Published on July 4th, 2015 | by Staples Soccer0
2000 Team Wins Preston Tournament; Recent Grads Take 2nd
The biggest, best — and least humid — Preston Hirten 7-v-7 tournament saw 2 Staples-based teams reach the final, for the 1st time in the event’s 6-year history.
A team filled mostly with stars from the 2000 state semifinalist squad edged the newest Wrecker alums — but the match was not decided until less than 30 seconds remained before penalty kicks.
Of course, at the Preston Hirten tournament, everyone is a winner.
The annual event celebrates the life of the former Staples and University of Mary Washington star, who died of an undetected heart ailment as a junior during the 2009 preseason. Every year since 2010, Preston’s Staples, UMW and Beachside teammates join current and past Wreckers, plus Hirten family members and random others, in a very competitive but very fun event, honoring his memory.
This year, 11 teams competed. Players came from across the country. On hand were 3 Wreckers who have been honored by wearing Preston’s #15: Jack Scott ’14, Andrew Puchala ’15 and current co-captain Noah Schwaeber.
Schwaeber’s squad went 3-1-1, just missing out on the semifinals. They tied a solid UMW squad 0-0. A younger went 1-3-0, but showed nicely.
The most recent grads had an exciting day. Up 1-0 on a stunning free kick by Gabe Pensak, they let up a controversial very late goal to an older squad, and went to penalty kicks. After Michael McCarthy, Nate Argosh, Charlie Leonard and Scott made theirs, the teams went to sudden victory. Puchala and Patrick Beusse nailed their shots; McCarthy saved, and Leonard rammed his PK in to advance.
Their final-round opponents called themselves Y2K — a nod to the year many of them roared into the state semifinals.
The Preston Hirten final was a classic. There were solid opportunities for both sides, great defense and excellent goaltending by McCarthy and his counterpart, Matt Katz. The game-winner came with 30 seconds remaining before PKs, on a rocket from the right side by Chris Meinke.
Members of the Y2K team were Jason Alvarez ’03, Mike Carey ’01, Matt Katz ’01, Chris Meinke ’05, Jordan Schur ’01, Zach Schwarz ’03, Jim Wolf ’01, plus 2 former Union College captains (Kevin Dolan and Brendan Steiner, and Carey’s cousin from London, Daniel Loughney).
Members of the newest Staples alumni team were Nate Argosh ’15, Patrick Beusse ’15, Charlie Leonard ’14, Michael McCarthy ’10, Gabe Pensak ’15, Andrew Puchala ’15, Michael Reid ’15, Jack Scott ’14, Greg Shikowitz ’14 and Connor Weiler ’14.
A great time was had by all. The weekend continues tonight, with a 5 p.m. cookout for everyone at Compo Beach.