Friday, May 27, 2022

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Oct, 2021

Fall Season Highlights

Colchester Tournament Recaps

The Portland Earthquake U9 soccer team ended their 2021 season with a hard-fought 4-0 loss to East Windsor.  A huge shout-out to: Zack Anderson, Logan Duberry, Sean Fitzgibbons, Danny Grosso, Benjamin Martinez, Andrew Quesnel, Christian Quesnel, Cooper Quinn, & Nate Tine.  Their coaches are so proud of each and every one of them for a tremendous season. All of the players' family members deserve a special note for all their wonderful support throughout the season! 


Portland’s U10 Boys Thunder Force went 2-2 at the Colchester Soccer-Fest Tournament Nov. 6th and 7th.  The team fell to Colchester and Old Saybrook on Saturday by the score of 7-2 each game, but showed resilience by earning quality wins against Lyme-Old Lyme (7-2) and Valley Soccer Club (4-2) on Sunday.   Rocco Glick-Grappo and Timmy Bolstridge made several nice saves in net vs. Colchester.  Bentley DeDominicis and Theo Arnold each scored a goal.  Arnold and Leo Dean were awarded the Heart and Hustle Awards for the match.   In the loss to Old Saybrook, Austin Liseo was awarded one of the Heart and Hustle Awards, after an assist on the field and some spectacular dives at GK.  Zach Barr added several nice saves at GK and Jonah King’s gritty performance at fullback earned him the game’s other Heart and Hustle Award. Leo Dean also put the ball in the net and later provided his own assist to Theo Arnold for the team’s second goal.   On Sunday morning, Sammy Wilson scored first against Lyme-Old Lyme after an assist by Bentley DeDominicis.  DeDominicis later added another assist and a goal.  Zach Barr assisted Jonah King for a goal and later King returned the favor and assisted Barr. Easton Yardis and Timmy Bolstridge were tested at GK, but responded with spectacular saves. Leo Dean added a goal and Landon Richey scored his first goal of the season. Richey and Bolstridge won the Heart & Hustle Awards.  In the final match, Theo Arnold and Leo Dean scored early to get things started against Valley, who evened the score by halftime. In the second half Jonah King beat the Valley defenders to the goal and put the ball in the top of the net for the game winner. Thunder Force added some amazing plays, including an impressive stepover by Zack Robare at the center back position. With about 8 minutes remaining in the match, Dean moved the ball into the corner and crossed it in the air to the opponent’s goal, where Austin Liseo put the ball in the back of the net, capitalizing on the team’s improved teamwork, punctuating the end of a great season.  The entire team was awarded the Heart & Hustle Award. 


The Portland Red Crush U11 team lost their three games in the Colchester Soccer-Fest Tournament on Nov. 6 and 7, by outcomes of 4-1 to Windsor,  6-2 to WAM United, and 5-2 to North Haven.   The team battled well-organized opponents despite the frigid temperatures, with goal-scorers Jackson Vodola (1), Tyler Fournier (2) and Luke Lawrence (2) keeping games tight and pressuring the defenses with many dangerous runs and quality shots on goal.   Goalkeepers Cooper Vardon, Liam Witschy, Nathan Clark, Fournier and Lawrence all made quality saves to keep their team in the hunt.   Mason Richey, Liam Russell, and Raul Cornejo Jr. all contributed to the Red Crush attack, while Logan Desmarais provided the team with strong defense in all three games.   Finally, Ryan Quinn's always-reliable performance in the team's stopper/sweeper full-back position was invaluable as he consistently disrupted the opponents' attacks all over the field.      


The Portland U12 girls soccer team, Portland Fire, played in the Colchester Soccer-Fest on Nov 6th and 7th.   Portland Fire finished with 1 win and 2 losses.  Leading the scoring was Lena Trojanowski and Leah Cruz.  A strong defense was led by Lilah Nolan, Leonxia Rivera and Hailey Cote.  Aeryn Hall and Ally Harlow played tough in the goal and combined for a shutout in the first game.    The entire team deserves a big shout-out for hustling and great sportsmanship throughout the weekend.  


Drop In Under the Lights - Mon, Oct 25
Twenty dedicated Travel and Travel Lite players representing all age groups, boys and girls, showed up in foggy, wet conditions at Middlesex Ave Field Monday night for an epic 10 v 10 match: girls vs. boys. The girls won the first game 1-0, the second game was a tie, and the boys came back for a close win in game 3. Check out some photos and videos from the exciting event!

Team 1: Lauren DeMerchant U09-10 G Cobras, Coach Dan DeMerchant U09-10 G Cobras, Alanna Eason U11-12 G Fire, Keira OBrien U11-12 G Fire, Olivia Roy U11-12 G Fire, Grace Sardinskas  U11-12 G Fire, Laila Dietrichsen U11-12 G Fire, Lea Rivera U11-12 G Fire, Coach Luis Rivera U11-12 G, Jason Revicki U12-13 Panthers


Team 2: Theo Arnold U10B Thunder Force, Zachary Barr U10B Thunder Force, Leo Dean U10B Thunder Force, Griffin Poach U10B Thunder Force, Landon Richey U10B Thunder Force, Jameson St.pierre U10B Thunder Force, Coach Chad Wilson U10B Thunder Force, Nathan Clark U11B Red Crush, Mason Richey U11B Red Crush,  Pat Fraro U13-U14 Middle School.

Thanks Dan Demerchant, Luis Rivera, and Jenn Koziel for snapping these awesome photos!


Weekend Recap - October 22 & 23

The Portland U9/U10 Girls Cobras battled back from behind to defeat Tolland 3-1 on Sunday. Teamwork and defense were key, with goal-keeper Kristina Gonzalez making crucial stops and center-back Cora Chenier launching the ball downfield to her teammates.  Arora Larkin tied the game with an amazing, crushing shot from midfield.  Tessa Napp scored two second-half goals off Whitney Gatto’s assists to put the Cobras on top to stay.  Avery Catrone skillfully played the ball wide to build quality attacks while Lauren DeMerchant consistently provided high-energy play all over the field in support of her teammates.   The Cobra’s impressive win followed the team's four games in the South Windsor Fall Classic Tournament.  Gonzalez, Gatto, and Luz Gluck-Grappo all scored goals for the Cobras during the tournament.  Of special note, Cobras players Gluck-Grappo, Cora Chenier, Arora Larkin, and Sofia Trojanowski represented themselves, the team and PSC well, earning each of them recognition for sportsmanship during the tournament.

Porltand's U10 Boys Thunder Force fell short against Granby Blue 3-1 on the road Sunday. Granby took an early lead and held a 2-0 lead at halftime. In the second half Bentley DeDominicis centered a ball into the opponent's penalty box resulting in a Granby own goal to keep the second-half score even. The Heart and Hustle award recipients were Easton Yardis and Bentley DeDominicis. The team was assisted by goalkeepers Rocco Glick-Grappo and Timmy Bolstridge. Leo Dean had a spectacular game with several passes to teammates and Austin Liseo took several shots on goal in his debut this season at center forward.

Saturday the U10 Boys Thunder Force competed in the Glastonbury 4v4 tournament:

The Boys U11 Red Crush split its weekend games with a 4-2 win on Saturday and a 4-2 loss on Sunday.   Against Berlin on Saturday, the Red Crush offense was paced by Tyler Fournier (2 goals), Nathan Clark (1 goal) and Ryan Quinn (1 goal), in a game they never trailed.   Logan Desmaris contributed accurate passing from the full-back and mid-fielder positions, while goal keepers Nathan Clark, Mason Richey, and Cooper Vardon held the opponent's offense in-check.   On Sunday, Cromwell avenged an early season loss to the Red Crush, who played a high quality game and had a sizable shots-on-goal advantage.   If not for several near-misses that struck the opponent's cross bar and goal posts, and outstanding goal-keeping by Cromwell, the Red Crush may have prevailed.   Tyler Fournier's hard-earned goal tied the match 1-1 a few minutes into the 2nd half, and Luke Lawrence's accurate strike cut Cromwell's lead to 4-2 with five minutes remaining.   Lawrence's versatility and quick reactions in net kept the game close for 40 minutes, while Ryan Quinn, Logan Desmaris, and Jackson Vodola's passing and dangerous runs kept pressure on Cromwell's defenders.   

The U13 Panthers lost to Granby 5-0 on Sunday.  Andrew Fischer and Miles Matterfis made some great saves in net for Portland.  Shane Guilmette played great as Sweeper and Blake Harlow had a few exciting breakaways at Forward.  Joe LeCara and Tommy Gaetani played well at midfield for the Panthers.


Weekend Recap October 16 & 17

The Portland U10 Boys Thunder Force won two road games last weekend.  Saturday, at Coginchaug, Portland won 5-1 with goals by Jonah King, Bentley DeDominicis, Theodore Arnold, and Rocco Glick-Grappo (2). Landon Richey and Bentley DeDominicis made their debuts playing goal keeper.  The Thunder Force visited Tolland Sunday and fell behind early, but remained unfazed.  Portland evened the score mid-way through the first half after Theo Arnold capitalized on the team's perfectly-executed corner kick. Sammy Wilson added two goals to take and then extend the lead. In the second-half Portland's Zack Robare aimed a well-placed shot into the net from the corner to seal the team's 4-1 win. The team was led by captains and goalkeepers Rocco Glick-Grappo and Easton Yardis and the Heart and Hustle award recipients were Theo Arnold and Sammy Wilson.

The Boys U11 Red Crush beat Glatsonbury Red 8-2 on Saturday.  Tyler Fournier (2), Luke Lawrence (2), and Jackson Vodola (1) all found the back of the net, but the offensive highlight of the match was the speedy Mason Richey's first-half hat-trick.  Goal-keepers Lawrence and Fornier sent many long-distance punts to Red Crush forwards to keep Glastonbury on their heels.  Sunday's match in Wethersfield was a 3-1 victory.  Cooper Vardon fed Jackson Vodola for a well-placed shot to open the scoring.   The goal-keeping was stellar. Wethersfield's goalie made a thrilling, one-handed save to preserve a one-goal deficit at the half and Luke Lawrence's shut-out performance for three quarters of the game allowed the Red Crush to play with a lead.  After Wethersfield tied the game, Lawrence's 18-yard strike followed by his deflection off of Tyler Fournier's pin-point cross sealed the win.  Defender Logan Desmaris made crucial steals and Red Crush center-back Rayn Quinn was the Man of the Match for his quick-thinking and swift reactions to thwart Wetherfield's scoring opportunties.

The U13 Portland Panthers had two exciting matches a week ago.  They tied Berlin 3-3, after scoring 3 exciting second-half goals.  Levi Srb, Cameron Szymaszek, and Giancarlo Mendez contributed goals, while Jason Revicki and Drew Kuskey played great in net. Colin Martin, Miles Matterfis, Tommy Gaetani and Shane Guilmette played strong defense for Portland.  Luke Thompson's mid-field possession was also key.  On Sunday, Portland lost to Bristol 4-2.  Lucas Bolstridge and Luke Thompson tallied the Panther's goals.  Shane Guilmette and Andrew Fischer made some great saves in net.  Colin Fitzgibbons, Todd Aresco, Jaxon Figueroa and Karly Cruz contributed strong defensive efforts, and Chad Gatto, Joe LeCara and Eli Eckert controlled the mid-field for the Panthers.    

Portland Travel Soccer Weekend Action 10/10

The Portland U10 Boys team Thunder Force hosted East Hampton for a friendly match Sunday at 11:30 a.m. in overcast conditions at Portland's new Recreational Complex. Portland's Theo Arnold and Leo Dean made their debuts as team goalkeepers. East Hampton took an early lead with a quick goal to begin the match and found themselves ahead 2-0 at halftime. In the second half, Portland started to find some success with the ball in the visitor's half of the field. Easton Yardis scored a goal with a low shot that slipped through the keeper's hands. Theo Arnold tied the score 2-2 after finding himself with the ball alone in front of the goal. Portland later took the lead after an East Hampton own goal. With a few minutes remaining in the match, Jonah King received a pass in the box from a teammate and scored the game's final goal, making it Portland 4 - East Hampton 2. Portland's Landon Richey and Timmy Bolstridge were the recipients of the team's Heart and Hustle Awards.

Portland Travel Soccer Weekend Action 10/2 - 10/3

The Portland Earthquake U9 soccer team ended their weekend games split. Friday night they lost a close battle to Rocky Hill under the lights. Their offense was intense with 1st half goals by Andrew Quesnel, Christian Quesnel and Benjamin Martinez on an assist from Logan DuBerry.  Benjamin Martinez’ second goal came early in the scecond-half to round out the team's scoring.  The Portland defense held strong, but Rocky Hill was able to get one more goal and Portland fell 5-4.  Sunday’s game against East Hampton was the game of the weekend (forget the Sunday night Pats v Bucs game). Benjamin Martinez squeaked in Portland’s lone goal in the first half.   The second half was dominated by the outstanding defense of Danny Grosso, Nate Tine, Sean Fitzgibbons and Cooper Quinn, who combined to keep the opponent's offense from breaking through.  Goalie Zack Anderson recorded his first shutout of the year, as Portland won 1-0. 

The U10 Boys Thunder Force took on three opponents this weekend. The first match against Cromwell resulted in a victory for Portland 4-0. The first goal from Austin Liseo was after a pass from teammate Rocco Glick-Grappo across the center. The second goal was another result of teamwork when Sammy Wilson passed it forward on the attack to teammate Zackary Robare who found Zach Barr in the box to make it 2-0. Leo Dean added a second-half goal that slipped through the goalie's fingers. Landon Richey was right there in case he needed to help it across the line. Easton Yardis put the seal on the victory with a fourth goal. Center forwards Zack Robare and Rocco Glick-Grappo earned the team's Heart and Hustle awards. Goal keepers Easton Yardis and Austin Liseo contributed to the team's first clean sheet of the season.  The Thunder Force's second Saturday match against West Hartford's division A team ended with a different result. Thunder Force fell short 8-1, but there were several noteworthy highlights. The lone goal from Sammy Wilson was a ricochet from outside the penalty box that sailed high past the goalie's reach into the back of the net. West Hartford connected several passes and held possession most of the match. There were some exciting defensive heroics from Portland's back line, especially when fullback Landon Richey made a thrilling save with his leg after the goalkeeper had fallen down on the play. When asked about the support the team showed to its goalies Rocco Glick-Grappo and Timmy Bolstridge,  Jonah King's mom Danielle King said "It was "amazing team action". "That's what a team does" added Easton Yardis's mom Marie Yardis. The game's Heart and Hustle Award winners were Austin Liseo and Easton Yardis.  The Thunder Force took on its league opponent, Canton, on Sunday. Leo Dean scored two goals. The first one was a left-footed goal and the second one was a spectacular volley in the air from a beautiful centering pass from Austin Liseo. Sammy Wilson added another goal and Rocco Glick-Grappo scored his first goal of the season in the team's 4-1 league victory. Rocco is now the eleventh player on the team to have scored a goal this season, which the coaches attribute to the players' hard work, selfless play, balance and teamwork. Timmy Bolstridge suffered a blow to the leg, but got back up, and nearly scored on a penalty kick earning him a Heart and Hustle Award. Leo Dean was the other Heart and Hustle Award winner, and the coaches noted the excellent job by goalies Sammy Wilson and Zach Barr in building the team's attack from the back.


On Saturday in East Hampton the Boys U11 Red Crush defeated East Hampton #2 7-1 behind a four-goal output by Tyler Fournier, whose clever foot skills created several open looks on net early in the game.   Cooper Vardon, who had a strong first-half in net, added a well-placed finish of a perfect Fourier cross from the right wing in the second-half.  The Red Crush received much needed contributions from U11 players Aeryn Hall (who also scored a goal) and Laila Dietrichsen, with Hall making several dangerous runs down the left sideline and Dietrichsen anchoring the defense at the center-back position to single-handedly stop multiple East Hampton attacks.  Luke Lawrence's versatility and vision shined, particularly in the first half when the club played with only eight players due to an injury.  Lawrence's quick thinking in net derailed multiple breakaways to keep East Hampton from capitalizing on their man advantage, and in the 2nd half he had several steals from the midfield position that he turned into scoring opportunities for his teammates with accurate passing.   Mason Richey's speed at the forward position paired very well with Raul Corenjo Jr.'s ability to win several 50/50 balls to pressure East Hampton's defense all game, while Ryan Mendes showed outstanding timing and field-awareness at the midfield position.  Liam Russell repeatedly challenged East Hampton's forwards to stall their attacks, and Nathan Clark entered the game late despite an injury to provide the tiring visitors with a much-needed boost in the second half.  On Sunday, a blended Red Crush team lost a tough home game 7-2 versus East Hampton #1 in a highly-contested game that was closer than the score indicated.   The visitors were a more organized and cohesive squad for most of the match, and with the Red Crush missing several key players, they found themselves in a early 2-0 hole.   However, thanks to an opportunistic Nathan Clark, who scored his first goal of the season from right in front of the net and the hard-working Tyler Fournier, who fired a blast from a challenging angle 18 yards out - the home team clawed back to tie the score midway through the first half.  However, East Hampton's use of the whole field proved to be too much, as they made use of the full field to wear the home team down.   Laila Dietrichsen, Aeryn Hall, and Grace Sardinskas, all on loan from the girls U11 team to bolster the Red Crush's depleted roster, contributed strong defense and ball movement in the defensive and midfield positions.  The versatility of Luke Lawrence, who showed himself as a valuable two-way player in the forward, mid-field, and center-back positions and Cooper Vardon, who moved from goal-keeper to forward where he repeatedly pressured the right side of the opponent's defense were game highlights.     

The 6th grade Portland Panthers team lost to Glastonbury on Saturday 4-2.  Blake Harlow scored both goals for the Panthers with accurate shooting.  Jason Revicki and Karly Cruz each played one half in net and kept the game close with several exciting saves.  Todd Aresco and Tommy Gaetani helped build the team's attack from the back with some great defensive stops.  The coaches noted Eli Eckert's hustle and tenacity, as he was a valuable contributor on the offensive and defensive ends of the field.  On Sunday the Panthers fell to league opponent Wethersfield 6-0.  Colin Martin stopped Wethersfield from scoring in the first half on a fantastic play when his header knocked a dangerous ball out of the box on a Wethersfield corner kick.  In the second half, Jaxon Figueroa had an exciting breakaway shot on goal.  Lucas Bolstridge, Miles Matterfis and Drew Kuskey helped stop Wethersfield’s momentum thanks to several key defensive plays.  Shane Guilmette and Andrew Fischer made many great saves in net.

PSC Travel Soccer Weekend Action - 9/25 and 9/26
The Portland Earthquake U9 soccer team earned a hard-fought tie with league opponent Enfield this weekend.   After falling behind, Benjamin Martinez's solo goal in the first half tied the score for the Earthquakes.   An impressive penalty-kick save by Zach Anderson late in the second half preserved the tie.  The Earthquake's coach praised the whole team for their effort and energy versus a tough opponent, saying it was "a solid game by all!"

The Portland Cobras U9/U10 girls soccer team continued to work hard as a team this weekend despite losing both games. On Saturday, the Cobras faced a very strong Cromwell team. Arora Larkin made many strong saves in the net. Whitney Gatto played an impressive center back position and earned the Heart and Hustle Award based on her effort and intensity. On Sunday, the team faced East Windsor. Avery Catrone did a great job playing the ball out of trouble from the back line.  Lauren DeMerchant didn't stop hustling all game, no matter what position she played.   And Sofia Trojanowski earned the Heart and Hustle Award in Sunday's match for doing a great job staying in her position through the game. 

Portland's U10 Boys Thunder Force notched two close wins this weekend with true team effort and goals from six different players: Austin Liseo, Bentley DeDominicis, Griffin Poach, Leo Dean, Samuel Wilson and Theo Arnold.  Coaches described Leo Dean's powerful, 20-yard blast as a goal-scoring highlight for the weekend.   The Saturday friendly against Rocky Hill ended in a thrilling 5-4 win, where goalie Rocco Glick-Grappo dynamically built his team’s attack with speed and confidence,  and Timmy Bolstridge had 2 epic basket-catch saves.  The Sunday match against Cromwell was a closely contested 4-2 battle that provided plenty of excitement for the players and fans.  The team relied on goalies Easton Yardis and Zach Barr to backstop the win, while Landon Richey was noted by the coaches for his heart and hustle while properly defending and laying off some great passes to teammates. Here's a fun video of the game winner at Rocky Hill in super slow-mo!

The Red Crush, Boys U11 squad battled Rocky Hill in a highly contested friendly match on Saturday at the PRC, earning a 5-4 victory that could have gone either way.  Several goals throughout an exciting first half had both sides' spectators out of their seats often.   The defenses buckled down in the second half and limited both offenses' scoring opportunities.   Coaches on both sides commended the hustle and teamwork of all the players, as well as several individual efforts.  For the Red Crush, Tyler Fournier's hat-trick was the result of many creative runs and accurate shooting.  Luke Lawrence added the team's two other goals on hard-struck shots and performed well on defense and in net.   Cooper Vardon's strong defense and goaltending were difference makers in a tense second half.  Finally, strong ball-possession and timely defensive stands by several Red Crush players also earned praise, including Jackson Vodola, Ryan Quinn, Leo Dean, Liam Russell, Raul Cornejo Jr., Nathan Clark, Ryan Mendes, and Mason Richie.  On Sunday, the Red Crush evened their season match-up versus Glastonbury White with a 6-2 victory in front of a packed crowd at the PRC thanks to a strong start with heavy offensive pressure by Tyler Fournier, Luke Lawrence, and Jackson Vodola.   Tyler Fournier (who had a hat-trick on the day) worked himself free to notch two early goals to give the Red Crush early momentum.  Jackson Vodola's two-goal game and Luke Lawrence's powerful corner kick that found its way into the net after an initial save rounded out the scoring.   Cooper Vardon once again played fantastic in net, making many key stops including a stretched-out, one-handed save on a hard Glastonbury shot in the first half that coaches described as "save of the year material".    Ryan Quinn's speed and quick thinking consistently disrupted Glastonbury's forwards from the center-back and mid-field positions.   Many Red Crush players contributed quality defensive containment as well as ball-control in the mid-field to support the win.  Coaches praised Liam Witschy, Liam Russell, Ryan Mendes, Mason Richey, Raul Cornejo Jr. and Nathan Clark (who also played strong in net) for their hard work and hustle. 

The Portland Panthers U12/U13 team had a fun weekend of soccer, highlighted by what coaches described as "impressive effort from multiple players".  Cam Szymaszek scored for the Panthers while Levi Srb led the team from the midfield.  Joe LeCara and Colin Fitzgibbons showed hustle and skill as defenders, and Karly Cruz did an outstanding job at the sweeper position.  Giancarlo Mendez showed impressive versatility, playing almost every position on the field.  The team's goal-keepers, Jason Revicki, Andrew Fischer, and Miles Matterfis, earned praise for playing well under pressure versus quality U13 opponents.   

Weekend Sep 18-19:

Check us out in the River East!

Weekend of Sep 11-12:
The Portland U10 boys Thunder Force won two Travel Soccer matches over the weekend. Saturday, in a friendly against Coginchaug, the team rallied after an epic save in the first half from Rocco and pushed forward with goals from four different players to win 8-1, helped by solid goalie play from Easton in the second half, a hat trick from Sammy, 2 goals by Austin and Theo each, and another goal from Bentley. Sunday Portland continued their momentum in their first league match against Wethersfield with a score of 5-1. The team relied on solid goalie play from Timmy and Zach, and helped feed the ball to goal scorers Zack (2), Theo (1), Leo (1), and Bentley (1). The coaches are most proud of players trying their best, and respecting their teammates, coaches, and referees. Great job!

Sat, Sep 4:
Portland U10 Boys Thunder Force played a strong game but came up short against a quality opponent from Haddam-Killingworth. Jonah put the Portland team on the scoreboard early in the second half with Leo making the assist. Portland's goalkeepers Sammy and Timmy made a lot of fantastic saves and the team did a great job learning to play in a new formation. The team worked all week on Building their Attack from the Back, and got to put the learnings into action in a real game environment. The players remained positive, gave maximum effort, and respect their teammates, coaches, and referees!

Friday, Sep 3 Night Game: The U13 Panthers took on East Haddam in our first club game last Friday Night. Thanks to all our club members who came out to support the team. It was great seeing all the fans on the sideline in an electric soccer environment! (Thank Ben for helping us figure out how to turn on the lights, too!)  


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