May 28, 2006

Davis team wins bracket, eliminates Inferno, advances to quarterfinals

Defender Matthew Austin leads teammates Steven Orr and Em Medina on a victory lap at the Davis World Cup.

DAVIS - Davis Vertigo continued their strong play with an excellent showing at the Davis World Cup. With two good wins in bracket play, Davis Vertigo, playing as England, won the "A" Bracket and proceeded to knock out Davis Inferno in the first elimination round, before falling to Concord in a hotly contested quarterfinal match.

Vertigo opened with one of their best performances of the year, shutting out Millbrae United 3-0 behind goals from Anthony Berardi, Danny Pugh, and Steven Orr. Once again, the midfield play was solid, anchored by Joe Murray and Ben Crow at stopper. The speed of the defensive line, anchored by Matthew Austin, Hayden Smith, and Luke Hampton, effectively negated Millbrae’s offense.

Game two featured a fourth meeting of the season against the Pleasant Hill Ballistic. Vertigo gave up one goal on a fast break, while shooting woes once again haunted Vertigo’s offense. While Davis dropped the game 0-1, they ultimately beat the Ballistic for the top spot in the bracket.

Vertigo clinched the bracket with a 2-1 win over the Tahoe Rebels. After failing to score in the first half, Hayden Smith made the most of his short stint at forward, putting in a cross from Em Medina. In the fourth quarter, Eli Siegel slid by the Tahoe keeper to punch in an insurance goal after a cross from Ari Styne. The Rebels converted in a rapid sequence off the kickoff to cut the lead to one, and nearly tied the game in the final minute but got caught in a Vertigo offside trap.

In the first round elimination game, Medina provided three assists as Vertigo converted on three corners, thumping cross-town rivals Inferno, 3-0. Pugh, Orr, and Siegel each added their second goal of the tournament, Siegel’s on a devastating textbook header off a rifled corner kick. Wyndham May, who had been solid in goal for Vertigo, provided excellent play in the field in the final quarter. Orr preserved the shutout with a backheader out of the Vertigo goal.

Vertigo advanced to the quarterfinal, where they faced a rematch against the Concord Invasion. Davis quickly controlled the game and jumped to a 1-0 lead when Siegel penetrated along the baseline nearly to the post and found Connor Anderson in front of the goal, who converted for a goal long awaited by the fans. The Invasion was fortunate to tie the game just before half, when a fast break found its way past both the defense and the keeper. The second half turned into a hard-played and physical affair, with Concord continually punching loose balls to Mauricio Duran, who was essentially shut down by Austin and occasionally roughed up by the much smaller Murray. The Invasion finally converted on a fast break down the middle of the field, while Vertigo failed to find the net on similar opportunities at the other end. Time eventually ran out on Davis, and the Concord team was visibly relieved to have survived the match.

The exceptionally strong showing by Vertigo successfully concludes the season, cementing Vertigo’s place as one of the top contenders in the tournament and the dominant U12 Boys team in Davis.