SoHo FC 2, Queenston FC 1
Quick sum: The match looked destined for a draw after Queenston's Ross Suitor buried a penalty kick in the 88th minute, but a magical stoppage-time strike from Pablo Ordonez handed SoHo all three points. Steve Butcher proved he can still make the ball stick to his foot, befuddling several defenders to score the match's first goal.
With the victory, the Burgers leapfrog BSC Raiders and, at 6-1-1, are knotted with first-place Sharpshooters heading into the Independence Day break. Brian Benson deputized in net for regular SoHo keeper Brian Staniszewski and held his own.
Celtic United 3, Rogue FC 1
Quick sum: Perhaps Chris Berardi took offense to the call-out in last week's premier primer, as the Canisius alum notched a brace in the win over enigmatic Rogue FC, leveling United's record at 4-4. After losing their first three matches by a composite score of 10-2, Brian Theuerkauf's team has quietly pushed past Rogue and Queenston into the sixth and final playoff spot.
Circle the Queenston vs. Celtic United match scheduled for 6 p.m. July 17 at Veterans Park in Grand Island; the two also go head-to-head in the next round of the Tehel Cup, at 8:30 p.m. July 7 at Niagara University.
[Look back at the premier predictions for Week 8, which were especially not good]
Clarence 2, BSC International 2
Quick sum: Quiet transfer deadline winners? BSC Inter, which added current Buffalo State College players Lorne Maxime and Devonte Black, pulled out a shock draw against the heavily favored Yotes. Maxime scored in his debut, while youngster Ali Sheikh potted his second of the season, tying for the team lead.
Matt Sprague and Andrew Incho found the back of the net for Clarence, which remains in good position (16 points, 4th place) despite a missed opportunity.
Roos FC 2, Amherst Sharpshooters 2
Quick sum: Speaking of transfer deadline winners, Roos' newcomers made a difference in a surprise draw against Sharpshooters. Phil Barrett's team actually held a 2-0 lead late, until goals from Brandon Loncar and Eric Brodfuehrer -- both set up by energetic Ricky Martinez -- salvaged a draw for Amherst.
Roos' potent striker Alex Reid added a goal and an assist to his season total, which is good for second in premier (seven goals, two assists). SUNY Fredonia's Sam Greco beat Adam Durst for the other Roos goal, while transfer Richie Gordon notched a helper.
BSC Raiders 1, Yemen Elite 1
Quick sum: Raiders dearly missed Kendell McFayden and Chris Walter to FC Buffalo duty (Sunday didn't go well for them, either), as a goal from Clint Holcomb was enough for Yemen Elite to come out with a draw.
Underrated Matt Grabowski poached for Raiders, who tied for the second straight week (before unleashing unholy fury on second-division Rampart FC, 8-0, in Tehel Cup the ensuing Tuesday). Given SoHo's torrid play, it's possible that BSC Raiders are on the outside looking in when it comes to a first-round bye.
Elite's John Etter, Koby Sapon-Amoah, Zach Schlei, Abdelraouf Mohamed and Mahmoud Kassem have improved mightily as a defensive unit in front of keeper Scott Augustine, who's in his best form of the season.
BUSS 3, FC Yemen 2
Quick sum: Despite three additions to bolster the back line, FC Yemen couldn't slow down the BUSS offense enough, as Bobby Calvaneso's side earned a massive three points to push themselves further from relegation danger. With three games remaining, BUSS have a four-point edge on Roos.
Lackawanna HS alum Ali Shawish scored twice, including one from the penalty spot, giving him a handful of goals on the season. The postseason is looking increasingly unlikely for both of these teams, who seem destined for lower-mid table.
Rangers 3, Buffalo Celtic 1
Quick sum: After two consecutive home losses, Rangers got back on track with a road win over win-less Buffalo Celtic, which did muster its third goal of the year. The championship division playoff race is shaping up to be tight, as just four points separate the No. 3 team from No. 7.
Dom Parisi, Andy Nati and an own goal accounted for Rangers' three, while Armond June tallied for Celtic, which paces championship with 13 yellow cards.
OP Alliance 6, Celtic Hoops 1
Quick sum: After scoring just three goals total in their first six matches, Alliance have posted nine over their last two. No, I don't get it either. Ryan McMaster registered a brace, while Connor and Jon Saeli, Toby DeHaven and Kurt Siegner also got on the score sheet. Clayton Galas was generous, notching three assists.
Hoops, whose roster boasts much more talent than its 2-6 record and division-worst goal differential suggests, has suffered from numbers issues this season.
Polonia 0, Lykan FC 0
Quick sum: I'm glad I didn't pay money to see this game. Lykan goalkeeper Bobby McGinnis may have been the best addition in championship; he picked up his fifth clean sheet of the season, tied for the most in the division with Southtowns FPFC's Bill Littere. OP Alliance, Polonia and Celtic Hoops are in a dogfight to avoid relegation to division one.
Buffalo Bantu 2, Niagara FC 1
Quick sum: Niagara FC have felt the effects of fielding a very young team in the BDSL; there are myriad reasons why players miss games, from commitments to travel teams to family vacations to high school graduations to graduation parties. An injury to Liam McIntosh, one of the team's more dangerous attackers, as well as the three-game red-card suspension to manager Adam Winkworth, have Niagara fighting for their playoff lives.
Meanwhile, Bantu keeps on rolling. Defenses can't be thrilled that the league's second-place team just added pacy Adan Mukumbira from FC Yemen to complement Zein Abdulaziz, Mohamed Musse, Abdi Sabtow and Yakob Mohamed. That's one scary attack.
East Aurora FC 2, Wolfpack 0
Quick sum: SUNY Fredonia teammates Ryan Keller and Joe Vucic found the back of the net, while keeper Chris Norcia registered his third clean sheet in division play. Opponents are quickly realizing the strength of EA's center-back pairing, Shane Healy and Michael Jackson, as well as the splendid possession skills of Myles Taylor and Vinny Chimento.
After the Independence Day break, third-place East Aurora faces division-leader Southtowns at 4 p.m. July 10 at West Seneca Soccer Complex. Wolfpack pulled only three points from four June matches.
Southtowns FPFC 2, Lakeside FC 0 (Forfeit)
Quick sum: Lakeside is trending in the wrong direction, while Southtowns aren't forced to earn their three points.
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Catan FC 2, Alden 2
Panthers 7, Depew Village 0
Elmwood Saints 2, Beast City 0
Amherst Alliance 8, Nickel City Wanderers 0
FC Quake 2, SPAL Buffalo FC 2
Buffalo Gunners 4, Hamburg Monarchs 0
RVS United 2, Williamsville Willies 1
Buffalo Blizzard FC 2, DSC Buffalo 1
Tonawanda United 3, WNY United Reds 1
FC Yemen II 4, Cheektowaga 3
West Side FC 2, Pendleton United 0 (Forfeit)
Crimson Fire FC 3, Celtic 1888 2
PLYSA Toros 4, Ukraine 3
Rampart FC 7, Meerkats FC 1
Aurora Arsenal II 4, FC Aftershock 2
Great White Buffalo 2, Youngstown Marksmen 1
Devils 6, Rust Belt United 0
FK Bosnia 3, Haz Benz 0
Dutch FC 5, La Salle 0
Celtic Classic 1, Revolution SC 0
Email Ben Tsujimoto, who says, "What deadlines?", at email@example.com