Abbot: The boys from downtown are a definite force on the Clustah scene. The team is currently undefeated with a 2-0-1 record. Captain and Cluster President Sam DuPont ’04 is “confident” about his team’s prospects and predicts that once a few kinks on the defensive side of the field are worked out, Abbot will be unstoppable. With a decisive 2-1 win against South, a shut-out with the exception of a penalty kick goal in the 2nd half by John Holkins ’04, and a 1-1 fiercely contested draw against North, Abbot has tasted battle, and came out fairly well. Whether or not this most-maligned of clusters is championship material, Abbot will certainly put on a good show. Flagstaff: Although definitely suffering the loss of star forward Mac “I eat babies for breakfast” King ’05, Flagstaff has had a very strong 3-0-0 start to its season. With a well-rounded and powerful team, Flagstaff is certainly the team to beat. I often find it incredible to watch how well their forwards work together with seamless passing and excellent ball skills. Keeper Harry Goldstein ’05 is, quite simply, impossible to shoot past, and has yet to miss a possible save. I would, however, like to be the first to go on record as saying that Flagstaff appears to be weakening, with a shaky defense and poor offensive performance against PKN almost costing the Staffers an early loss. Flabbot: I include this team here because, quite simply, they’re nasty. With some of the best underclassmen from both Flagstaff and Abbot, Flabbot looks to be at the absolute minimum a huge potential spoiler this season, and possibly even a black sheep finals contender. Dan “Sprinkles” Wagman ’06 and Mac “See Above” King ’05 lead one of the most powerful offenses in the league, powerful enough, in fact, to beat WQS by a two goal margin, this team is only lacking a powerful presence in the net. With a good keeper, Flabbot could be dominant. Without one, FAB will just end up as another could-have-been in the finals of Cluster Soccer. PKN: Now here’s a team that could go either way. With a mediocre 1-1-1 record, Pine Knoll has gotten off to a not-so-hot start. However, the Knollers have put together a good team. Lars “No, Not Like the Fish” Trautman ’04 is easily one of the best defenders in the league. Wing-Kit Chu ’04 is easily in the top triumvirate of Clustah goalies, and makes few mistakes. Knoll gave FLG a strong game, but rumors of discontent over the break-up of the Stimson Senior Trifecta by the departure of Ali Schouten ’04 from the cluster rosters for “personal reasons” still abound, and I’m still not convinced that the Fuessies and Stimsonites can rebound. WQN: Eh… I’m not a big fan of the Northies, but I’ve got to give them credit: they did tie Abbot. With a fairly good 1-0-2 record, I can’t really make too much fun of this team, since they are definitely a force to be reckoned with, but I’m still not convinced that North has what it takes to play at the highest levels of Cluster and win. A disappointing tie with Pine Knoll set my opinion of the AC Massive back about a week, but who knows, North might end up being a contender. WQS: Thinking about this team elicits a strong “Ummmm, yeah”. With a 3-1 loss to Flabbot, and a losing record, South comes out as the worst of the real clusters. The sad thing is that this team has all the talent it needs. John Holkins ’04 is a veritable demon on the field, and Abhi “My name is tough to spell” Eswarappa ’04 is an excellent forward. Vic Miller ’05 is an obstacle for even the best of Clustah’s forwards, and this team really should be doing better than it is.
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