It was a strong season for the Manchester Soccer Club. With 14 youth boys and girls teams in the club Manchester sent eight teams to the Essex County Youth Soccer Assocation (ECYSA) playoffs.
Leading the way for Manchester Soccer Club was the U-12 Boys Thunder, who finished with a record of 7-0 in the regular season and qualified for last weekend's Massachusetts Tournament of Champions.
Our Manchester Thunder U 12 boys squad enjoyed a spectacular run through the Pingree tournament. That run carried all the way to the tournament of champions where the Thunder were bounced by eventual champion Halifax. Manchester, however, gave Halifax a better game then any other team in the field.
The Thunder started off against one of Marblehead's top teams, and overwhelmed them from start to finish.
They we were led by Ryan Garlitz Ben Lantz, Paschal Corrigan, and Matt Carter, all of whom played great on both ends of the field in a 6-0 win.
The Thunder followed that up with a win over Andover and an upset win over Hamilton-Wenham in the semis setting up a showdown with North Andover, where they fell 3-1. Playing well for the Thunder in the tournament was Dylan Wilson, John Makowski, Will Talleri, Liam Falk, Will Janowicz, and goalie Max Hahn.
The U 14 Girls Storm came into the playoffs with a 6-0-1 regular season record and turned in a dominant 3-0 win over Ipswich in the first round of the playoffs before falling to eventual champion Hamilton-Wenham in the semi's in a hard fought game where Manchester was outmanned. Goalie Caisi Calandra made several great saves in the tournament while Zoe Brown, Courtney Fraser and Julia Bonaccorso also played well for the Storm.
The Manchester U14 Boys Galaxy finished an outstanding season making it all the way to the ECYSA semi finals and finishing the regular season with a 7-0 record.
The defining moment in the tournament pitched tiny Manchester, against the higher seeded, big-city Lynn Rebels, who had a signifiant size advantage over the Galaxy. But that didn't stop Manchester from giving them a big run in the semi-finals, where they eventually fell 3-2 in a game that could have gone either way.
The U16 girls Meteors finished the regular season at 5-0-1 and opened up a 1-0 halftime lead on Marblehead in the opening round of the playoffs while dominating play in the frame before falling 3-1 after a tough second half.
The U 12 Manchester Breakers qualified for the semi finals after a 5-1-1 regular season record where they fell to Peabody. The Breakers, however, are looking to the future as just three players on the team are moving up next year.