2009 Fall Season

Patrick Hoffman was a stalwart in United net, stopping everything but a penalty kick through the first half.
Patrick Hoffman was a stalwart in United net, stopping everything but a penalty kick through the first half.

Sounders Silenced:  United takes out TU in first trip to Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill – United used Myrtle Beach as a springboard in league play as it downed the TU Sounders, arguably on of the strongest teams in the Champions League, 4-2 Sunday afternoon.

United fell behind early as an aggressive defense gave up a penalty kick.  But the team responded quickly.  Patrick Hoffman was strong in net for the second game in a row, stopping 19 of 21 shots sent in by the Sounders.  Hoffman got in on the offense as well as his punt found Ty Tabb for the equalizing goal.  It was the first time a United goalie recorded an assist.  Tabb wasn’t through on offense.  Shortly after the first goal Tabb sent the ball to Martin Benitez to put United up, 2-1.  It was Benitez’ second goal in as many games.  United’s defense was again solid as Wrenn Pallas, Zach Gault and Aaron Winstead cleared most attacks by the Sounders offense.  United went into halftime up, 2-1.

The Sounders came alive in the second half and put pressure on the United goal early, converting for a tying goal.   United struck back when Colin Attarian fed Benitez for his second goal of the day.  With the help of Declan Hoffman, Matt DeBella and Travis Knick, United kept the offensive pressure on.  George Bournazian put the tally at 4-2 when Benitez passed the ball toward the left side of the field and Bournazian ran it down.

United travels to Apex for a double-header Sunday against two teams that they lost to earlier.  United faces Los Angeles and the Wizards Sunday.

Forward Focus:  United members concentrate on an incoming corner kick against a physical South Gaston Flames team.  The team plans to focus on the sucessess of the weekend when it heads into this weekend's matches.
Forward Focus: United members concentrate on an incoming corner kick against a physical South Gaston Flames team. The team plans to focus on the successes of the weekend when it heads into this weekend’s matches.

Strong effort comes up just short as United falls to Gaston
Myrtle Beach – With Ethan Sheflin and Nico Gutierrez injured and on the bench, and with Colin Attarian and Zach Gault to shortly join them, it would take a monumental effort for United to topple the unbeaten and unscored upon Gaston Flames at the Great Carolina Shootout.  Without a sub, United went back to the red uniforms and dug deep.  The effort showed up and United played its best game of the weekend.

Early on United showed no fear and wouldn’t back down.  Matt DeBella led the charge and set the tone early as a ball deflected toward the touch line for what would have been a Flame throw.  DeBella chased it down and slid three to four feet to keep the ball in play and get it to Travis Knick.  Knick got involved on both ends of the field, feeding Ty Tabb midway through the first half for United’s first goal.  It was the first goal that the Flames surrendered all weekend.  Moments later United was awarded a penalty kick but DeBella’s shot was stopped by a good save from the Flame keeper.  But United wasn’t all offense.  The defense stepped up as well.  Patrick Hoffman continued his strong play in net, stopping several Flame attempts with the help of Wrenn Pallas, who was solid in the United defensive third.  For the second time in as many games, United held a lead going into halftime.

The second half continued to produce end-to-end action but the injuries slowly started to become too much to handle.  Attarian’s strong performance was slowed when he landed on his shoulder after a strong charge with a Flame player.  Gault hurt his ankle and Martin Benitez, who along with Tabb and Declan Hoffman, put relentless offensive pressure on the Flame backfield, went down when he locked ankles with a Flame defender.  The Flames tied the game and were poised to go ahead when one of the forwards received the ball on a breakaway and had Knick beaten by a step.  Travis caught up and slid to knock the ball away from the foot of the forward.  United moved George Bournazian into goal for the final minutes and Bournazian helped hold off the Flame attack.

United’s valiant effort came up just short for the second day in a row.  The team was competitive in all three games and had its chances to win the tournament outright.  The Flames went on to win the tournament with a 2-1 victory over Coast.  United faces the Triangle United Sounders on Sunday.  Pictures and video are on United TV.

United falls to Unbeaten Gaston Flames
United faced the unbeaten, unscored upon Gaston Flames Sunday morning in the team’s final game at the Great Carolina Shootout.  In a great game, United fell, 2-1 after holding the lead through the first half. Complete game summaries and pictures will be available Sunday night.

Can’t hold on:  Down Ethan and Nico, United’s lead slips against Savannah
Myrtle Beach – United came up short in the team’s first match against a team from Georgia as it fell to the SCSC Celtic, 2-1.  Down Ethan Sheflin to a broken wrist, and Nico Gutierrez to a hamstring, United still mounted a charge.  Travis Knick and Martin Benitez picked up the slack as Knick fired a pass to Benitez, who buried the shot in the right corner of the net.  Offensively the team had many chances, but so did Savannah, only they couldn’t beat Patrick Hoffman in net as Hoffman, with the help of stopper Wrenn Pallas, turned away the Celtic to preserve the 1-0 lead through halftime.

Needing the win, United switched to a defensive position in the second half, dropping Colin Attarian and Zach Gault back to assist Pallas, while Matt DeBella, Declan Hoffman and George Bournazian ran midfield while Ty Tabb and Knick took care of the forward spot.  It was the same formation that United did so successfully when it won to end-of-season tournaments at U10 and it worked well Saturday, but the defense was too aggressive, and it resulted in several odd-man rushes.  Hoffman, playing his best game in goal, took away the angle on all but two of the attacks.  Savannah’s final goal came as the skies opened up into a deluge.

While United lost, it is still alive in the tournament.  United needs to defeat the Gaston Flames Sunday and work through tie differentials with the possibility to advance.  Tonight the team parties at Planet Hollywood.

Coast Storms past United in game one of the Shootout, Celtic on deck
Myrtle Beach – Coast FC used a penalty kick and a late-second goal to down United 3-0 in the first game of the Great Carolina Shootout.  Down Ethan Sheflin, George Bournazian and, for part of the game, Wrenn Pallas, United used a strong defensive effort led by Zach Gault, Declan Hoffman, Colin Attarian and Travis Knick to slow Coast down. Ty Tabb made several saves.  Coast was awarded a penalty kick that Tabb got his fingers on but it slid through.

United’s offense had several chances to score but couldn’t convert past the tall Coast defense.  Shortly after the penalty kick, Patrick Hoffman took the ball toward the right corner but his shot went wide.  Matt DeBella and Martin Benitez also had scoring chances, most notably in the second half, but were offside.  United had two corner kick opportunities where Gault’s ball sailed through the box and off the field for a throw in.  United’s best two scoring chances were when a ball deflected toward net off of Nico Gutierrez, and when Knick, DeBella and Hoffman followed a shot in that the Coast keeper bobbled.  Had the team converted on either of the chances it would have cut the lead to 2-1.  Coast scored their final goal in the last few seconds of the game.

Coast evens its all-time record with United to 1-1. The two teams met two years ago in the opening round of the Shootout with United coming away victorious, 3-2.  United drops to 0-1 in the tournament and faces the Savannah Celtic team this afternoon. The Celtic also fell early Saturday morning to the Gaston Flames.  Pictures of both games will be uploaded to the United site this afternoon.

Travis Knick and George Bournazian both scored as United secured its 100th all-time win.
Travis Knick and George Bournazian both scored as United secured its 100th all-time win.

United notches 100th All-time win!

The boys under 12 Holly Springs United soccer team downed the HSFC Blue 5-3 Sunday to secure the team’s 100th all-time win.

United started scoring quickly as Zach Gault scored when he deflected a shot into net just 56 seconds into the game.  Moments later Martin Benitez sent the ball across to Travis Knick, who scored and put the lead at two.  It was Knick’s second goal of the season.  United also had other chances as George Bournazian, Matt DeBella and Patrick Hoffman all had shots stopped by the HSFC keeper.

Like in previous games this season United ran out to the lead but couldn’t hold on.  HSFC scored to cut the lead in half and then was awarded a penalty kick.  The teams ended up going into halftime tied at two and, in the second half, HSFC scored to take a 3-2 lead.  United mounted pressure when Ethan Sheflin sent a shot wide of the net.  Bournazian intercepted the following goal kick and converted to tie the game at 3.  The goal sparked the team and the United office came alive.  Ty Tabb had several shots from midfield.  Declan Hoffman helped control the midfield and slow down the HSFC speed.  Colin Attarian hit the post off of a corner kick.  Wrenn Pallas took a cross from Benitez and scored the first of his two goal.  Pallas converted again moments later with the final goal of the day.

United played its first game together in the fall, 2003 season as part of the Holly Springs Parks and Recreation department’s under six league.  United is 1-2 on the season and 100-48-8 overall.

Ty Tabb battles for the ball against the TU Wizards as George Bournazian looks on.
Ty Tabb battles for the ball against the TU Wizards as George Bournazian looks on.

United just short upon return to the Pit

The date was April 21, 2003.  Colin Attarian had just taken a pass from Logan Harris to score and put United up 4-3 over the Charge in the under six championship.  United would hold on, winning its first championship, 7-4, and capping its first unbeaten season.  It was the last time the team played a game at the Womble Park Pit.

Fast-forward six years, 12 seasons and 144 games and United is back where it started at the Pit, this time facing the Triangle United Wizards in a Champions League match.

Early on it looked as if United would quickly dispatch the Wizards as the team controlled play.  Zach Gault passed to Travis Knick for a goal and United was up 1-0 in the first five minutes of the match.  Wrenn Pallas picked up right where he left off last week in playing a solid sweeper and controlling the backfield in front of Ty Tabb, who made key saves when the ball got through.  Attarian, Ethan Sheflin and Declan Hoffman controlled the midfield with help from a tough defensive effort from Aaron Winstead.

United had several chances in the first half as Gault, George Bournazian, Matt DeBella and Knick peppered the net.  Knick almost had his second goal when he and Patrick Hoffman followed a Bournazian shot that the Wizard keeper bobbled before controlling. United went into halftime up, 1-0.

The Wizards came alive in the second half and took control of the play, scoring two goals in 15 minutes to take a 2-1 lead.  The remainder of the second half was a see-saw battle and United took control of play, mounting two corner kicks and a direct kick all within the last 10 minutes of the match, but the team couldn’t convert and the Wizards held on for the win.

United drops to 0-2 on the season, exactly where they were last season at this time before they turned the corner and rallied.  The team is back at the Pit on Sunday to play HSFC Blue before traveling to Sanford to face the Elite.


United Falters at Cleveland Jamboree
United traveled to the Cleveland Community Center Saturday to play a pair of mini-games in the Cleveland Jamboree.  United fell 5-2 to the Cleveland Railhawks and 5-0 to the Cary Thunderbolts in the jamboree.

While it was a tough day for the team, there were positives, as the team tried to figure out who to put where for the regular season.  Zach Gault was back on the field after a six-month layoff for a broken foot.  Gault scored United’s first goal against the Railhawks.  The game also saw Declan Hoffman, United’s newest player, establish himself in midfield.  Ty Tabb scored the second goal for United against the Railhawks.  The brightest spot in the second game was the play of Martin Benitez in net for United.  What started out as a joke Friday night at practice developed into a four-save second half for Benitez.

United will face both the Railhawks and Thunderbolts (2-0) in the regular season.

Let the season begin!

Back to the Beach?
United may be going back to the Great Carolina Shootout!
Back to the Beach?

The Coast is Clear! United downs Coast F.C. to advance at Shootout
Wild Finish sees United fall to Porter Ridge
Hotspur down United in Shootout Semi

United sits at 99 wins all-time and looks to secure win 100 this fall.  The team's all-time record is 99-46-8.
United sits at 99 wins all-time and looks to secure win 100 this fall. The team’s all-time record is 99-46-8.

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