July 16, 2024
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MTA Soccer Lions Clinch 2nd Seed and Home Field Advantage With Win Over MDY

Every once in a while, you get a soccer game that is out of the ordinary. On Monday, May 6, MTA squared off against MDY in a game that will be remembered as a refreshing and hard fought win. With a win, MTA would secure the second seed and home field advantage throughout the first two playoff rounds. The game started off as any other would, but was scoreless seven minutes in, when starting goalie, and senior, Eitan Pfeiffer made a routine save, which landed him an injured finger. With just one game under his belt, junior Akiva Sheckter was thrust into the spotlight in his first home game. Magen David was eliminated from the playoffs before the game even started, but they still played to win. MTA was still without a goal, until freshman Eli Sheer came in to make a spark. As a freshman, Sheer got scarce amounts of time throughout most of the season, but after a standout win against Heschel in which he was a key player, Sheer is seeing more playing time and creating magic on the court. Sheer got a beautiful breakaway pass to junior Kovi Pahmer to break the ice.

A constant theme throughout the game was aggression, with MDY playing strong and a little reckless, making it difficult for the famed “Passaic Punisher” line of Weiss and Pahmer to get going. This was the perfect opportunity for big man junior Mendel Hein to go wild. Hein was constantly targeted by two men at once, who tried to wrestle the ball away from him, but “The Great Wall of Teaneck” showed excellent poise as he created plays using his body and his game IQ. Junior Elie Benedek played an incredibly smart game, taking advantage of the physicality of the Warriors by drawing several fouls, one of which, led to a beautiful free kick from captain Hudy Weiss to lay up a header for Hein.

As the game went on, Sheckter, who had a shutout until the late second, began to get attention from the angry Warriors.  MDY found their way past him for four goals in the second quarter, but those goals were complemented by a breakout showing for junior Rachamim Seltzer. What a night to remember for Seltzer, as he scored four goals by always being the first one to the ball and he didn’t slow down all night..

Up 7-4 at the half, MTA showed no signs of letting up. Despite several players aching from multiple hits, nobody sat out or even said a word. All that mattered was perseverance and victory. The third quarter was an oddity, as clock errors unbeknownst to the refs caused it to be a near 25 minute quarter. Throughout time span, Sheckter let in only one goal. MDY didn’t let up and MTA began to get aggressive in return. Thankfully, this saga of a near scoreless and neverending third resulted in MTA being up 9-5. Senior Ariel Retter then stepped in and finished the game strong. Sophomore Sam Blech and Benedek invigorated the offense towards a late goal from Benedek that caused MTA to rejoice. The Lions had never been happier than when that bell rang to signify that they would have home field advantage for the first two rounds and the second seed playoffs. With this 11-6 win, MTA proved they can win through willpower and survive any opponent.

By Andrew Jacobson

 

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