crystallized into reality. The Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks have qualified for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for the second time in three years and will face a USL-1 or USL-2 professional team on the evening of Tuesday, June 9th. The amateur portion of the tournament will continue on June 21st at the Ukrainian National Club in PA and the Region I Finals. There the Hawks will meet Emigrantes das Ilhas (Massachusetts) – 4-2 (OT) winners over 2007 USASA Region I Open Cup entrants, Danbury United - in a battle that will determine Region I’s top amateur team and representative at the USASA Finals in Orlando, FL on July 24th-26th.
Next up for the Hawks is a Region I Semifinal clash in the USASA National Amateur Cup against the Baltimore Colts on May 31st. The game will take place at 2 PM at Cedar Lane Regional Park in Bel Air, MD and will serve as a rematch of last year’s Region I Open Cup Quarterfinals, which saw the Hawks prevail 3-2 in dramatic fashion to end the Colts run in the Open Cup. Baltimore went on to win the 2008 Region I Amateur Cup title and won their first game at Nationals before succumbing in the 2008 National Title game to the Florida Kickers.
Nick Carlin-Voigt, Alan Golden, Clayton Voss, Eddie Thurston, Kubiak Valverde
Nate Adams (Nidhal Charfi - '80), Mike Goldman, Watson Prather, William Fierro
Anders Kelto, Carlos Garcia (Corey Curnutte - '75)
Hawks MatchReport Archives