2016 Rapaglia Cup

 

9/18/16 - New York Polet won the 2016 Ragalia Cup in dramatic fashion by defeating Cedar Stars Academy 3-2 in the tournament final. Polet opened the scoring with a goal by Misin Shala to take an early 1-0 lead. Cedar Stars battled back and created several good scoring chances throughout the first half. Polet defended well and created several good scoring chances of their own, but the score remained 1-0 at half time.

Polet continued to defend their lead and went ahead 2-0 with about 15 minutes left on a goal by defender Abraham Bartoah after some nice combination play with forwards Raphael Abreu and Jonathan Okafur. Cedar Stars quickly attacked and finally breached a strong Polet defense led by Bartoah, center back Teddy Niziolek, and goalkeeper Jesse Corke to make the score 2-1.

Both teams were nearing the end of their third game of the day and with nearly a 180 minutes of soccer having been played, the tired legs were starting to show. Polet went ahead 3-1 on a goal by Jonathan Okafur. Within a few seconds, Cedar Stars stormed down the field and scored to make the score 3-2. Shortly after that goal, the referee blew the final whistle and Polet were able to begin celebrating a historic win for the club and the Long Island Soccer Football League (LISFL).

With the win, Polet became the first team from the LISFL to win the tournament, which began in 2008. Earlier in the day, Polet defeated Halcones FC (ALLFUT champions) 4-0 and Manhattan Kickers (Flamhaft Cup winners) 2-1 to qualify for the final.

Cedar Stars had qualified for the tournament as the defending Manning Cup champions. Earlier in in the day, they had defeated Westchester CF (Eastern District Soccer League champions) 3-0, and qualified for the final after holding Lansdowne Bhoys (Cosmopolitan Soccer League champions) to a 0-0 draw. Cedar Stars had the better goal difference because Lansdowne could only manage a 1-0 win over Westchester CF.

LISFL President Gus Xikis hailed New York Polet's win as "a terrific achievement by a terrific club." Xikis said, "I want to congratulate David Rosini, Claudio Kolega, Zvonimir Antolos, the players, and everyone involved with New York Polet Soccer Club. Once again, they showed why they are terrific representatives of our league. They brought a very talented team to the tournament and demonstrated why the LISFL is such a strong, competitive league."