Throughout the years the men’s program has continued a tradition of playing on Thanksgiving afternoon, as well as on most Saturday mornings, while the women’s side held their first Alumni game last year on Black Friday.
This year head high school soccer coaches Mike Heedles and Paul Cutter decided to try to bring the groups together for a full day of Alumni games. Teaming up with Board members from the Centennials, Rob Malhame and Tom Gillan, as well as several other coaches and committee members, the day was well publicized. The hope was that there would be anywhere from sixty to eighty players that would lace up their cleats for another match.
With the weather being ideal the turnout was fantastic, reaching well over 100 men and women playing in a rotation of games from 11:00 to 3:00.
First up were the ladies donning either a grey or maroon Alumni tee shirt based on their year of graduation. The shirts were once again donated to the girls by The Men’s Association of Garden City. Returning to play were many of the 2010 NY State Champions, as well as a handful of women from the late 80’s and early 90’s, and all showed that they still have a tremendous love of the game and of each other.
On the men’s side the calendar went even further back, reaching into the late 70’s and early 80’s for several of their star players, as well as long time head coach Carlo Mazzerese.
As you can see in the pictures the play of the game was competitive but every play also brought about smiles from all involved. It may have been Barbara Sullivan being stuffed on a breakaway or scoring one of her goals, Emily Menges putting a perfect through ball past a defender, or one of the Defliese’s clearing a long ball. Maybe it was Tom Gillan going airborne to strike a beautiful side volley into the net, Bill Metzler hustling after a 50-50 ball, or Kevin Janeczko deftly moving the ball to open space that brought out the biggest smiles.
One common thread that was repeated many times after the games were done, we can’t wait until next year!