Group Play – Saturday
Doxa Italia – 0 Chelsea – 0
Doxa Italia’s first group game was 9:15 Sat morning against local Las Vegas side Chelsea. With 90% of the Doxa side making the 4 hour drive that morning, it was going to be an interesting game. Doxa dominated the match and peppered the Chelsea goal with shots. Thanks to the cross bar and wobbly legs from the drive Chelsea was hanging on to the 0-0 draw for deal life. Doxa had almost all of the possession sending attack after attack looking for the winning goal. Chelase had created some counter attacks during the 2nd half with the most dangerous coming with 5 min left which had a Chelsea forward alone in the box with only Doxa goalkeeper Brian Burdue to beat. Burdue was up for the challenge as he went full stretch to turn the shot around the post to keep the score level and send Doxa on the way with the 0-0 draw.
Doxa Italia – 3 Crew Select – 0
2nd match of the day saw Doxa facing Golden Colorado side Crew Select. A match that was almost identical to the first which saw Doxa take control immediately and struggling to score. Just before the half Doxa was awarded a penalty which saw Kyle Holland slam it in for the 1st Doxa goal. 2nd half was more of the same but Crew Select started to push forward to get the equalizing goal. With about 15 min left a Crew Select forward broke through and saw himself one v one with Brian Burdue. Burdue once again came up big by snuffing the shot at the top of the box collecting the rebound and then out-letting to the left. The break was on which saw Doxa quickly advance the attack and Kyle Holland netting his 2nd of the match. This knocked the wind out of the Crew and shortly after Doxa midfielder Andrew Villalobos added a 3rd to get max point out of the match.
Group Play – Sunday
Doxa Italia – 4 Clear Link FC – 0
8am Sunday morning. The combination of the early morning game and the Las Vegas night life always takes it’s toll but the game must go on…Bring on Utah side Clearlink FC. Right from the get go Doxa was on the attack and a play up the left saw a Masa shot saved by the keeper only to have Steve Chirgwin follow it up and have his shot saved off the line. Unfortunately for Clearlink FC it wasn’t their keeper who made the save. Their defender parried the ball over the bar – Red card and a Doxa PK. Chirgwin stepped up and knocked in the penalty and Clearlink down to 10 men. Doxa cruised to a 4 goal victory taking max points.
Doxa Italia – 1 Manchester – 1
No rest for the weary as it was 1 game on 1 game off this Sunday afternoon. Up next is Manchester from El Paso Texas. More of the same. – Doxa taking control but struggling to score missing several chances. It was Manchester who would score first as a Manchester forward broke free and was one v one with Doxa keeper Brandon Avery and slotted home the goal far post. With about 5 minuted left Steve Chirgwin found himself with the ball about 25 yards out and decided to have a go. Smashing a screamer off the far post and into the net which salvaged the draw and kept Doxa in contention for winning the group.
Doxa Italia – 2 Escuela Latino – 0
One game on, one game off. BRUTAL. Onward we march…Another local Vegas team. Doxa’s defense was once again stellar. Not much to say other than another team that played 11 behind the ball to play for a draw. Doxa would have none of it and would net two which would take Doxa to the top of the table at the end of group play.
Not Done Yet!
Playoffs Round of 16
Doxa with 37 points is 4th seed behind fellow Coast Soccer League rivals 1st seed PSA Elite, 2nd seed Durango Santa Barbara and 3rd seed San Nicolas Coachella. Doxa draw FC Hasental.
Doxa Italia – 1 FC Hasental – 0
4th match of the day…FC Hasental from Conejo Valley is an up n coming club that has been getting better and better over the past couple of years. They have recently joined the growing NPSL. This was going to be a tight game and the 1st real challenge of the weekend for Doxa. The game would be a battle in the midfield for the first 15 min but Doxa broke free with Ilia Nazarov collecting a pass up the right beating a defender and smashing an 18 yd shot into the upper 90 giving Doxa the 1-0 lead. FC Hasental did not give up a pressed forward immediately. Doxa keeper Brandon Avery had to be sharp and was up to the task as he closed out the 1st half by handling some dangerous attacks by the determined FC Hasental forwards.
2nd half saw the play get physical as FC Hasental pushed forward. Doxa midfield/defense of Steve Chirgwin, Nate Reeves, Joe Cartlidge, Nas Koubouras, Marcus Charvat, Eric Mesiter and Devin Toohey was up for the challenge and thwarted FC Hasental who did not have any real chance in the 2nd half to come up with the equalizer.
ON TO THE QUARTER FINALS!
Quarter Final – Monday
Doxa Italia – 0 Mexico DF – 1
Monday morning 830 am…Mexico DF, another local Vegas team. 6 games in 2 days with 4 games on Sat. 3 days in Las Vegas. Yeah….Doxa played this game in slow motion. Mexico DF did not present much of a challenge as they played for penalties from the get go. Doxa did create some chances with the best chance having Andrew Villalobos alone on the box but having his shot go just wide. Mexico DF had one opportunity which tested keeper Brian Burdue but Burdue parried the show away to safety. 2nd half saw Doxa pushing forward a little which gave Mexico DF the odd counter attack. With ten min left one such counter had the Mexico DF fans (which were numerous and very vocal) in a frenzy as the Mexico DF forward was alone in the box with only Burdue to beat. Burdue came off his line in a fury and at full stretch took away the sure goal. With time running out a long ball to forward Derk Droze with only a defender to beat. Derk was through only to have step/landed wrong and come up with an injury. Two min remaining Doxa made subs to handle the upcoming penalties. This saw Mexico DF come up from the midfield and the forward found himself alone with an open shot at the top of the box. Burdue trying to direct his defense into shape could not get to the shot which squeezed in between the post and his outstretched hands. Mexico DF sideline erupted. It was literally the last kick of the game. Final whistle blew on the ensuing kickoff and Doxa once again are eliminated from the Silver Mug Tourney two games earlier than anticipated.