The Hauppauge Hurricanes downed Uniondale Aguila in the LIJSL Boys U-14 final to reach the IberCup USA. (Photo courtesy of ENYYSA)
PLAINVEW, N.Y. — The Hauppauge Hurricanes booked a spot at the IberCup USA Saturday, winning a four-team playoff against Boys Under-14 Long Island Junior Soccer League teams at the Peter Collins Soccer Park Saturday.
The four top U-14 Boys teams from the LIJSL fall season competed in the playoff.
In one semifinal game, top-seeded Hauppauge shut out No. 4 Stony Brook Santos, 3-0, on three second-half goals — two by Mark Aliscio and one by Luke Augeri.
Third-seeded Uniondale Aguila defeated No. 2 Huntington Boys Club AOs, 2-1. Alex Alas and Brian Garcia scored Uniondale’s goal while Kieran Hasselbeck tallied for HBC on a penalty kick.
In the final, Hauppauge topped Uniondale, 2-1, to win the inaugural IberCup Final Four title. Hauppauge is also the defending Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association State Cup champions.
Hauppauge’s Brandon Palma scored in the third minute, but Uniondale’s William Sanchez knotted the score at 1-1 midway through the first half when he scored off a 22-yard free kick into the upper corner. Hauppauge had the better of play after the start of the second half, when Aliscio scored the winning goal on a 10-yard rebound.
“This is a great event and a great opportunity for the teams,” Hurricanes coach Gennaro Iamunno said.
IberCup USA, to be played from March 28 to April 1 in Texas, had extended an invitation to the top Boys U-14 team from the LIJSL. Through this partnership agreement, the LIJSL IberCup champion receives an automatic invitation and paid acceptance into the event, with the team’s hotel, meals and ground transportation costs paid for by IberCup USA. The value of the package is estimated to be more than $10,000.
“We selected the LIJSL because of the overall competitiveness of the league, especially at the Pre-Academy level,” IberCup USA representative Jim Vogt said.
The other coaches gave the tournament a thumb’s up.
Despite a 3-0 loss, Stony Brook coach Bill Casey said “This event is great! It’s competitive with a trip to Dallas on the line with teams playing in good games after the season is over.”
Added HBC coach John Veneziano: “This is a tremendous event. It’s an opportunity to play at the end of November with a chance to advance to a great tournament.”
“This is a great event and a great opportunity for the teams,” Uniondale coach Abraham Villalobos said. “It’s perfect for the boys to have the opportunity to qualify for a trip to Dallas.”