By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO July 21, 2006 Last Fridays championship game in the junior division of the annual Youth Soccer Academy at the Town of Thompson Park, it was a near replica of the World Cup final as Team Italy took the championship with a 1-0 defeat of Team Ireland.
But in the senior academy, the high-schoolers from Team Ireland got revenge on Team Italy with a 7-6 victory in penalty kicks.
With approximately 80 kids and highly talented coaches, the week-long camp, which was held from Monday, July 10 through Friday, July 14, was another resounding success. The coaches included Joe Carillo, who is the winningest high school coach in Section IX history; Ali Diagne, a former player for the national team of Senegal; and Peter Van Etten, a former star player from Ithaca College who has coached some of the best local soccer teams.
The camp was directed by Village of Monticello Parks and Recreation Department Director Betsy Conaty, who is a former captain of the University of North Carolina womens soccer team. While at UNC, Conaty led the squad to three NCAA Division I championships.
In the junior division title game, Hector Ramos scored the winning goal for Team Italy. The match was played with much enthusiasm on both sides. Team Irelands Justin Swarthout of Neversink stood out for his athletic ability and showed a lot of promise. He nearly connected on a goal which would have evened the score.
The Heisman Trophy for the best all-around player was presented to Sara Lemieux of Team Italy. Melissa Schneiderman was given the sportsmanship award and Emily Bisland was awarded the most improved player trophy.
The second match, between the senior players, was a total nail-biter as both sides were unwilling to give up an inch. An injury delayed the game, which eventually ended up in penalty kicks.
Team Ireland proved to be more adept at kicking in the penalty shots, winning 7-6 to claim the championship.
The Heisman Trophy for the seniors was presented to Oren Nusblat, 17, of Long Island.