By Chris Goldberg
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 7/16/17
GARNET VALLEY, Pa. – Gaffer Elite capped a perfect summer tournament season today by edging Building Blocks Helix, 7-6, today in the Patriot Games 2020 championship at Garnet Valley High.
Gaffer went 19-0 and won three outright tournaments while sharing a title in its fourth tourney.
After today’s title, as they do all season, coaches Bob Streeten, Kevin Derr and Joe Bacalles went over every player’s highlights and areas of need in a 20-minute “discussion” in 90-plus temperatures. The young players have learned to appreciate how valuable the feedback has been.
“Yeah, that’s it,” said midfielder Aaron Tebo (Vestal High), who had two goals. “In the end, we know how much they (the coaches) help us win.”
Gaffer outscored its three foes, 31-4, in pool play, but overcame a challenge from Rock PA, 7-6, in the semis. In the finale, BBL seized a 3-1 lead with three straight goals until Nathan Latshaw (Elmira) made it 3-2 just before halftime.
Gaffer began to dominate with its strong passing attack in the second half as Eddie Gigliotti (Corning) tied it and then Cameron Kenefick (Corning) found Quinn Bowler (Corning) for a 4-4 tie after Freddy Clucas (Voorhees-NJ, 3 goals) had made it 4-3. Kevin Matson (Chenango Forks) then scored twice off pin-point passing from Kenefick and Gigliotti for a 6-4 lead.
Clucas drew BBL within 7-6, but the Gaffer Elite defense stiffened.
“We played as a team and moved the ball,” said Matson. “We all bond together pretty well.”
“We kept our composure,” added Tebo. “We really play well together. Ir’s a good group and a good fit. We have good chemistry and we like each other.
“No one tries to be the hero. We’ve been doing it all summer. We got a nice pep talk by our coaches at halftime and we knew we had been down before. We have been in that situation; we just have to play our best.”