By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
June 16, 2014-The Smithtown Spirit of the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) ran out of gas in their 3-1 overtime loss to the New York Rush Patriots 95 two years ago in the State Open Cup final but they were prepared this year. They had the better of play from the opening whistle to defeat the Rising Stars Blasters of the Central New York State Youth Soccer League, 5-1, to give Smithtown Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association’s (ENYYSA) Girls-Under-19 State Open Cup championship. The final was played at the Peter Collins Soccer Park in Plainview on June 7.
“Since our players came home from college, we have been training three and four times a week,” commented Smithtown coach J. R. Balzarini. “I’m very happy for these girls who have been together since Under-12.”
Makaela Friedman, Taylor Groth, Seaver Lipshe, Sloane Lipshie and Dani Valente scored for Smithtown, who received a $2,000 check from Eastern New York to defer the costs of playing in the Regionals from June 26 to July 1 in Kingston, Rhode Island.
Rising Stars received the Howard Rubenstein Sportsmanship Award as selected by the match officials. Now retired, Mr. Rubenstein was seemingly involved in every facet of New York soccer for decades and is a member of the Halls of Fame of Eastern New York, the US Amateur Soccer Association and the LIJSL.
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 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA 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. ENYYSA 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.