Week 10 in the Buffalo & District Soccer League was one of the most eventful of the entire season: several teams across all divisions clinched playoff berths, others saw themselves eliminated from contention while a few felt the anguish of relegation.
Let's get to the results and the breakdowns:
BSC Raiders 3, SoHo FC 2
Quick sum: The marquee match-up of the week swung in favor of the two-time defending champions, as goals from Kendell McFayden, John Grabowski and Anthony Johnson were enough to humble SoHo FC, which have now vacated their place atop the table.
Raiders didn't escape without a concern, though, as Midseason Best XI defender Casey Derkacz saw a straight red, meaning he'll be suspended for the next three matches, beginning with Thursday's Tehel Cup game against Buffalo Bantu. For SoHo, Andy Tiedt posted a goal and assist, while Josh Hall scored for the second straight match.
[Read: BDSL premier division primer for Week 10, including (regrettable) predictions]
BSC International 6, FC Yemen 1
Quick sum: With apologies to Sharpshooters' Brandon Loncar, BSC Inter's Lorne Maxime Jr. deserves BDSL Rumors' Premier Player of the Week honors, as he struck for a whopping five goals -- tied for most in a single BDSL match this season with Beast City's Noah Keem -- in Inter's much-needed rout of nine-man FC Yemen.
Maxime, a forward for Buffalo State College, has potted seven goals in his first three games in the amateur men's league. Jomar Rodriguez, worthy of a place on the All-BDSL Hair Team (if there was one), scored the lone goal for Taha Omar's FC Yemen, who now face a real threat of relegation entering the season's final week.
Yemen Elite 1, Clarence 0
Quick sum: It didn't take long for Yemen Elite to avenge their Tehel Cup defeat to the same Clarence side earlier in the week, as Moe Kassem picked out Kovan Menr's run on a counterattack, and the former Riverside High School stalwart made no mistake with his finish.
With the three points, Yemen Elite seal their run from 0-2-2 to a playoff berth, clinching one of the top six seeds heading into the final weekend of the regular season. Scott Augustine kept the sheet clean for Yemen Elite, who handed the Yotes their first loss in seven contests, including Tehel Cup play.
Amherst Sharpshooters 5, Rogue FC 1
Quick sum: Believe it or not, Rogue held a 1-0 lead in this match until the 60th minute, when Sharpshooters woke up and absolutely trounced their foes. C.J. Scirto put Rogue in front with a blast from well outside of the 18-yard box, and his side bore down defensively until Carlos Martinez put Sharpshooters on the board.
Rejuvenated by the goal, Amherst poured on the pressure, while Rogue began to unravel in their chemistry and effectiveness. Brandon Loncar, a Midseason Second XI selection, scored three times in the final 25 minutes, and Ben Mozg notched the other tally in the eventually lopsided result. Former Niagara University forward Eric Brodfuehrer chipped in with two assists for the victors, who were without leading scorer Regan Steele and starting 'keeper Adam Durst.
[Look back: BDSL scores and sums for Week 9]
Celtic United 1, Queenston FC 0
Quick sum: There were far more chances in this match than the rather mundane scoreline indicates, but a strong showing from the Celtic United defense and midfield was enough to make Chris Berardi's first-half goal stand. A pinpoint cross from Vinny DiVirgilio found the former Canisius midfielder's feet, and Berardi took a quick touch before placing a shot into the side-netting of John Netter's goal.
Through the efforts of Noah Rougeux and Joe Farrell, the Parliament threatened Nick Smith's cage, but the final touch was lacking; Queenston miss the postseason for the second year in a row. Celtic United have clinched a playoff spot, and they're far from a desirable first-round foe for any other BDSL premier team in the postseason.
Roos FC vs. BUSS was postponed due to the teams' participation in the Fowler Cup. Likely reschedule date is July 31.
Buffalo Bantu 5, Celtic Hoops 2
Quick sum: It's tough to argue against Bantu as the championship division winners of the transfer window, as the additions of Adan Mukumbira (FC Yemen) and Prince Saysay (BUSS) bring premier-level talent to an already lethal Bantu squad.
The scoring was spread out in the downing of Hoops, as Mohamed Musse's two goals led the way, while Abdi Sabtow, Mo Hussein and Saysay also found the back of the net. Conner Essenburg and Matt Stedman scored for Celtic in the losing effort.
Bantu are locked into the second seed of championship division, ensuring their first-round bye. Hoops, on the other hand, are still not safe from relegation, and they get Southtowns FPFC -- the league leaders -- in Week 11.
Lakeside FC 2, Niagara FC 0
Quick sum: A win over Niagara FC means that Lakeside's Jekyll-and-Hyde season still has a chance to continue into the playoffs. With his brace on Sunday, Andrew Brobbey has scored over half of his team's goals (seven of 13) and keeps his team's albeit slim postseason dreams alive leading into a clash against OP Alliance.
Despite dropping their third consecutive game, Niagara FC head to East Aurora needing a win and some help for bonus soccer.
Rangers 3, OP Alliance 1
Quick sum: There's a clear separation between the 1-5 teams in championship and 6-12. Rangers, who qualified for the playoffs with the win, continued to fare much better on the road than they do at home. Dom Parisi, Jackson Hamilton and Chris Hannel all struck, pouring ice water on Orchard Park's late-season climb of the table. Parisi's 11 league goals given him more than the entire Lykan and Buffalo Celtic teams.
Wolfpack 7, Buffalo Celtic 1
Quick sum: Buffalo Celtic and Celtic Classic (of third division) retired the No. 7 of Chris Pepper, a longtime club player who died May 16 from melanoma, in a ceremony between games. Although Wolfpack handled the scoreline comfortably and secured a playoff spot, the match served as a remembrance of Pepper's positive impact on the soccer community.
East Aurora FC 1, Lykan 0
Quick sum: Lykan's Bobby McGinnis has been a nightmare to try to solve this year, but East Aurora's Joe Vucic succeeded in depositing the match's only goal. EAFC could use the three points from their last game against Niagara FC, as well as a Rangers draw or loss, to avoid Wolfpack in the quarterfinals.
Southtowns FPFC 5, Polonia 1
Quick sum: The regular season champions of championship rode a late first-half goal into a torrid scoring display in the second 45, winning comfortably in the end. Five different players scored for Southtowns: Transfer deadline acquisition Travis Hicks, Cody Rouse, Mike Anders, Troy Weber and Josh West.
Polonia, who see 0-10 Buffalo Celtic in the finale, must win and have Celtic Hoops either draw or lose to Southtowns in order to avoid relegation to first division.
FC Quake 8, Nickel City Wanderers 0
Amherst Alliance 6, Catan FC 1
Beast City SC 3, Buffalo Gunners 0
Elmwood Saints 3, SPAL Buffalo FC 3
Williamsville Willies 2, Panthers 0
Hamburg Monarchs 2, Alden 1
RVS United 3, Depew Village 0
Tonawanda United 4, FC Yemen II 1
Buffalo Blizzard FC 3, WNY United Reds 1
Rampart FC 1, Crimson Fire FC 0
Cheektowaga 4, Celtic 1888 2
DSC Buffalo 3, Meerkats 0
Pendleton United FC 8, Ukraine 2
West Side FC 4, PLYSA Toros 1
Aurora Arsenal II 2, Stone Jug 1
Dutch FC 4, Revolution SC 2
Great White Buffalo 3, Rust Belt United 1
Youngstown Marksmen 3, Haz Benz 2
FC Aftershock 1, Lasalle 0
Celtic Classic 7, Devils 3
Email Ben Tsujimoto at firstname.lastname@example.org