CLUSTER SOCCER 2003: Abbot v. North

This Friday is the Cluster Soccer Finals, and, now armed with the knowledge of which two teams will play under the lights, I will attempt to give all of you, my faithful readers, a fair and balanced look at the two Clustah finalists: Abbot and West Quad North. Abbot With an astounding regular season record of 11-1-2, Abbot came into post-season play seeded as number 1. Soundly defeating Pine Knoll Under-Classmen 4-2 last Friday, and PKN 4-3 on Tuesday, Abbot had the easiest post-season schedule. Most would say that Abbot’s appearance in the finals is entirely expected, and, having played with the boys in blue for 2 years now, the general sentiment is that Abbot is due for a championship win. Abbot’s offense is rock solid. Led on the wings by two star Uppers, Arnaud “The D is Silent” Lamotte and Mark “BadAsch” Asch, and centered around the offensive power of rotating Senior forwards Eric “The Storm” Mitzenmacher and P. Thatcher “Mary Ann” Clay, Abbot is able to convert on every play. Lamotte is one of the top scorers in the league, getting three shots past PKN’s Wing-Kit Chu on Tuesday to tally a hat trick. Abbot’s midfield is always full of surprises. Y. Allen “Gilligan” Chen ’04, my own roommate, is capable of amazing plays coming off the bench, when he is paying attention. Jen “the Millionaire” Evans ’04 is a JV1 Girls Soccer dropout, with good ball handling and excellent situational awareness. Purely in terms of backfield ability, Abbot matches with the best. Alex “Big Sexual Cocoa” Bois ’05 and Sam “The Skipper” DuPont ’04 form the points of Abbot’s diamond defense at sweeper and stopper respectively. Bois is famous for his ability to be everywhere at once, his speed is quite amazing to behold. DuPont plays stopper very aggressively, often bringing the ball all the way up field, and even scoring on a number of occasions. DuPont and Bois are both JV-level players, and their presence is certainly welcomed by Abbot goalie Neville Williams ’05. Williams easily ranks with the top goalies in Clustah this year, and his ability to survey the field and keep his defenders informed of cuts, crosses, and imminent threats is unrivalled. Abbot’s defensive side is rounded out on the wings by Ayo Adesanya ’05, Clarissa “Explains it All” Deng ’05, Ryan “S.S. Minnow” Chapoteau ’04, and, of course, yours truly, Will “I Have a Car 2 Find It” Scharf ’04. West Quad North North’s season could best be described as unpredictable. With a regular season record of 8-1-5, North had fewer wins than the other leading teams, and more ties than just about anyone. North would play astoundingly well, beating Abbot, for example, 3-0, and then falter and tie Pine Knoll or PKU. The midfield is where West Quad North excels. Seth “I can’t see colors” Stulgis ’04 and Jae-lk “Jake” Kim ’04 are probably two of the three top middies in Cluster Soccer this year. Alex King ’05 can only be described as extremely competent. North’s victories almost all stem from its simple ability to keep the ball up field. North generates scoring opportunities, and certainly capitalizes on these opportunities more often than not. Which brings me to my next point, North’s offense. Aaron “Bard-O-Face” Bardo ’04 is almost definitely in the running for best forward in the league. With an impressive nine goals in the regular season, and a piece of almost all of North’s other tallies, Bardo is one of Clustah’s greats. North’s defense is reliable, but could be considered North’s weakest point. Rich “Beshead” Besen ’04 sweeps for WQN, and ranks easily among the top three or four players in the league. With speed to rival any Clustah player, and competitive soccer experience to boot, Beshead’s contribution to his team cannot be underestimated. In conclusion, it is anyone’s game. While I will not call a winner, I will say that whichever team scores first will win.