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South Jersey Soccer:
TBAA Titans Soccer Team are South American U9 Champs

Friday, April 19, 2002

By Frank Crescenti
SJSports TBAA Special Correspondent

Needing a win or tie to clinch the championship against the Warriors, Brian Cullen scored a late goal in the second half as the Titans rallied from a 3-1 deficit and came away with a 3-3 tie and the championship in the U9 class. The Titans scored the only goal of the first half as David Bannan scored in the games first five minutes to stake the Titans to a 1-0 lead. With the Warriors mounting a constant attack, Titan goalkeeper Evan Buck was outstanding in goal, including an incredible save on a penalty shot to keep the Titans in front heading into the second half.

The Warriors continued their offensive attack in the second half, and their persistence paid off with about fifteen minutes remaining as Christen Kalus tied the score at 1-1. Kalus' goal seem to sway the momentum towards the Warriors and five minutes later Hugo Meggitt found the back corner of the net to give the Warriors their first lead at 2-1. Realizing they had the Titans on the ropes, the Warriors kept the heat on and Roby Smukler, from a tough angle, seemingly put the game out of reach as his shot found the corner of the net for a 3-1 lead. But the Titans showed what they are made of as they were not to be denied.

First, Corey Beltran cut the lead to 3-2 scoring with about four minutes left in the game. Then with the clock winding down, Eric Crescenti stole the ball from his sweeper position and fed Nick DiPalmo, who maneuvered around a defender and fed Brian Cullen, his shot found the net and the Titans not only tied the game at 3-3, but clinched the championship.

Photos by Frank Crescenti

©2002 South Jersey Sports Online Inc.