Center indoor soccer action fun, fast, furious
|Islander forward Matt Bauer battles for the ball with Tyler Norris from the Braden River Mustangs during the Islanders 3-2 victory. Islander Photos: Kevin Cassidy
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The 11th annual Anna Maria Island Community Center's indoor soccer tournament is under way and, as usual, the games are end-to-end, action-packed affairs that leave the crowd gasping for breath.
The popularity of the tournament draws many teams from Bradenton and Sarasota, many of which are competitive traveling teams. As such, it has been a while since a true all-Island team has claimed first place in the tourney.
The Islanders U12 team has advanced to the loser's bracket semifinals after an exciting 3-2 victory over the Braden River Mustangs on Saturday, Dec. 18. The locals ended up there after getting waxed 7-0 by the Rage Rocks team in their opening game of the tourney. They bounced back with a 4-3 win over Purple Pain on Saturday morning before an exciting win over the Mustangs in the afternoon.
The Islanders were led in the 3-2 victory by Tommy Price, who scored the first two goals of the game. After the Mustangs cut into their lead on a goal by Tyler Norris, Price moved back to defense, joining Emily White, Chandler Hardy and MacKenzie Kosfeld, who all played stellar in front of goalie Kyle Crum. Crum made several spectacular, point-blank saves to keep the Islanders in the lead.
Midway through the second half, Matt Bauer got loose and scored to give the Islanders an insurance goal, but the Mustangs came back to pull within a goal when Josh Stapleton-Jones notched one, making the final 10 minutes a real battle.
With the victory, the Islanders earned a rematch with Rage Rocks on Sunday afternoon with the winner set to take on Black Magic on Monday evening for the championship.
Members of the Islanders squad, coached by longtime Island resident Scott Lindsey, include Price, White, Hardy, Bauer, Kosfeld, Crum and Martine Miller.
Look for complete results of the championships and MVPs in next week's sports.
Her-icanes soccer teams enjoying winning seasons
Manatee High School's girls' soccer program is experiencing a successful season on both the varsity and junior varsity levels. Both teams were in the midst of four-game winning streaks as schools closed for the holiday break.
The junior varsity team edged Venice 3-1 Friday, Dec. 17, behind a pair of goals from Island resident Tierney Greene. Becca Highley added the other goal for the Her-icanes, which also received an assist and a strong defensive game from Island resident Amber Wright.
The JV Canes take a 5-4-3 record into the Christmas break. They will practice a few times in preparation for a Jan. 5 game at Port Charlotte.
The varsity squad also came away with a victory at Venice, taking a workmanlike 4-0 District 11 victory. Senior captains Angela Sheehan and Lindsey Weaver led the way with a goal and an assist each, while Kim Kern and Amy Scott each added second-half goals to the victory total.
The 4-0 victory was the fourth consecutive shutout by goalie Emily King, thanks in part to strong defensive play from Kristin DeSaulniers, Hannah Brickse, Alisha Keene, Ali Thomas and Island resident Wetherley Wigelsworth.
The Her-icanes improved their record to 9-2-2 as they head into action at the Sarasota Classic girls soccer tournament Dec. 20-22.
Hurry! Register for cheerleading
The Anna Maria Island Community Center's basketball season is right around the corner which means that cheerleaders are needed. Prospective cheerleaders can sign up at the Center, Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, contact Andy Jonatzke at 778-1908.