On Sunday night of Memorial Day weekend, the #2 seed MTA Lions took on the #1 seed Frisch Cougars in the MYHSAL boys varsity soccer championship game. Frisch had just come off of a hard fought 4-3 overtime victory against TABC in the semi-finals, and MTA had scored an impressive 9-6 victory against defending champions, DRS. Alan Weiss, the Frisch coach, had the unenviable task of leading a team that was widely considered to be the favorite throughout the season. MTA’s first-year coach, Shlomo Amsellem, on the other hand, had led an MTA team that everyone counted out this season to the championship game for the first time in over 12 years. The game had an interesting sub-plot, as the Frisch coach’s son, Hudy Weiss, is the captain of the MTA squad. Averaging close to four goals per game this season, Hudy also led his team with tough defense and clever passing. Frisch, the only undefeated team during the regular season, was led by junior captain, Gabe Einhorn.
Within the opening four minutes of the game, Einhorn scored two beautiful goals, the first a rocket into the upper left corner of the MTA net. Weiss attempted to get back into the game with a left-footed shot, but it was denied by the crossbar. Frisch’s thunderous attack continued with the third goal from Ben Shore and the fourth goal from Einhorn. Ozzie Jeselsohn scored the fifth for Frisch, Zach Wolf the sixth and Einhorn with the seventh. MTA finally got on the board with a beautiful move from Weiss, placing the ball in the upper right corner of the Frisch goal. Weiss went on to score two more nice goals, but it would prove to be too little too late. Frisch’s relentless attack continued with a rocket of a penalty kick goal from Zali Tollinsky and additional goals from Wolf and Shore. Einhorn finished the game with an incredible seven goals.
In the end, the quality and depth of the Frisch squad was too much for MTA to handle. Kovi Pahmer and Rachamim Seltzer, normally goal scorers for MTA, were contained very effectively by a disciplined Frisch defense. MTA goalie Eitan Pfeiffer gave a valiant effort, playing with a broken thumb, but it was not enough to defend the Frisch offensive onslaught. Every player on this deep Frisch team played in the final game. And if all the Frisch offensive firepower was not enough, phenomenal goal-keeping by sophomore goalie Eliav Baron, and fantastic playmaking by junior Sam Lehrer, helped seal the victory.
Asked about his thoughts on the result, Coach Weiss said, “It was bittersweet. I was proud of my team for playing great soccer all season and earning a well-deserved championship and I was so happy to win my third championship personally. But it was tough watching my son’s team lose. He made me proud, though, scoring the only hat-trick that Frisch allowed all season.”
League beware, with four juniors and one sophomore, all of Frisch’s starting players will be returning next year.
By JLNJ Sportsdesk