2012 Winter II Season

State Games Bound: United players gather at New York Pizza to celebrate the successful winter season and discuss a return trip to Winston-Salem in June.

The 2012 Holly Springs United: L-> R (Back) Stephen Pratt, Ethan Sheflin, Abdul Elmorsi. (Front) Sam Sanger, Colin Attarian, Martin Benitez, Chris Brown, Nicholas McCullers, Brock Waters, Colton Laviska. Not pictured: Colby Burd, Jack Donavan, Zach Gault, Nico Gutierrez.

I’ll Pass:  Assister’s Award for 2012.  Several United players got into act on assisting goals on a season where every player had at least one. No Assister’s Trophy is awarded for winter seasons, but here’s the crew that set up the most goals this winter: Nicholas McCullers (10), Stephen Pratt (9), Nico Gutierrez and Ethan Sheflin (6), and Colin Attarian and Sam Sanger (5). Colin’s United’s all-time assist leader. Sam and Ethan both played their way toward the top of the list in the last game against the Fusion. Stephen won the last official Assister’s Trophy. Nico’s been the most consistent throughout the season and Nicholas, one of the United originals, had his most productive season ever as a United player.

SHOOT AND SCORE:  Nico Gutierrez was United’s high goal scorer for the winter season. Nico had 12 goals on the eight-game season but only played in seven games. That averaged to just under two goals a game. Nicholas McCullers finished his most productive season ever as a United player, scoring 10 goals this winter. Abdul Elmorsi also missed a few games but finished with seven goals.

United takes down Fusion; takes second
United came into the season’s final game with an outside shot at a tie for first place in the final standings but TFC Orange won earlier in the night and secured sole possession of first.  With United destined for second, the team took the field against the CASL Fusion to close out the season.

Chris Brown sets to run the United offense off of a free kick.

The Fusion pulled out all the stops against United early and had the Reds back on their heels.  United looked slow and tired and the Fusion jumped out on top, 1-0 just two minutes into the game.  Things got worse for United, already down Nico Gutierrez, Jack Donavan and Zach Gault, when Martin Benitez went down with an ankle injury moments later.  United, down for only the second time all season, regrouped.  Ethan Sheflin fed Abdul Elmorsi to tie at 13:25 of the first half.  Sheflin then fed Nicholas McCullers and United was up 2-1.  The Fusion kept coming and just a moment later tied the game at two.  That score held until McCullers fed Elmorsi for his second goal with just five minutes left in the half.  Sam Sanger played a great ball to Stephen Pratt to put United up 4-2 going into halftime.

The Fusion did not give up and scored to start the second half and cut the lead to 4-3.  The game changed when the Fusion had a three-on-one break on Chris Brown.  Brown made a great tackle and Brock Waters came off his line to play the ball.  Another Fusion player grabbed the ball and sent the tying goal rolling on the empty United net but Waters raced back to stop the ball as the ball was on the goal line.  The defensive stop by Brown, along with Waters earning his keep, seemed to spark a tired United.  Colton Laviska sent a shot toward the net that Colin Attarian chased in.  Pratt scored his second goal of the game on Sanger’s second assist.  The Fusion scored again but McCullers and Elmorsi teamed up one more time when McCullers scored off of Abdul’s pass.

With the game secure United set its sight on the team scoring title.  Coming into Monday’s game United trailed TFC Orange by two goals.  Orange had 60 and won 6-1 earlier in the night.  United entered the game against the Fusion with 58 goals and was also at 66 goals with just two minutes left in the game.  The team pushed but ran out of steam as time ran out on the Winter, 2012 season.  United finished its most successful season at Net Sports with a 7-1 record.


History Made:  United powers past Satellites in first live broadcast
United and the Satellites renewed their rivalry Monday night with United coming out on top, 6-0.  The game was also the first United game ever to be broadcast live.The first half proved to be a defensive draw.  Both teams had chances but when the Satellites got through they ran into Brock Waters, who turned away all Satellite chances.  United was stifled by the smothering Satellite defense and the teams played to a scoreless draw.  The Satellites were able to do something that no other team was able to do to United this season in keeping United off the scoreboard for the first half.

The first half was no indication of what took place in the second.  Four minutes into the second period Abdul Elmorsi crossed to Colton Laviska, who drove a rocket into the net and broke the scoreless draw.  Nico Gutierrez followed when he took a Colin Attarian pass to put United up 2-0.  Ethan Sheflin blasted a shot from just inside the yellow line when he played a Martin Benitez pass and United was up by three. For the second week in a row, the Jack Donavan Nicholas McCullers magic worked again.  Mccullers fed Donavan twice for two goals and the game was out of reach.  McCullers and Donavan have combined for eight of United’s 16 goals over the last two games.Colin Attarian became the first United player to score in every United season for the past nine years when Sheflin crossed the ball in front of the goal mouth and Attarian buried it. Attarian and Zach Gault have the longest active scoring streaks for the team.  Attarian played his last outdoor season with the Satellites. United moves to 2-0-1 lifetime against the Satellites.  The two teams first met in 2008 in the Satellites first indoor game.  In that game, which took place on the same field as tonight’s game, United went up by five before the Satellites settled down.  From there, the teams traded goals on their way to a 7-4 United victory. Tonight’s game was one of the first live broadcasts of a youth soccer league match in the country as it was streamed to the United TV Web site and Ustream.  Over 120 different users watched United and the Satellites play off of the United TV site.  United is now 6-1 headed into the final game of the season, next Monday against the Fusion. United – Satellites game to be broadcast LIVE on United TV!
Tonight’s match between United and the Satellites will be broadcast LIVE on United TV Ustream.  It’s the first known live match broadcast of a youth soccer game in the state.  Additionally, the archive of the game will be used as part of the Net Sports Web redesign.  Here’s how to watch:1.  Click the VODPOD logo to the right of this article (says “Follow me on Vodpod).2.  Make sure that you do not have pop-up blockers enabled and a pop-up window will appear at the top of the United Web page.  This window will contain the game.You can also see the game by clicking the link below.WATCH UNITED – SATELLITES HERE!   Cross-promotion:  A look at the history intertwined history of United and the Satellites:

Masterful performance!  United plays best game of the season in dominating effort

Again, no subs.  In fact, this time, United started the game with just four players on the field.  But one by one, players arrived, and United put together its most complete game of the season, a decisive 12-2 victory over the CASL Bravehearts.

Just 2:09 into the match, United was awarded a free kick.  Stephen Pratt drilled the ball into the top left corner of the net.  Pratt then fed Nicholas McCullers and United was up 2-0.  McCullers crossed the ball to Chris Brown who scored for United’s third goal.

Early on, with just the four players, Brock Waters was instrumental in goal, stopping several Braveheart shots.   After one of the shots, Waters fed to Abdul Elmorsi, who crossed to Jack Donavan for a 4-0 lead.  Pratt scored again off of a pass from Nico Gutierrez.

United found some magic with the paring of McCullers and Donavan.  The two teamed up for six of United’s goals, weaving, dicing and placing precision passes through the Braveheart defense.  And when Donavan and McCullers weren’t scoring, Gutierrez was, taking passes from Donavan, Chris Brown and Ethan Sheflin.

United ended the scoring when Brock Waters moved to forward and took a pass from Pratt to put United’s goal total at 12.

United is now 5-1 headed into a showdown with the rival Satellites on Monday.

Severely depleted United guts out another win
For the second week in a row United was left with just two subs, this time against the Triangle United Sounders, but found a way to eek out a victory, defeating the Sounders 9-5.
Nico Gutierrez continued to be extremely productive on offense, scoring the first goal for the second week in a row, just like last week, off a pass from Nicholas McCullers.  Abdul Elmorsi then sent a beautiful cross to a breaking Stephen Pratt, who deflected the ball past the Sounder goalie.  United pressured again, this time off of a free kick that Elmorsi buried directly. Just like against CASL Premiere, United had problems with a constant barrage of substitutes on the opposing team, and the Sounders used it to their advantage, clawing back into the game with two goals.  But unlike last week, United never let the Sounders tie it up, and Ethan Sheflin took a pass from Stephen Pratt to put United up 4-2 at halftime. United more than doubled its output in the second half.  Elmorsi scored off of a second pass from Pratt.  Nico scored three in a row, the first unassisted and the second and third off of passes from Sam Sanger, and Elmorsi closed out the scoring off of a Colin Attarian pass.  That, combined by a defense led by Chris Brown, Pratt, Sanger and a team of others, in front of Colby Burd in net, was enough to down the Sounders, 9-5. The last time the two teams met was in August, 2009, when United traveled to Chapel Hill to defeat the Sounders 4-2.  United is 4-1 on the indoor season and plays the CASL Bravehearts next Monday night.  WHEW!  United escapes CASL Premiere
Down Colin, Zach, Sam, Abdul and Jack, and with an ailing Nico, United mustered up just enough energy to defeat the CASL Premiere, 5-4.Nico Gutierrez scored just 14 seconds into the game when he converted a pass from Nicholas McCullers.  Five minutes later Gutierrez returned the pass to McCullers, and United was up 2-0.  Nicholas scored again at the 7:42 mark when he took a pass from Martin Benitez and United cruised to a 3-0 lead.But with only one sub, the team slowly tired.  CASL scored one and then went on a power play and converted a second goal, going into halftime down 3-2.In the second half  CASL tied the game at three.  But a huge effort from the United defensive core of Stephen Pratt, Chris Brown and Martin Benitez, in front of another strong performance from goalie Brock Waters, slowed down CASL.  On offense, Colton Laviska and Ethan Sheflin went to work when Sheflin pushed the ball to Laviska at 1429 of the second half.  Laviska scored again just a minute later off of a Gutierrez pass.  Again United was up by two but again CASL came back, scoring to cut the lead to 5-4.  The final minutes were spent in front of the United net, but the defense and Waters turned CASL away.United played its third classic team in as many weeks and, at 3-1, is in second place headed into a showdown with the Triangle United Sounders.

United falls in battle of unbeatens
United and TFC Orange came into tonight’s game atop of the league standings and played a hard-fought match on the field before Orange won, 4-2.

Orange had been blowing through their opponents until this point in the season, and scored early to go up 1-0.  But any thoughts of United backing down were quickly erased when Stephen Pratt sent the ball to Jack Donavan to tie the game.  United, playing against a second classic team in consecutive games, was up to the physical play of Orange and was actually

United goalie Brock Waters was huge in the United net against TFC Orange.

the aggressor for a portion of the first half.  United was so physical that they drew a penalty and had to go on their first-ever penalty kill.  But the defense, led by Pratt, Sam Sanger, Martin Benitez and Colton Laviska, was up to the challenge.  United goalie Brock Waters was huge in net, making several key saves and deflections, and United killed off the power play.

Later in the half Orange struck again, going up 2-1, but United answered right back, when Ethan Sheflin crossed to Nico Gutierrez, who continued the cross around to Sanger for the equalizer.

Colin Attarian beat TFC’s goaltender and two defenders, but couldn’t beat the right post, coming maybe one inch from tying the game. The ball can be seen between the TFC defender’s (#2) arm and body.

Orange went ahead again midway through the second and United had another chance to answer when Nicholas McCullers sprang Colin Attarian free behind the defense, who beat the goalie and shot across the goal mouth and missed the equalizer by less than three inches.

United pushed for the equalizer and gave up the fourth goal.  United then went on the team’s first-ever power play for the final 58 seconds of the game.  The Orange goalie made several stops and United ran out of time, falling 4-2. The loss was United’s first indoor loss since it fell to the CASL Attack on March 14, 2009, a span that stretched 37 games and  34 months.

MILESTONE:  United downs TFC to move to 2-0
United improved to 2-0 in a hard-fought victory over the Triangle Futbol Club’s White squad Monday night.

Brock Waters put the ball in play and joined teammates Abdul Elmorsi and Chris Brown in watching the final seconds tick off of the clock.

Nico Gutierrez started off the scoring when he took a pass from Sam Sanger and put the ball just inside the right post.  Colton Laviska scored when he buried a Nicholas McCullers pass.  TFC cut the lead in half shortly after.

Zach Gault was back for United and took a pass from Stephen Pratt to score.   With the goal, Gault has scored in 21 consecutive seasons,  every United season since joining the team in 2004.

The game turned in the final two minutes of the first half.  TFC was pressuring the United goal and goalie Brock Waters kept the team in the game.  Waters distributed to Pratt who dribbled and scored to put United up 3-1.  Abdul Elmorsi followed up the goal just seconds later  with his own goal off of a pass from Gault.  United went into half up, 5-2.

The second half was hotly contested.  United goals came on an impressive one from Gutierrez, on assists from McCullers and newcomer Jack Donavan, where Nico ended up on the ground with the TFC goalie after drilling the shot in the net.  Colin Attarian tallied another assist when he passed to Sanger to end the scoring.  The United defense, led by Chris Brown, Martin Benitez, Elmorsi and Pratt, held off TFC and United won 8-4.

The victory was the first for United over a classic-level team.  United is 2-0 for the first time in any Net Sports indoor season and has a +20 goal differential.  United faces fellow unbeaten TFC Orange next Monday.

United explodes for 16 to start 2012 with a victory over the Blasters; Newcomers Sanger, Laviska help power veterans
United opened 2012 with a bang, exploding to score 16 in a shutout of the CASL Blasters at Net Sports on Monday night.  Ethan Sheflin started the scoring off of an assist from Abdul Elmorsi.  Abdul scored next when Nico Gutierrez passed to him.  Martin Benitez scored a natural hat trick, tallying the next three goals, one unassisted, one from Colin Attarian and one from newcomer Colton Laviska.  Nicholas McCullers scored the next two; one from Stephen Pratt and the other from Gutierrez.  Sheflin finished out the half scoring on a pass from Gutierrez.

United picked up in the second half where it left off in the first.  Newcomer Sam Sanger scored off of a Benitez assist.  Laviska scored on an assist from Pratt.  Gutierrez scored unassisted.  McCullers scored on a pass from Brock Waters.  Sanger scored, followed by one from Pratt and Laviska, and Sanger ended the scoring on a pass from Attarian.

The 16-0 score tied United’s all-time offensive output, a 16-2 victory over the CASL Defenders last January.  United plays TFC next week.

United regroups for Winter II at Net Sports!
United will start its eighth year together when it plays in the Winter II season at Net Sports.  You can get the complete schedule here.  The schedule features some new CASL teams as well as old foes the TFC Sounders and the renewed rivalry with the Satellites.  Go United!


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