Congratulations to two of our favorite Shamrocks, Nikle and Leia, who welcomed their son Maverik Francis Guzijan into the world early Sunday.
Leia had graciously delayed her hospital appointment on Saturday evening to make sure Maverik’s dad could line out for the Shamrocks reserves in a brilliant 7-0 win over Doxa at Randall’s Island.
Short on defenders, Guzijan was happy to help ensure a shutout before the arrival of Maverik. Thanks to goals from James Whyte (two), John McAleenan (two), James Hudson, Darren Coleman and Jeff Greenspan, Dan Meola’s men advanced to the next round of the D’Arpino Cup with their sixth win in a row.
“Great all round team performance,” said captain Coleman. “The football we have been playing lately has been excellent and that’s a credit to all the lads! Great to see Jeff Greenspan score his first goal for the club too!
“Special word of thanks to Rob O’Neill for stepping in to coach us while Dan was away.”
Meanwhile, late Sunday evening, the first team moved on to the semi-finals of the Manning Cup thanks to a hard fought 2-0 win over the Greek Americans at Met Oval.
Captain Zachary Gosse scored a superb early opener, connecting with a volley from a perfect Dylan McCabe corner. After a very entertain first half, the Greeks dug in but the Shamrocks held firm and after brilliant work from Kwesi Mills-Odoi on the left wing, his deflected shot rebounded off the post to Travis Blair who finished calmly to secure the victory with ten minutes to go.
“Fantastic win,” said Kevin Grogan.
“The Greeks dominated large portions of the game but to be fair to our players, our work ethic and resilience were excellent. And we ground out a very important win. All eyes on our big league game against NYAC next Saturday.”
Shamrocks Green are also through to the last four of the women’s State Cup thanks to a hard fought 2-1 victory over an impressive Rovers side at St Michaels.
Caroline Carter opened the scoring with a close range finish but Rovers drew level midway through the first half. Georgia Frost then struck back before half-time to set up a tense second half that saw Paddy Geraghty’s charges ultimately survive.
“We had a strong performance considering we were missing so many,” said Geraghty.
“It puts us in the State Cup semi-finals in the spring so it’ll be one we’ll look forward to. Special mention to our defense who stepped up in the second half and made sure of the win.”
Unfortunately, Shamrocks White’s cup run is over after a heartbreaking defeat to Celtic Aces in Brooklyn. Leading 1-0 going into injury time thanks to a Brandi Daniels goal, Celtic dramatically leveled and set up the dreaded penalty shoot out which the Shamrocks lost 6-5.
“It felt like we suffered two losses,” said Keith Perez.
“To give up an equalizer in the 91st minute was very tough. Then to lose in PKs 6-5 was another tough blow. It was another performance of the year by the ladies that unfortunately resulted again in another loss. We remained positive afterwards and we will be looking to build off that for the league cup game next Sunday.”
That was one of three games which ended in a shoot out on Sunday. Shamrocks 1960 tied NYC Afghanistan 1-1 in regular time (Hughie McGowan scoring for 1960) and coach Rob O’Neill saved the day stopping one of the four penalties he faced. His players, meanwhile, were flawless en route to a 5-3 result.
“Happy to win,” said O’Neill. “We were made to work extremely hard for it. It was a tough game and we never got going. But delighted to move on to the next round.”
The Over 30s were not so fortunate in their game against Baisley. Mike Dineen scored a second half breakthrough but their ten-men opponents never gave up and equalized with ten minutes to go, setting up the shootout which Baisley won 5-4.
“We’re disappointed with the result,” said Sean Mc Mullan. “We had chances to finish the game out. Penalty shoot outs are never easy. We’ll focus on the league now.”