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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Falcon's Nest Notes: Boys Soccer Soars, Notch First Win of the Season

After three frustrating contests to open the 2014 campaign, the Flatbush Varsity Boys Soccer team finally put together the complete package and registered their first win of the season, defeating their guests from Ezra Academy, 12-3.

With Head Coach Mark Medetsky severely under the weather, the reins of the club fell to Rookie Assistant Coach David Nachmany. Nachmany, who only two short years ago was in uniform for the Falcons on this same home court, now faced the challenge of marshalling his troops and finding the right mix of players that would mesh offensively and protect the goal defensively. It proved to be a night where the coach pushed all the right buttons, and the players responded from the first touch of the ball.
Rookie Coach David Nachmany surveys the play of the Varsity Boys
From the outset, Flatbush set the tempo on offense. For the first time this season, the players played station-to-station ball, making touch passes and looking to work for good shots (rather than the kick-and-chase feel of the three previous games). Even so, Captain Ovadiah Fteiha started to feel like it might be another tough night as he found multiple scoring opportunities very early on but could not convert. With Ezra now focusing its efforts on denying Fteiha, the opening goal came off a different Falcon foot, that of David Bendayan! With the Ezra defense now needing to share its focus an all of Flatbush’s attackers, the court opened up for Fteiha. With a nifty move in traffic, he finally found the back of the net, lifting the Falcons to a 2-0 lead. Goal number three was again provided by Fteiha, this time off a nice feed from a Joey Aini play-in after an Ezra penalty which he one-timed to a cutting Fetieha; the goalie had no chance.
Abie Sabbagh slips a shot past the Ezra goalie, the first of 3 for Sabbagh
The floodgates were now open! The Falcons would tally two more goals in the opening period, both from attacker Abie Sabbagh. The first came after a feed from Matthew Bukobza that led to a double-tap by the left foot of Sabbagh followed by a touch to the far corner – still off the left foot! The second came off a feed from Goalie Jack Mizrahi who gave Sabbagh a long lead roll-out pass that he sent cleanly home. That goal closed the scoring for the first period and staked the Falcons to a 5-0 lead.
Nir Cohen sends home the penalty shot
The second period brought more of the same. Sabbagh opened the period topping off a natural hat-trick (three goals in a row) off a beautiful give-and-go with Ben-Dayan. Flatbush tallied goal number 7 by player number 7. Having just been inserted in the game, Ilay Fachima took a lead pass from Fteiha on a breakaway that he quickly put past the Ezra goalie. With just under two minutes to play in the period, Ilay’s younger brother, Eldar, drew a penalty when he was fouled while trying to head the ball inside the goalie box. Defender Nir Cohen stepped up and blasted the penalty shot into the net for goal number 8. A mere 20 seconds later, Maor Laham found himself on a breakaway and registered his first career goal as a Falcon for Flatbush’s 9th score of the match. With :51 on the clock, Ezra finally found a hole in the Falcon defense and got on the board, and the half came to a close with Flatbush enjoying a 9-1 cushion.
Ilay Fachima slips a shot from the wing past the outstretched arm of the Ezra goalie
The second half started with a rare kind of score for Flatbush. A mere 1:20 in to the period, the Ezra goalie tried to extend out to shoot on goal, missed, and found himself way out of position. With Ezra’s goalie scrambling to get back in net, Jack Mizrahi let fly with a shot of his own off the save. A roar of “Fizzzzz!” rang out from the Falcon bench as Mizrahi scored his first goal of the season – from Flatbush’s own goal box! At that point, the game got decidedly more physical. Play went back and forth with neither team able to strike. That was until David Cohen found himself alone deep in the Ezra zone. Facing the Flatbush end, Cohen back-tapped the ball with his heel, sneaking it past Ezra’s goalie and into the net! Tempers soon began to flare; a collision between Gaby Kabarriti and an Ezra defender nearly set the two teams against each other, but clearer heads prevailed. Period 3 ended with Flatbush in total control, 11-1.

The teams agreed to play the final period (something not required by league rule when one team holds a 7-point margin after three periods are completed), and Flatbush again had many great scoring opportunities. But, the Falcons just could not convert to complete the scores. With under 6:00 to play, Flatbush was called for a hand ball in their own goal box, an automatic penalty shot for the opposition. Ezra sent the shot home for only their second score of the night. The Falcons got the goal back, though, on a big sweeping turn and kick by Joey Aini to close out the Flatbush scoring. A lapse by the defense allowed Ezra one final tally as the seconds ticked away, to reach a final score of 12-3. But on the day, it was all Flatbush, and it was a game that was just what the doctor ordered.

Nest Notes:
The Boys will look to build on this win when they travel to Ramaz on Sunday, 4/6 @ 2:00 pm for their last game before the Pesach break. After the holiday, they will face this same Ezra team on the road in their first game back on Monday, 4/28 @ 8:00 pm, in Queens.