Australia impresses ‘The Commish’ in Sanibel soccer action
The Sanibel soccer fields were the place to be last Friday night as several prominent islanders were in attendance. Foremost was the “The Commish,” Dick Muench, making his first ever appearance at a Sanibel soccer game. “The Commish,” who ran Sanibel’s baseball and softball programs for 35 years, was there to see his grandson Nathan and Team Australia in the U8 division.
Australia took on Argentina in an extremely well-played game that featured great goals and superb defense. Nathan did not disappoint Grandpa as he and Australia battled hard. Jake Gibson led the way for Australia as he played forward, sweeper and goaltender with a ton of heart and spirit. While “The Commish” may not yet be a true convert to “the beautiful game,” he did say he would be back.
Also on the U8 field, Team Ireland had a great time playing Italy. It was a well balanced game with tons of action. Ireland scored on a strong shot by Liam Holston which was assisted by Elle Frey. Ireland also displayed strong defense behind Zofia Costa and CJ. Aidan Donovan made some very strong saves at goalie while Jade Hedberg and Hilton Carroll controlled the mid field.
In U6 action, Spain was led by goals from AJ Aracri, Jackson McKee and Jack Powers. Sydney Stephens and Jessica McKee playing iron clad defense for the world champions.
The U6 field also featured an epic clash between international powers England and Brazil. It was a physical match with neither side willing to relinquish control of the midfield. There were several notable performances from the match. Ronan Pailes got Brazil off the mark with a sublime finish off of a long throw. Finn “The Shark” Howell then equalized for England with an early score from in close. Tye Phoenix added to his impressive season tally with several goals for England which were matched by Brazil’s scoring machine Andrew Deluca. Matthew Dunn of England and Brazil’s Rhys Babcock had a game long battle for midfield supremacy notable for several crunching tackles. It was all smiles and handshakes in the end, though, as the two sides settled for a draw.
On the U10 field, Spain finally came untracked with three goals from Julian Meyers and another from Zachary Costa as they held off a determined South African side. Knox Deal and Ben Talmage led the way for South Africa as they battled to the very end. In the U10 night cap France outlasted Holland 4-1 to take over sole possession of first place.
The action was very close in the U13 Division with both games being decided by just one goal. Previously undefeated, Cameroon jumped out to an early 3-0 lead over England only to see the English come storming back with four goals in the final period. Two of England’s goals were scored by Autumn DeBarr while Jennifer Roberts netted the other two goals including the game winner. Goalie Zach Farst anchored the defense for England. The final game of the evening was just as exciting with Brazil hanging on for a tense 1-0 victory over Italy.
Games start this Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. at the city fields on Sanibel-Captiva Road.