Southie FC and Battery Park Gunners square off in 2016 US Open Cup qualifying: Photo: NonLeagueAmerica.com
The 2016 edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup opened up with a bang as Southie FC topped the Battery Park Gunners 2-0 Friday afternoon in the first game of qualifying with US Soccer Federation organizing the tournament.
Southie FC scored early in the first half before both Boston-based teams went down a man after a double red card in the 20th minute. Southie added an insurance goal later in the second half and will face Global Premier Soccer (GPS) Omens in the next round of qualifying on Nov. 15. The game will be played at Lawrence Veterans Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Mass. with kickoff scheduled for 4 p.m.
The only other time Southie FC tried to qualify for the Open Cup was on Nov. 10, 2013 when they lost a 2015 US Open Cup qualifying match to that same GPS club 6-2 in the state semifinals.
Anthony Baumann scored the first goal of the game off across from Chris Stoker. Stoker beat two Gunners in the corner of the field before crossing the ball into the box where Baumann was there to head it into the upper right corner in the 18th minute.
Two minutes later, a player from both teams went down and tempers flared. Southie FC manager Chris Valence said he didn’t have the best look at the play, but to him it looked like someone caught a leg trying to clear the ball.
“Our player swung his arm out and pushed him away and their kids tried to punch him. After five minutes, the referee sent off a player from each team. I had to make some adjustments because we were shadowing one of their better central midfielders, but we managed to continue on.”
Trevor Hoxsie came on as a substitute in the 65th minute and got on the end of a ball over the top of the Batter Park back line. His initial shot was saved, but left back Thomas Ballethin was there to put away the rebound.
Southie and GPS Omen know each other well. GPS Omens plays in the Saturday league in the Boston area, while Southie plays in the Sunday league.
“Our captain and one of our team managers play with them on Saturdays, and their captain-manager plays with us on Sunday sometimes,” Valence said. “It’s more of a friendship than a rivalry. Playing against guys you know is always a good time.”
MORE: Ten teams advance to Round 2 in opening weekend of 2016 US Open Cup qualifying
MORE: Match report from NonLeagueAmerica.com