HOUSTON (July 21, 2012) – Crew Soccer Academy Wolves finished U-15/16 Group 2 play strong with a 4-0 victory against PA Classics to take second place and earn a spot in the third-place match at 5 p.m. CT on Monday, July 23, at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.
The Michigan side scored a pair of goals either side of halftime and was never terribly troubled by PA Classics who could not seem to muster any continuous play in the attacking third. Matt Habrowski opened the scoring on 12 minutes with a simple tap-in from the influential Ahinga Selemani. Selemani would get his first goal in the 23rd minute to put Wolves up 2-0 going into the break.
Two goals within three minutes just after the hour mark sealed the match, leaving the result beyond doubt with just less than 20 minutes to play. Selemani was again on the scoreboard for his second goal and Zach Atwood got in on the action in the 64th minute to cap the goal scoring.
“Our level of engagement with the game tonight was high and the kids were really committed,” CSA Wolves head coach Lars Richters said of the performance. “One of the approaches that we’ve tried to have with the kids is that whether you get that final medal or not, the goal here is to become a better player and the goal is to become a better team – and I think we have.”
An innocuous start to the match was livened up by Habrowski’s goal at 12 minutes. Crew Soccer Academy Wolves dug the ball out from the end line on the left side. The loose ball fell to Selemani who muscled goal-side of his man and knocked a simple ball across the face of goal for Habrowski to prod in, arriving in front of PA Classics goalkeeper Brent Arnold.
Connor Maloney, the industrious PA Classics striker, showed warning signs of finding an equalizer with three strong solo runs down the left, but could not find the back of the net before Selemani would grab his first and double the Wolves’ lead.
After recovering the ball in the midfield, Ollie Harris found himself in the left channel with room to look up and dribble. He beat two defenders en route to the top of the area where he laid off the ball for Selemani. The strong striker rode a tackle and found room to snap a shot to the far post and in.
PA Classics, forced to push the game after falling behind, called Wolves goalkeeper Grant Mattia on a number of occasions including a 35th-minute chance when he smothered a low, dangerous cross from the end line.
Having gained a foothold to get back into the match, PA Classics’ best chance to get a goal back went begging in the beginning of the second half. A well-worked cross from the right found the head of an unmarked Andrew Skundrich, but the midfielder’s header missed the target high and Wolves were let off the hook.
They were able to add to their lead 15 minutes later when Brent Winkler went on a foray forward from his left back position. He slipped the ball to Atwood, who entered the area and beat his man to the byline. He clipped a dangerous ball back toward the penalty spot that was met by the trailing Selemani to tuck in for the team’s third goal.
Just three minutes later, Atwood got on the score sheet after setting up the previous tally. An excellent combination down the right side started at midfield with Ali Cheaib beating his man and finding Sam Brown in space to break into the attacking third. Brown turned and laid off a well-weighted ball into the area for the streaking Atwood to pick up just in front of the goalkeeper. With Arnold stranded after attempting to beat Atwood to the spot, the Wolves striker was able to square his body on goal and finish from a difficult angle.
CSA Wolves advance to play the Chicago Fire in the U-15/16 third-place match, while PA Classics will meet Pateadores in the fifth-place match at 10 a.m. CT at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.
-U.S. Soccer Development Academy Match Report-
Match: Crew Soccer Academy Wolves vs. PA Classics
Date: July 21, 2012
Competition: 2012 Development Academy Finals Week – U-15/16 Division
Venue: Houston Amateur Sports Park; Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 9 p.m. CT
Weather: 82 degrees, humid
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
CSAW 2 2 4
PAC 0 0 0
CSAW – Matt Habrowski (Ahinga Selemani) 12th minute
CSAW –Ahinga Selemani (Ollie Harris) 23
CSAW –Ahinga Selemani (Zack Atwood) 61
CSAW –Zack Atwood (Sam Brown) 64
CSAW: 0-Grant Mattia; 22-Brent Winkler, 4-Matt Habrowski, 6-Andre Morris, 2-Chase Pagani (24-Louie Zingas, 52); 5-Tristan Jacob, 18-Ollie Harris 7-Blake Townes (21-Zack Atwood, 57), 19-Kosti Moni (10-Sam Brown, 47), 9-Ali Jawad (11-Ali Cheaib, 41); 15-Ahinga Selemani (17-Hunter Barone, 65)
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Robbie Beckwell
Head Coach: Lars Richters
PAC: 1-Brent Arnold; 13-John Philbin (15-Callen Wendler, 41), 8-Brian Nana-Sinkam (10-Kody Eberly, 41), 41-Bryce Cregan, 4-Keegan Wilson (11-Shawn Morrison, 41); 14-Andrew Skundrich, 21-Austin Kuhn (16-Ian McManness, 41), 5-Shawn Peterson (12-Andrew Mannon, 54); 3-Connor Maloney, 32-Alec Sensenig (44-Joseph Julius, 47), 17-Drew Mahoney
Substitutions Not Used: None
Head coach: Steve Klein
Stats Summary: CSAW / PAC
Shots: 9 / 6
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 8 / 3
Offside: 3 / 1
PAC – Shawn Peterson (caution) 53rd minute
Referee: Ramy Touchan
Assistant Referee 1: Brandon Rinkenberger
Assistant Referee 2: Jeffrey Greeson
Fourth Official: Cedric Adams
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Ahinga Selemani