Hawks Dispatch VISL Champions Brickman in La Super Copa First Round
Aegeans Through to Quarterfinals With Convincing 5-1 Victory
(10 AM - RFK Auxiliary Field, Washington, DC)
On a beautiful Saturday morning on Easter weekend at the RFK Auxiliary fields, the Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks kicked off their Spring 2010 season with a first round match in the DC United sponsored "champions league" tournament - La Super Copa. The Hawks qualified for the tournament as Washington Premier League champions and the rest of the 16 teams in the La Super Copa field were title holders for each of their respective leagues. The Aegeans were looking to improve upon their performance in last year's iteration of La Super Copa which saw the Hawks dispatched in a closely contested quarterfinal match to the eventual tournament champion, La Chapin. The obstacle to the quarterfinals was provided in the form of Brickman, the 2009 Virginia International League champions and winners of both La Super Copa and Copa Taca in 2008. In a match that offered plenty of goals, the Hawks methodically wore down their opponent and punched their ticket to the quarterfinals with a 5-1 victory.
It did not take long into the match before the chances started coming for the Hawks, but Brickman was offering some threatening plays of their own. The Hawks looked to be going in front in the 20th minute when striker Ricky Schramm's 6 yard blast off a driven cross was incredibly saved off the diving paw of Brickman's keeper. While the Hawks defense was preventing penetration in the penalty area, Brickman almost found the net shortly thereafter off two strikes from distance that narrowly missed the crossbar and almost caught Hawks netminder, Chris Fenner, off his line. Those strikes were to prove the most dangerous chances for Brickman, and the Hawks were able to break through in the 35' minute when midfielder Watson Prather's driven pass across the goal mouth was flicked into the near post by striker Ricky Schramm. Despite dominating play for the remainder of the half, the Hawks were unable to increase their lead and the score stood 1-0 at haltime.
In the second half, the Hawks relentless pressure would bear fruit shortly after the break. Striker Matt Ney broke free on the left flank of the Brickman defense in the 60' minute and layed off a pass in the box to strike partner Anders Kelto, who hammered home his shot with authority for a 2-0 lead. In the 60th minute, the Hawks broke through again - this time with Kelto turning provider to Ney, who toasted several Brickman defenders and calmly deposited a shot past the Brickman keeper at the right post for a 3-0 Hawks margine. With a 3-0 deficit, Brickman took advantage of a poor clearance and lax defending and fired home a goal for a 3-1 margin. The goal seemed to energize the VISL champs, and their cause was given a boost in the when Hawks outside back Devline Barnes was issued his second yellow of the match and forced to hit the showers.
Playing a man down, Brickman applied serious pressure and had a sequence of three straight corners as the Hawks scrambled to adjust to a new shorthanded formation. However, the sequence was shorthanded and the Hawks stabilized quickly and were able to distance themselves even further in the 77' minute. Another brilliant play by Ney found him laying off a sitter to Watson Prather for a 4-1 scoreline. The goal seemed to deflate Brickman and the Hawks enjoyed posession for the remainder of the match, capitalized with a beautiful counter attacking goal up the right side of the Brickman defense which saw outside mid Adam Gracia heel flick a cross field diagonal ball onto the patch of Ney, who collected and fired home the second and final shorthanded Aegean Hawks goal of the match. With the win, the Hawks have advanced to the quartefinals of La Super Copa and will face Deportiva Canilla of the Langley Park league on Saturday, April 18th.
The Hawks next take the field in a Wednesday night WPL match versus rivals Atletico Virginia at George Mason High School, followed by a Sunday Region I Open Cup tie at Denison Nursery against MD Qualifier, Jilly's Bar & Grill.
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