Central Park Rangers cemented their spot in D1 for next season with a 1-0 win over Zum Schneider F.C. Picture by Dinos Avlonitis
By Ralph 'Onz' Chery |@onz_11
May 21st, 2018
As the CSL top division’s regular season is just one round away from coming to end most teams from the top half of the table played a laid-back game with their second string players last weekend while the clubs from the lower half of the standings went all out to inscribe their names in the first division again next season.
Cedar Stars Academy won the regular season for the first time since the 1993-94 campaign after rolling past NY Athletic Club 5-0. Central Park Rangers stamped their participation in D1 next season with a 1-0 win over Zum Schneider F.C.
Eighth placed Doxa SC stunned champions NY Greek American 2-0 in the Greek Derby to move three points closer to their race out of the dropzone. (Doxa and Manhattan Kickers’ match on March 18th is under appeal of being re-played due to an ineligible player, which would give both clubs a chance of staying in the top flight.)
Here’s an exclusive look at all the first division matches last weekend:
NY Shamrock SC 1-3 Manhattan Kickers
The Kickers won their first league-game in eight months to keep their spot in D1 alive.
Manhattan Kickers downed NY Shamrock SC’s second-choice players 3-1 away from home at Randall’s Island Field 75 on a foggy Saturday night. Lucas Shanks netted the opener for Manhattan in the first half, steering the rebound of Jake Mann’s shot—from off the goalpost—in the net.
The Kickers captain Bryan Baracaldo converted a PK to send his side to halftime up 2-0. Shamrocks were rewarded a spot kick as well in the second half for a hand ball. Fullback Dan Giorgi stepped up to the spot and scored his third penalty of the season.
Manhattan went back up by two goals as Mokrane Ait Belkacem headed Chris Smith’s initial header in the net from a corner kick around the 80th minute mark. The Kickers ran out the clock in the dying 10 minutes to snatch their first win since Sept. 24th, 2017 and keep one foot in the first division.
The Rocks head coach Kevin Grogan admitted that it was a substandard display as he was testing his players in other positions.
"It was a chance to look at a few players in different positions and give some players minutes," Grogan said. "Not a great performance but we learned a lot about certain people and their commitment to the club. We are excited for our upcoming League Cup semi-final game and will be well prepared."
NY Pancyprian Freedoms 2-0 Lansdowne Bhoys
Neither teams were at their full strength but it was NY Pancyprians that came out on top in the classic Lansdowne-versus-Pancyprians matchup.
NY Pancyprian Freedoms defeated Lansdowne Bhoys 2-0 on Saturday night at Randall’s Island Ichan Stadium.
Even though neither clubs played with their best starting XI it was another hard-fought Lansdowne-Pancyprians matchup.
“Both teams were missing key players but it didn’t take the passion out of the game,” Freedoms defender Panayiotis Onisiforou said. “Both teams came to win, it was a great battle and we came out on top.”
Adam Himeno put up another dazzling performance for the Cypriot club. The wide midfielder sent Luis Esteves on goal with one of his signature square passes in the first half and beat two Lansdowne players in the second half before slotting a left footed shot to the top left corner of the net.
NY Pancyprian Freedoms midfielder Adam Himeno. Picture by Dinos Avlonitis
“Credit to our boys we put in a huge effort and stay disciplined and concentrated,” Onisiforou said.
NY Athletic Club 0-5 Cedar Stars Academy
Cedar Stars won the regular season for the first time in 24 years with yet another dominating performance over NY Athletic Club.
Cedar Stars Academy's players and coaches posing for a picture before their match versus NY Atheltic Club. Cedar Stars Academy Images
Cedar Stars Academy flew past NY Athletic Club 5-0 to end the regular season on top of the table on Sunday afternoon at Travers Island. Christopher Katona shined with another hat trick—his third game scoring more than three goals this season—thanks to passes from Samuel Gehman, Johnathan Okafor and Matthew Nigro.
Katona assisted the other two goals, guiding M. Nigro and Walter Calderon to the net.
CSA head coach Oliver Papraniku praised keeper Bryan Lopez and his defenders for another clean sheet--their 11th one of the season--and expressed his excitement of competing in the upcoming playoffs.
“Good game and another clean sheet for Bryan Lopez and our defense,” Papraniku said. “I'm pleased with the performance and look forward to the playoffs. Lots of tough soccer ahead for us. Our team looks forward to the challenge.”
Doxa SC 2-0 NY Greek American
Doxa upsetted champions NY Greek American 2-0 in the Greek Derby in their relegation battle.
Doxa SC blanked NY Greek American 2-0 to keep themselves in the list of potential D1 teams next season at the Metropolitan Oval on Sunday night.
Paul Grafas’ men scored the opener early in the game as Andras Breuer sent Kosta Pappa’s long ball in the net away from the opposing keeper.
Doxa went on defensive mode after their go-ahead goal. They later went up 2-0 in the 88th minute as Patrick Alvarez took full advantage of NY Greeks keeper’s poor clearance.
Patrick Alvarez gave Doxa SC a secured 2-0 lead over NY Greek American in the 88th minute. Picture by Dinos Avlonits
Zum Schneider 0-1 Central Park Rangers
Central Park Rangers are playing in D1 again next season!
Central Park Rangers players celebrating a goal versus Doxa SC on Dec. 3rd 2017. Picture by Andrew Faherty
It only took one goal but Central Park Rangers can say they finally booked their D1 ticket for next season, edging Zum Schneider F.C 1-0 at Randall’s Island Field 75 on Sunday night.
James Greco had the pleasure of scoring CPR’s D1-securing goal as he beamed a shot high in the net after cutting past a Zum player on the left flank.
ZSFC are still in danger of dropping to D2, sitting in eighth place by goal differential over Doxa. The club will play their last match of the season versus fellow relegation threatened side Manhattan Kickers on June 10th.
Top Performer of the Week
Cedar Stars Academy Christopher Katona—hat trick, 2 assists in 5-0 win over NY Athletic Club