MCS Blue Devils win own tourneys

By John Bernhardt
There’s no place like home. That may have been the motto of this fall’s annual Nelson and Cohen soccer tournaments. Margaret- ville’s girls’ and boys’ soccer teams followed similar scripts in keeping this year’s tourney championship trophies at home.

It was ladies first, with the Lady Devils paving the way during tournament play. The girls dominated visiting Coleman in opening round play of the Cohen Classic Thursday night with a 7-0 win, setting the table for a 9-0 boys’ rout of Tri-Valley in Nelson opening round action the following night.

There were plenty of Margaretville fireworks in the first half of Saturday’s Cohen Classic Championship contest. The Lady Blue Devils scored all four of the game’s goals during the opening half, upending Roxbury, 4-0.

Cora Bruno started the MCS scoring parade on an inside/outside scoring sequence eight minutes into the contest. Elia Tanzer hit a streaking Bruno with a pass from the middle of the field to the right wing. Bruno lifted a high shot from several yards beyond the top of the box that floated over the goalie’s head and into the nets.

Scores and passes
Margaretville opponents are learning they can’t play all their defensive chips trying to stop Blue Devil striker Tess Svoboda. Svoboda, who had two goals in the tournament opener, is a capable scorer but a superb passer as well. Svoboda passes set up two of the final three Blue Devils’ scores in the title game. A Svoboda lead pass was played by Tanzer off the goalie and into the nets for the second Margaretville score. Svoboda’s pass from the left wing late in the half set up center midfielder Raeann Bond for the final MCS score.

Tanzer had a two-goal night using a Rachel Mathiesen pass to put the game’s third score into the nets.

“Our girls played extremely well,” beamed Margaretville coach Toni Smith. “Today, both our offense and defense played their game of soccer. We did a nice job of passing and got the job done.”
The win was Margaretville’s fourth in a row and improves the Blue Devils’ record to 6-3 on the year. Margaretville and Roxbury will square off once again on Friday, this time in Roxbury. Friday’s game is the first of a five-game, season-ending run that ends when the Blue Devils face Davenport in mid October.

The MCS boys’ squad followed the girls’ script to near perfection in their title contest. The guys closed the double tournament weekend building a 3-1 advantage over Downsville by halftime of the Nelson title game. Like the Cohen Classic, there were no goals scored in the second half of the Nelson championship contest.

It was Downsville who would strike first. Michael Thompkins managed a shot from the middle of a scrum in front of the Eagles’ goal, pushing a shot past Margaretville keeper Mitch Hull for a score eight minutes into the game. From that point forward, Margaretville took command.

Colby Russo knotted the score five minutes after the Eagle score. Cooper Reither assisted Russo.
Margaretville’s final two scores were directed off the foot of Kyle Short. Short used his superior speed to burst past the Downsville defense to net the game winner. A Matt VanValkenburg pass from deep in the right corner to the front of the goal set up Short’s final score.

VanValkenburg registered a hat trick in Margaretville’s 9-0 thrashing of Tri-Valley in the Friday’s opener. Short and Reither each had a pair of goals and Russo, Diego Caamano and Rodolfo Leal all scored single goals for the Blue Devils.

The win improves Margaretville’s record to 9-0-1, the only smudge coming in an exciting overtime 2-2 tie with Delhi last Wednesday. In a positive sign pointing to future seasons of Margaretville soccer success, all nine goals in the Nelson opener were scored by underclassmen, six by freshmen and sophomores.

The Blue Devils begin the final two-week stretch of their regular season at home against Roxbury on Friday.

The four tournament games not involving Margaretville teams were decided by a single goal. Technically, two of the contests were ties with shootouts and a Golden Goal deciding who advanced in tournament play.

In front of a large crowd, Roxbury’s girls’ squad battled Downsville to a 1-1 tie in the first Cohen Classic match-up Thursday night. Roxbury advanced to the championship round when Taylor Allison’s penalty shot found the nets. Cristina Chiarappa and Bailey O’Donnell had both nailed successful penalty strikes before Allison’s winning score.

Roxbury’s Erin Hubbell scored the game’s first goal off a rebound from a Kaelie VanLoan shot during regulation play. Downsville’s Kaileen Townsend scored an unassisted goal to tie the score.