ABB Demolishes Cinderella Story TNT in Cluster Finals; Abbot Scores 9 Goals in Second Straight Cluster Championship

Abbot reaffirmed itself as the reigning cluster soccer champion after its 9-0 blowout against TNT. This year’s win marks the second straight championship for the Abbot Cluster. Jae Kim ‘07 said, “We’re just great, man. We played as a team by the end of the season, and it feels good to be the champs.” The championship game this year was a rematch of last year’s final. Last year’s ’08 TNT team was the underdog of the tournament but continued to win their way to the final. Their Cinderella story was cut short with a 7-1 loss to perennial league powerhouse Abbot. After a delay of several days, Abbot faced off against TNT under the lights during the pouring rain for this year’s cluster championship. The harsh weather limited the effectiveness and precision of both teams, but Abbot did not let the bad weather slow them down. Tran King ’08 said, “The field was incredibly muddy. When you ran your feet sunk in.” Although the team was ranked third going into the tournament, the players did not let their seed affect their play. Zach An ’08 said, “We found out the appropriate role for each of our players, and we were confident we could win. Karma was on our side.” Returning players from last year’s championship team were Kim, Justin Waite ’07, Noah Warren ’07 and Nat Lavin ’07. Abbot lost a few key players from last year’s squad, including Dan Wagman ’06, but filled the vacancies with new players, including Pat Curtin ’07. Other newcomers include An, King, Andy Clay ’08, Will Eastman ’08, Syed, George Flanagan ’09, Travis Wright ’08 and Rekha Auguste-Nelson ’09. Abbot earned its spot in the finals after beating West Quad United in the first round and then narrowly beating Flagstaff in a thrilling 1-0 shutout. An said, “The Flagstaff game was tough. We scored early in the game but Flagstaff stormed back with a very tough offense. In the end Abbot’s solid defense prevailed.” The TNT team was made up of several students in each cluster. TNT advanced to the finals with a win against PKN in the first round followed by a 3-2 upset against West Quad North. Lavin said, “TNT had a lot of great spirit and a few really talented players. They played with a fiery zeal.” TNT goalie Alex Schwartz ‘07 said, “The field was much bigger then we were used to so our defense was spread out. Their offense took advantage of the spread out defense and created a lot of one-on-ones. I’m very proud of our season. “ Abbot fired out early with a goal by Curtin and never looked back. Wright, Warren, Kim, and King all contributed goals to the championship win. Syed said, “Abbot played a great game. Our defense made key stops and our offence made keys plays and passes. It was the combination of our best game and TNT not playing to their best level [that enabled the win].” Warren said, “All of cluster soccer has known the name of the vanquishers Abbot. Let the name go down in history immortal.”