The Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks are once again Open Cup champions of the Metropolitan DC-VA Soccer Association, taking another step to returning to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for the first time since 2009. By a 3-1 scoreline, the Hawks defeated Club Atletico Virginia, the two-time defending DC/VA Open Cup champion in the championship game at Long Bridge Park in Arlington, Va on Sunday, Feb. 19.
First half substitute Ernesto Marquez scored twice and Sam Scales added another to return the trophy to the Hawks, who won four straight DC/VA titles between 2006-09 before CAV dethroned them in 2010 and won it again last year. The win clinches the Hawks a spot in the 2012 USASA Region I Finals, which will begin at a date yet to be announced.
The Hawks opened up the scoring in the 40th minute on a play that began out of the backline and pushed out to the attacking third, down the left wing. The ball was played to the top of the box which began a clever display of one touch soccer, with Michael Goldman touching it to Guilherme Fonseca, who laid it off to Marquez for the goal.
They continued the offensive pressure after halftime, adding a second on the counter attack in the 53rd minute. Scales, who was selected last year by Sporting Kansas City in the MLS Supplemental Draft, received the ball in the middle of the field and sent a looping ball out in front of Fonseca into the far corner. Fonseca tracked down the ball, crossed it into middle of the box where he found Scales who was had made a run. The former Ohio State Buckeye kept his eye on the cross and volleyed it out of the air and into the back of the net to make it 2-0 in the 47th minute.
Metro DC / Virginia Soccer Association
Marquez, who played his college ball at George Mason University, would add a third just six minutes later. Fonseca sent a through ball to the left midfielder who broke in behind the defense and calmly fired a shot past the CAV goalkeeper.
Atletico would pull one back in the 68th minute when John Carson fed Andrew Richardson for a shot on goal that was saved by Chris Fenner, but Richardson followed up on the rebound and put it in to make it 3-1.
The win on Sunday was a welcomed one for Hawks manager Jonathan Knight, helping the club get a monkey off their back, as he put it. Prior to the championship game, the Hawks had claimed victory just once in their last seven meetings with CAV.
“[Club Atletico Virginia] have had our number,” said Knight. “It was definitely a satisfying win in what has become a fierce rivalry.”
After two years without advancing in Open Cup qualifying, Knight says his team is “hungry again.”
“We added a bunch of new players, and also sent the message to our whole team that they have to be more committed, and they’ve responded,” said Knight. “There’s a lot of potential with this group and I think we could make a run at qualifying for the Open Cup, as well as winning a [USASA] national championship. But we still have a lot of work to do.”
2012 DC/VA Open Cup Final
February 19 – Long Bridge Park – Arlington, Va.
Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks 3:1 Club Atletico Virginia
AH: Ernesto Marquez (Guilherme Fonseca) – 40th minute
AH: Sam Scales (Guilherme Fonseca) – 47th minute
AH: Ernesto Marquez (Guilherme Fonseca) – 53rd minute
CAV: Andrew Richardson (Unassisted) – 68th minute
Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks lineup: Chris Fenner (GK), Alan Golden (Mateus dos Anjos – 60th), Pat Selwood, James Kpainay, Lonnie Carter (Michael Montross – 70th), Erwin Diaz (Ernesto Marquez – 30th), Michael Goldman, Sam Scales, Devlin Barnes, Guilherme Fonseca (Ricky Schramm – 75th), Scott Larrabee
Club Atletico Virginia lineup: Derek Biss (GK), John Bello (RB), Phil Purdy (CB), Tremaine Chinapoo (CB), Dave Leon (LB), Josh Dodds (RM), Javier Castro (CM), John Carson (CM), Andrew Richardson (LM), Yoni Berhanu (FWD), Billy Whittington (FWD)
Subs: Bryant Meckley (Josh Dodds), Stephen Macurdy (John Bello), Nolan Rodman (Andrew Richardson)
Recent DC/VA Open Cup champions:
2012: Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks
2011: Club Atletico Virginia
2010: Club Atletico Virginia
2009: Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks
2008: Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks
2007: Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks
2006: Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks
2005: Lex United
2004: LCC International
2003: Dynamos FC
2002: LCC International
2001: Virginia Beach International
2000: LCC International
1999: Zorba FC
1998: LCC International