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Youth Soccer
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Fishel Leads UCLA to Championship

IslandStats.com
Mia Fishel helped UCLA Women’s Soccer team secure the 2020 Pac-12 Women's Soccer Championship, the first since 2014 after defeating California 3 – 1.

UCLA got on the board early, taking less than four minutes to score against California. After Fishel's shot was stopped by California goalkeeper Angelina Anderson for a corner kick, Marley Canales took matters into her own hands, scoring an Olimpico goal directly off the corner, the goal was Canales' fourth of the season.

UCLA made it 2-0 late in the 41st minute, on an open net goal by Fishel, her sixth of the campaign.

Reilyn Turner increased UCLA's lead in the 72nd minute, taking a pass from Aislynn Crowder and getting in front of the Cal defense. Turner found herself one-on-one with Anderson and slotted her shot past her for her team-leading eighth goal of the year.

Cal got on the board in the 77th minute on a banger by Keely Roy. Down just two, the Bears increased their efforts in hopes of trying to get back into the game and nearly scored another goal three minutes later on a shot by Julia Curtis that went just over the crossbar. Curtis got another good look in from the top of the box in the 83rd minute but shot high, and the Bruins held on for the two-goal win.
Friday, April 09, 2021
When a Boy from Bermuda wowed Cromer Park

IslandStats.com
He came from Bermuda where his dad was a banker and signed with AC Milan aged six. Well, not AC Milan, per se, but the AC Milan Soccer School which was affiliated with Dee Why FC and played in the Manly Warringah junior competition. And he always played up.

Not played up as kids do in school. But rather up age groups. Or in his case three age groups. For three years he played U/9s – for Dee Why, Beacon Hill, and CC Strikers – before trialling with Manly United. In U/13s he scored 27 goals. Aged 16 he played for Australia Schoolboys.

And on Friday night at Cromer Park, he scored a goal seven minutes into his National Premier League debut for Manly United. He is Ben Gibson, he is 17 years old and he is still a schoolboy. And chances are you’ll be hearing more of him.

They heard him on Friday night at Cromer Park, or at least they heard the full-throated roar for his goal against Sydney FC. Seven minutes on the field, boom – match-winner. And the crowd was up as one.

In the grandstand was Ben’s dad Graeme, mum Kerry, and older sister Ally. Uncles, aunties, and grandparents watched on NPL TV. None of the family was expecting him to get on. When he did they were more nervous than he was. “His first interaction was to help at a corner,” Graeme says. “I turned to Ally and said, ‘I hope he doesn’t score an own goal his first touch’.”

Quite the opposite happened.

In the 77th minute, Jack Fulton won the ball near the halfway and dribbled downfield, straight at Ben. Fulton cut across the field before dinking the ball over tall defenders to Gibson who found himself in space, one-on-one, goalkeeper to beat. The goalie charged out as good ones do, all arms and legs and angles, side-stepping, getting “big” on the man with the ball.

Gibson, though, wasn’t flustered. “I just gave it a shot,” he says. Which seemed to work fine. Because in it went. And Cromer Park was a happy place.

Graeme Gibson reckons his son was playing down his excitement around his teammates. When he got home, though, “he had a huge smile on his face. He was so happy to have played so well,” Graeme says.

“The feeling was unreal,” Ben says. “Afterwards in the shed, singing the team song, I was super over the moon. It was a great vibe. Particularly to beat a really good team like Sydney FC.”

Ben will turn 18 in July and is in Year 12 at Freshwater High. He had a couple of years at Narrabeen Sports High under former Manly United coach Jimmy van Weeren, ironically the man in charge of Sydney FC on Friday night.

The plan? Father and son haven’t really talked of long-term goals. There’s an NSW Schoolboys team Ben hopes to make this year. He’ll try to stay in first grade with United. Apart from that, he’ll continue to do his best to play well. And play up.
Wednesday, April 07, 2021
Dill & Spence Help Ilkeston Win Again

Seke Spence
IslandStats.com
Ayleal Dill, Seke Spence, and their Ilkeston Town’s teammates returned to action, following their recent 3 – 0 win over Basford United, they then traveled to play Sandiacre Town picking up a 3 - 1 win.

Dill who scored twice in the first games, was on target again at Sandiacre alongside Ricco Spencer and Kieran Cummings.
Tuesday, April 06, 2021
Van-Lowe & West Ham United Return to Action

IslandStats.com
Jaaziah Van-Lowe and his teammates return to action playing in 2 friendly matches.

Van-Lowe and his West Ham United Under 13 teammates went down to the West Ham United Under 14.

The final score was 5 – 3, Van-Lowe shared the goalkeeping duties with another goalkeeper for the West Ham United Under 13, unfortunately, 2 goals got past Van-Lowe due to his positioning.

Van-Lowe said, “Lesson learned.”

On Sunday Van-Lowe was able to keep a clean sheet. with the final score of 5 - 0.
Monday, April 05, 2021
Fishel & UCLA Edge Washington at Home

IslandStats.com
Mia Fishel and her No. 5 UCLA Women’s Soccer teammates wrapped up its home schedule with a 1-0 victory over No. 19 Washington.

On Senior Day, it was only fitting that the game's only goal was scored by a senior, Karina Rodriguez. The defender netted her first goal of the year in the 8th minute, heading in a rebound after Reilyn Turner's shot hit the crossbar off a Marley Canales corner kick.

The crossbar played a pivotal role in the game. Turner hit the crossbar on another shot in the first half that could have increased UCLA's lead to 2-0, and in the 62nd minute, the Huskies had a long-distance shot by Ruby Hellstrom hit the top woodwork. The rebound bounced out to Margaux Clarke, but she missed high.

UCLA goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy had another solid day between the pipes, making four saves in the contest, all in the first half, to pick up her second shutout of the weekend and seventh of the season.
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