The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 16 No. 10 - January 6, 2016


Sato Real Estate takes the cup

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story


Sato Real Estate celebrates a championship game victory.

The final game of the co-ed recreational soccer league at the island center was a battle royal between Progressive Cabinetry, the third seed team, and Sato Real Estate, the top finishers in the regular season. With the championship title at stake, both teams came out ready to win at the game opener whistle.

The game started out with Progressive Cabinetry’s Anthony Barberio attempting to take a shot on goal from mid-field. Barberio slipped on the damp field, resulting in a turnover of the ball to Sato Real Estate. This ignited Team Sato through their next four possessions. Sean Flynn, for Sato Real Estate, quickly took advantage of the lost possession, pounding a hard shot and finding the net with less than a minute on the play clock.

Soon after, Matt Kretzmann for Sato Real Estate took a shot from mid-field that went just wide of the right post. After a strong throw-in by Flynn, Drew Mitchell scored with the ball off of his back elevating Sato Real Estate’s lead to 2-0.

Chelsea Hoffner struck the ball near the goal for Team Sato. Progressive’s goalkeeper Nate Talucci saved the goal, which temporarily stopped Sato Real Estate’s momentum.

On a penalty by Sato Real Estate, Barberio took a free kick for his team that went over the goal. Scott Eason was denied the goal by Jason Sato, with five saves in the game, who could not completely handle the ball in front of the goal. Barberio struck fast after the goalie bobble putting up the first points for Progressive Cabinetry after six minutes of play.

With the score 2-1, the speed of the players appeared to go into high gear. The kicks seemed to get harder. Spectators were not disappointed by the intense level of championship play.

Sato Real Estate had numerous shots on goal, but with no success. From midfield with 16 minutes on the clock Barberio ripped a kick to the goal. Sato with a huge vertical leap in the air tipped the ball to save the goal stopping the amazing kick by Progressive’s top scorer.

With an unfortunate result, Progressive worked hard to keep the soccer ball but had an own goal off of defender David Greene to take the score to 3-1 with 20 minutes on the clock.

Progressive Cabinetry tried to decrease the gap in the score with a cross-field pass by Blair Schlossberg to Barberio right in front of the goal. Barberio’s shot went just wide.

Barberio had another opportunity to score with his second free kick of the game from a call on Kretzmann. The ball curved and just missed the goal again.

The first half ended with the two-point spread.

The last 25 minutes of regulation play started with a shot on goal by Mitchell right to Talucci, who saved eight goals in the season ending game. With a crowd down at the goal, miraculously goalie Sato emerged out of the masses of players with the ball for the save.

After being shoved from behind by Kretzmann, Barberio took his third free shot this time scoring to take the score to 3-2 at the 10-minute mark.

Excitement increased on the sidelines, in the audience, and on the field. Heightened intensity lead to Mitchell being handed a yellow card after having words with the referee.

On his fourth free kick for Barberio, the score remained at 3-2, with Sato Real Estate retaining the lead. Barberio tried to tie up the game when he had an open shot in front of goal, but the ball went right to the goalie.

In the 15th minute of the game, Mitchell was persistent on the ball and managed to score, widening the gap once again by two goals. Sato Real Estate’s Cory Wash regained possession for the ball and while being triple teamed by the goal his shot went just wide.

Mitchell found the goal again 18 minutes into the second half. One minute later, Barberio answered back making the score 5-3.

With the clock ticking toward the end of regulation play, both teams focused on time management. Progressive Cabinetry tried to make quick plays to score and Sato Real Estate found ways to keep control of the ball.

The strong defensive play by Sato Real Estate on Barberio on offensive attacks took the #1 seed team to the end of the championship game victors. In the awarding of the Paul “Ace” Hayward Island Cup to Sato Real Estate, team captain Kris Yavalar earned his first championship after many years of competition in the league. The last blow of the whistle closed out the fall sports season at the Center.