Report from the Pitch:

NJ Soccer Machine Chugs Along
By Scott Hebbeler (NJ)

NJ advanced to 2-0 on the season after a come from behind victory Monday afternoon. While both teams struggled to find a rhythm in the first half, NJ opened the second half with solid midfield play and tenacious defense. Brit Smith was the star of the game with a hat trick. Daniel Pechman also had a strong game in the net for NJ.

NE Edge Past NA in Clash of Titans
By Frederico Rangel (NE)

NE and NA came back for a great game after their previous victories in the initial rounds. The game started very evenly, and it would take a couple of good plays until the first goal. After a close ball by NA, and a couple of good attempts on goal by NE, Anders Caldera headed home the opener. A great header, with some contribution of NE’s goalkeeper who misplaced himself in the goal.

But the first half was still on its way: NE made several attempts and Jeremy ended up tying the match. Watch for this player: his 3rd goal in the IM Soccer Tournament. The game was tied, and the half-time whistle blown.

The second half started as the first ended: NE pressuring down NA, and after a couple of shots hit the bar or the posts for each team (where were they aiming at?), Pete Aparico struck a beautiful shot after a corner kick, making it 2-1 for NE.

NA felt it was time to come back to the game: increased the pressure, laid some good plays, increase even more the pressure and… oops… a counter-attack by Xave Majic made it 3-1, somehow sealing the game. NA tried to continue its pressure strategy, made a couple of good attempts on goal – one to the post! – but was unable to score. All in all, a great match in which none deserved to lose.

NH Eye Title with Win Over NC
By Andrew Kay (NH)

The juggernaut that is NH IM soccer marched on last week, improving their record to 2-0 with a 2-1 come from behind victory over NC. Man of the Match honors were handed out to birthday boy Doyl Burkett, who made his season debut in goal and turned away a dozen point blank opportunities, including multiple gems as time expired. Doyl’s fearless play and willingness to get dirty inspired the rest of the team to overcome a late 1-0 deficit behind a goal via the large noggin of Alex Michael.

Moments later, NH parlayed a series of one-touch passes into the game
winning goal with one minute left, courtesy of a nifty touch from Jon Czaja. Commenting on the game-winning tally, Czaja lamented, “I’m not surprised that I scored. I’m pretty (expletive) nasty.”

In a related note, NH did suffer a loss of sorts following their first when Christian Garcia accidentally knocked out goal scorer Alex Michael’s front tooth with his shoulder during a reckless goal celebration. Said Garcia, “We need to work on that more in training.” For those wondering about the whereabouts of Alex’s tooth, it was last seen buried in the mud on the IM soccer field next to Harvard Stadium. Anyone who comes across this tooth should contact Alex immediately to collect a monetary reward. At the conclusion of week one of the IM season, NH captain Andy Kay was asked who he saw as his team’s biggest competition for the title. After a moment’s pause, Kay responded seriously, “We are…we could all get drunk, fall down and hurt ourselves, and then the race would be wide open.”

NDs Pull Off Stunning Double
By Nikhil Gadkari (ND)

Oops… they did it again. The Nudies pulled off two dazzling victories against NF and NJ. In the first game, in front of the usual sell out crowd, the Nudies took control early on and never let up in a commanding 6-0 shutout victory. Crazy Legs John Rudoe topped the scorer’s chart once again, punching in three crafty goals and leaving spectators to wonder if he could help England’s bid chances at the 2006 World Cup. Nils “Benny Hill” Benneman, Keenan Klinger (playing with an artificial leg) and Walt “Sammy” Sosa, each added one goal apiece. The NF team, playing without its starters due to injury, failed to respond to this impressive offensive display. The real story of the game came on the defensive end where Cas Schneller and Rob Gannett provided the Brick Wall – each stopping three attempts at goal respectively.

In the second game, against NJ, the Nudies looked stronger than ever, always in control and, for the TOM geeks out there, “capable” of delivering a stunning result. And so they did, disposing of the opponents with a telling 6-2 victory! With one game to go before the playoffs, no one seems to be able to stop the Nudies’ advance on this years championship title!