Photo courtesy of America Scores Boston
The South End was abuzz with soccer enthusiasts of all ages to celebrate at the 2012 SCORES Celebration Thursday night with special guest, U.S. women’s national soccer team star Heather O’Reilly. Students, athletes and Boston public school supporters gathered at the high-energy gala at Cyclorama for a night of soccer activities, poetry performances and food from local restaurants.
The faces of Boston public school athletes lit up as they received pointers from O'Reilly in the kid's clinic that kicked off the event. The olympic gold champion enthusiastically assisted each player in shooting and passing drills and coached them in a scrimmage.
“I've been involved for close to seven years," O'Reilly said. "I fell in love with the program and its uniqueness. I was an education major in college so it sort of blended together everything I find important. When I heard America SCORES was [in Boston] I jumped at the opportunity to help.”
O'Reilly also spoke about competing in the London olympics, signed autographs and posed for photos.
O’Reilly, New England Revolution team President Brian Bilello and New England Revolution broadcaster Brad Feldman spoke about their love of America SCORES and the impact it’s making on students.
“It’s a great organization,” Bilello said. “The fact that they’re combining soccer and education is great. It’s made a lot of sense for a long time for the Revs to be involved.”
After the soccer events, Lael Watson, a fifth-grader at Orchard Gardens K-8 School in Roxbury, made a poetry performance.
“My poem ‘I Am’ is about where I’m from and who I am,” Watson said. “I’m nervous, but I have a lot of confidence. I’m really happy I was chosen.”
Coach Mark Salzillo was thrilled and grateful that SCORES invited the Orchard Garden School.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to meet professional soccer players and create the idea of soccer at a bigger level for them, because they’re all beginners,” Salzillo said.
The celebration was provided by America SCORES Boston, a non-profit organization dedicated to help urban youth attain life skills, literacy, and health through soccer.
“America SCORES is a very special organization because it gives kids the platform to believe in themselves,” O’Reilly said. “Keep it up America SCORES because you’re doing fantastic things.”
For the boys:
East Boston at Malden at 3:45 p.m, Friday.
East Boston just gets stronger by the week. The undefeated Jets have dominated every match this season, most recently shutting out South Boston, 8-0. Freshman keeper Edwin Avelar has only surrendered one goal thus far, to Boston International.
East Boston’s rein may be over on Friday, however, as they are playing outside of the city. Malden also has a strong team with only one loss against Somerville.
West Roxbury vs. Boston English at Ceylon at 3:30 p.m, Monday.
Neither West Roxbury nor Boston English are off to a strong start this season, as both are still in search of their first victory. West Roxbury struggled against CASH in the one game they’ve played so far, losing 10-1.
English has played three matches and at least had three goals against mighty Brighton last week. It looks like English has this one set, but West Roxbury will definitely put up a fight.
Snowden vs. O’Bryant at Madison Park at 3:30 p.m., Thursday.
Snowden has had a weak presence in the league so far, but you wouldn’t know it by the way they played last Friday. The team dominated the usually strong Charlestown, winning the match, 4-0. This was the team’s first win of the season, and it’s likely they’ll keep that momentum going this week.
O’Bryant has also had a successful week, even after playing outside the city. They shut out CASH, 6-0, as well as Revere, 3-0, on Saturday.
Coming out of two equally nice wins, the match on Thursday is sure to be a thriller.
For the girls:
New Mission vs. Brighton at Portsmouth field at 3:30 p.m., Monday.
This will be the best girls game of the week by far. New Mission is this season’s team to watch and Brighton is trying to recover that title.
New Mission is still undefeated while Brighton lost their first game against Latin Academy 6-0. Brighton won both games against South Boston and Snowden and there is no way they’re going down again without a fight.
O’Bryant vs. Dorchester at Franklin Field #2 at 3:30 p.m., Monday.
Both O’Bryant and Dorchester have lost just once thus far, and both teams will do what they can to ensure they come out victorious.
O’Bryant had a stellar week, shutting out CASH, 10-0, and Burke, 4-0. It’s likely that they’ll be using this game against Dorchester to get them ready for Mt. Alverania on Tuesday.
Although the game is slightly in O’Bryant’s favor, Dorchester shouldn’t be counted out. They’re coming from Friday’s thrilling 3-2 win over Boston English and will be sure to provide a high-energy match.
East Boston at Charlestown at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday.
Charlestown is not happy with its tie against South Boston last Wednesday. The team has yet to win a match, but if their first win is against East Boston they are definitely a team to watch.
East Boston lost 7-0 to North Quincy Tuesday but came back victorious against West Roxbury on Friday, winning 7-2. If they come into the game against Charlestown with the spirits of Friday, it’s likely they’ll be the winners.
The stars made their debut as the Boston public school soccer season got underway.
For the boys
Rossel Cacho, Brighton: The captain and senior forward had two gorgeous assists as well as two goals in Brighton’s 10-0 shut out of Snowden. His intense speed and fancy footwork did not go unnoticed.
Elmar Ventura, East Boston: The senior midfielder is on fire so far with one goal and one assist in the team’s first win against Dorchester, 2-0. He scored again in the Jets’ second win against Boston International, 2-1.
Kevin O’Neill, Latin Academy: While Latin Academy lost 6-0 against Dedham, coach Dennis Allen believes the score does not reflect his players effort. O’Neill, a forward who played multiple positions in the game, is one of them. Even in defeat the sophomore excelled and put a stop to many opposing players.
Stanley Gourge, Snowden: Even though Snowden was dominated by Brighton 10-0 last week, the Quincy Upper keeper helped hold the team together. A newcomer to the sport, he had 11 saves in the game.
And the girls
Keena Nicholas, O’Bryant: The forward is only a freshman but was the star of the show in O’Bryant’s 6-0 shut out of Charlestown. She scored one goal in each half in her varsity debut.
Emma Lama, Brighton: The senior midfielder scored the two goals in the Bengals' first win of the season against West Roxbury, 2-1.
Lyne Justal, CASH:Coach Amy Offret nominated Justal for “pulling the team together” this past week. Due to this, the forward was chosen as team captain.
Ruth Rivas, East Boston:The sophomore forward had two goals in the Jets’ first win, a 4-0 blanking of Madison Park.
Here are the three games to watch in boys’ city soccer this week.
No. 1 -- Brighton vs. Madison Park at Madison Park, Monday, 3:30 p.m.
With two of the strongest teams in the league going head to head, this match may leave viewers on the edge of their seats. Madison Park is determined for a three-peat this season and Brighton is determined to put a stop to that.
Brighton forfeited their first game but dominated Snowden, 10-0, last week, proving to the rest of the league that they’re a team to watch.
No. 2 -- Snowden vs. Dorchester at White Stadium, Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.
After losing to East Boston in their first game, Dorchester’s confidence was lifted when they shut out C.A.S.H. 7-0 last Wednesday.
What looks like an easy win for Dorchester may just be the opposite. While Snowden was dominated by Brighton last Friday, 10-0, coach Joao Barros is determined for his team to make a come back.
No. 3 -- East Boston vs. South Boston at South Boston, Thursday, 3:30 p.m.
East Boston is on fire and has yet to be put out. The Jets beat Dorchester, 2-0, on Monday as well as Boston International, 2-1, on Thursday, proving that they’re a top contender in the league.
Meanwhile, South Boston did not play their first game but won a close match to Boston English, 4-3. It will be interesting to see whether the team will be defeated or put an end the Jets winning streak.
Here are the three games to watch for girls’ city soccer this week.
No. 1 -- Brighton vs. South Boston at South Boston #2, Tuesday, 3:30 p.m.
It seems the mighty have fallen. Last Tuesday Brighton suffered a devastating loss to Latin Academy, 6-0, in the season opener. However the team rose again on Thursday against West Roxbur,y 2-1, in an attempt to prove that they’re still a team to be reckoned with.
We’ll see whether the usual champions can make a comeback on their third game -- or surrender to Southie.
No. 2 -- Charlestown vs. New Mission at Reservation, Monday, 3:30 p.m.
New Mission is another team that has yet to be defeated. Their first win ended 2-1 in a close match against East Boston last Tuesday. The second was not so close -- they shut out Dorchester, 5-0, last Thursday.
Charlestown suffered a disappointing loss on their season opener to O’Bryant, 6-0, and are looking for vengeance. A win against the so far unstoppable New Mission could make for a complete turnaround for Charlestown.
No. 3 -- East Boston vs. Boston English at Boston English, Monday, 3:30 p.m.
Boston English forfeited the season opener to Madison Park last Monday and lost to Dedham, 6-0, last Friday. The underdogs are looking for a comeback. A win against a team like East Boston will show the league that they’re a team that shouldn’t be counted out.
East Boston is just as determined to win with one loss already under their belt. The team has a better outlook after shutting out Madison Park, 4-0, last Friday.
With both teams fiercely depending on this win, it’s a definite toss up.
About Boston Public Schools Sports BlogMore »
- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
- Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.