FLORHAM PARK, NJ – Wannaque came into Florham Park looking to solidify their second place finish with a win or a tie. A must win game for the Firestorm would also see them move from the lower end of the table up to second place in a flight where most of the teams were 3 points away from a relegation or a promotion.
However it was our home team boys that came out with 6-2 victory giving them a chance for promotion with a second place finish in their flight.
The game saw a rare 4 goal first half starting in the 9th minute with Luke Ferrara 20 yard blast into the upper 90 as he picked up a loose ball that was a blocked shot from Chase Sugg. Ferrara had a great season playing multiple positions from a holding defender, sweeper and center midfield. Sugg came into the game as the Firestorm’s leading goal scorer and capitalized in the 11th minute off a cross from a hardworking winger Reid Baldwin. Baldwin split a lot of games between midfield and goal keeping through out the season with success at both.
Adding to their 2 – nil lead was center forward Emilio “Milito” Farina. Milito’s goal comes from blue collar Colin Heinold who won a ball deep on the negative side, brought it to the positive side and pushed through a beauty of a through ball. Milito’s size and strength was no match for the opposing keeper as he smashed the ball into the onion bag. Heinold really came into form towards the end of the season as winger with his tricky ball skills, ability to win 1 v 1s and pick out a pass.
Making it 4 – nil before the half was Jack Botwin who powered his way into a great position to open his account with the team. Botwin shielded a big goal kick from Bryce Cicchino and then ran onto the ball down the field with a defender on his back. Poking the ball into the net, Botwin ends his season with his first goal for the boys.
Wanaque come out in the second half looking to make themselves count for the day. They end up scoring a goal with a long range shot from the wing giving a little bit of hope.
However, Sugg gets his brace soon after Wanaque goal stealing the thunder out from the visitors. Sugg picks out the ball as Jimmy Casola shields off a defender allowing Sugg to smack the ball into the onion bag. Casola gave 100% effort as a forward for the Firestorm.
Unfortunately Wanaque get a weak hand ball in the box call on Jack Garing giving them a PK to add 1 to their tally. After reviewing the tape recorded by Mr. Ferrara, it was very clear that Garing’s hands were by his side in a natural position making it a legal “ball to hand” play and not a hand ball. Garing wants the tape sent into MCYSA for review. Garing played a critical role in the Firestorm defense along side Rocco Santillan. Both players seemed to be in synch and supportive of each other throughout the season. Center back position on the day was Teddy Petro who can play any position any time anywhere. Teddy was filling in for missing Matty O’Leary who will give any forward a hard day.
The 6th goal, packed with beauty, came in the 47th minute when Ferrara picked up a loose ball after Cicchino corner. Ferrara made a quick move on the defensed freeing up some space to take a sweat chip shot to the far bar on a tight angle.
Net minding duty was solid between Cicchino, Baldwin and Leif Youngren. Youngren was a solid defender, tricky midfielder and reactive goalie all season long.
Midfield play all season long was strong on the wing with Cicchino, Jack Galante, Reid Baldwin and Alex Salamon. Galante found himself getting down the wing and whipping in many crosses over the game and season. Salamon’s progress in his first season was a great accomplishment for him and has contributed to the teams success.
Firestorm finish in second place in their flight and hope to move up with this seasons success.