28 Dec 2012
Champions crowned at US Major Beach Soccer
BSC Rush claim Men's title while Orange County win Women's after the finals held at Clearwater Beach, Florida
A year after reaching the semifinals, the Rush BSC won the Men?s Open Division at the Major Beach Soccer National Championship presented by the National Guard on Sunday afternoon on Clearwater Beach with a 6-5 victory against Calvary Chapel. R.G. Florey scored a pair of goals, including what proved to be the game-winner, in a back-and-forth contest that saw BSC down the side that had defeated it in last year?s consolation contest.
Calvary took the lead seven minutes into the opening period, Sam Greeley shooting high into the top-right corner of the net, but within a minute BSC was level as Jeff Lenix tied the game with a shot into the left corner. Luke Froehlich gave the Rush the lead a minute before the first intermission as he converted a free kick.
BSC?s momentum carried into the second period, and they took a 4-1 lead through goals a minute apart by Jared Dombrowski and Florey. Calvary rallied, though, as Greeley scored his second of the game a minute after Florey?s finish. Eddie Loewen and Luis Hernandez then each scored before the intermission to leave the teams tied 4-4 with 10 minutes to play.
The pace slowed to start the final period, but BSC was able to regain the lead with a well-worked corner kick that saw Froehlich find Albert Smith?s run to the near post for a fine flicked finish.
?Luke sent a great ball in and Albert was able to get a nice little touch on it,? BSC captain Dombrowski said.
Florey then scored his second goal of the game, skipping a free kick off the bumpy sand that caromed into the roof of the net with four minutes to go. Calvarey?s Phil Dotzinski scored a late goal to get his side within a goal, but the Rush were able to hold on to take victory.
De Best Orange County took the Women?s Open Division Championship after defeating IABS 2-0 in a physical affair that saw more yellow cards than goals. Makenzie Pedrotti and Kasey Johnson had the goals for Orange County, both coming in the third period.
?It was a battle for sure, but that?s how a championship should be,? Pedrotti said. ?It means a lot. All of us played together as kids growing up, and we all went to different colleges and played against each other, so to come back together and play again together and win a championship is awesome.?
Orange County had the better chances, with Danielle Bitonti going close with a shot just over the crossbar in the second period and Johnson shooting just wide of the left post. For the opening 25 minutes, though, IABS goalkeeper Brooke Yuskanich and OC?s Sarah Willis both put in strong performances.
Orange County?s pressure paid off late in the third period, however, when Pedrotti was brought down for a penalty kick. Pedrotti fired her effort into the left corner of the net with three minutes to go, and then two minutes later Johnson was able to finish off a close-range chance, flicking her finish past Yuskanich.
The finals capped a big weekend that saw more than 40 teams compete on Clearwater Beach, with six other teams taking home championships on Sunday afternoon. For those returning, such as Dombrowski, the event was as rewarding as it had in its inaugural year.
?This is a tremendous sport, and I think all of our guys have really taken to the sport,? Dombrowski said. ?We really appreciate everything that USL and Soccer in the Sand have done, this is amazing, to come back and knowing the set-up is great and that they?re going to put on a really great show.?