Written by Rich Rodriguez Friday, 14 August 2009 00:00
The Hicksville Strikers Boys U16 Team were recently named champions of both the 2009 ENY State Cup and the 2009 Region 1 Premier League. They also gained entry to the Region 1 Championships in Barboursville, WV where they played in a tournament-style match-up against state champs from the region and went on to win. The win advanced the Strikers on to the National Championships against the top teams in the country July 22–26 in Lancaster, MA.
The Larry Harmon Cup Championship game, played on July 26, paired the Strikers (E-NY) against the Dallas Texans 93 Red (N-TX) with Dallas looking to repeat their title as National Champions and earn the US Youth Soccer Double as cup and league champions.
Hicksville entered the final match and led the age group in scoring with eight goals, including three each by Colin Heffron and Keith McKenna. Unfortunately, Dallas Texans’ Brandon Perez collected and scored the game-winning goal in the 56th minute to defeat the Strikers by a score of 1-0.
The Strikers had an outstanding run at a National title, going 21-1-1 for the season. No other team from Hicksville has done this in 29 years.The Strikers are ranked the #2 boys U16 team in the country and the #1 team in Hicksville.
“Not only did the guys play great soccer but they also showed a great deal of class and sportsmanship the entire week,” said Hicksville American Soccer Club President Bill Merz, who spent the entire week in Lancaster cheering on the team. “They were great representatives of our club. I have to say that they were the best team there this week.”
The Strikers are also grateful for the support they received. Some 20 familiar faces traveled three and a half hours each way by bus to cheer the Strikers on as they defeated the Compton United Navy from Illinois 3-0 in the final qualifier game in Lancaster.
Strikers Head Coach Ken Parker thanked the HASC Board and club for their support this year and in the past. In regard to the bus load of suppoerts, Parker said, “I have to be honest and say I heard a rumor about the bus. When I arrived at the field and saw everyone it really hit me. It was very special to the team and to me.”
Next yearm the Youth Soccer Nationals will take place in Kansas and the Strikers are intent on bringing home a National title in 2010.
The Strikers are Christopher Abriola, Kyle Arestivo, Christopher Campbell, Sean DeVito, Salvatore Geneva, Brendan Hayes, Colin Heffron, Christopher Maierle, Johnnie Maleganos, Keith McKenna, Timothy Parker, Thomas Roulis, Jake Scavetta, Matthew Slotnick, Jonathan Stallone, Andrew Vitiello, Matthew Wendelken. The coaches are Ken Parker and Ron Stallone and the trainer is Gary Nemeth.