By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
June 6, 2013-The big rivalry in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) occurs at the Boys-Under-16 level between Smithtown Arsenal of the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) and Manhattan Paris Saint-Germain of the Westchester Youth Soccer League (WYSL). They have played each other in the State Open Cup final four times with Manhattan winning last year and Smithtown winning the two previous times.
Smithtown won their division in the Region 1 Premier League with Manhattan finishing second but the Manhattanites won the final as Smithtown was eliminated in the semifinals.
So the State Open Cup final on June 2 at Stringham Park in LaGrange was a tantalizing match-up between two heavyweights. Smithtown won, 1-0, on a wonderful 25-yard goal by Harrison Weilbacher in the 61st minute. Arsenal keeper Noah Varonier came up huge in saving a penalty kick at the start of the game.
"It was a midfield battle, I thought that we played better in the middle of the field and that was the difference in the game," commented Smithtown coach Tom Lips, who played professionally with the New England Revolution as well as Switzerland’s FC St. Gallen.
Manhattan received the Howard Rubenstein Sportsmanship Award as selected by the match referees. Smithtown and Manhattan will both represent Eastern New York at the Regionals from June 28 to July 2 at the University of Rhode Island. As State Cup champions, Eastern New York is donating $2,000 to the team and paying all expense fees for the Regionals.
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 12 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. Eastern New York exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. Eastern New York is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.