With the exception of one minor upset, all of the higher seeds won in the BDSL premier and championship division playoffs. Boo! The results set up some truly scintillating semifinals contests, though, which we'll include in this post and elaborate on Saturday morning.
BSC Raiders 5, Celtic United 0
Quick sum: Well, this was anticlimactic. Celtic United's campaign -- which included an impressive run up the table and their first playoff berth since 2013 (albeit with a different postseason setup) -- ended with a whimper, as a hat trick from Raiders' Kendell McFayden was more than enough to bounce the No. 6 seed.
Tony Mermigas and Matt Waddington scored Raiders' other goals, while Will Boerema kept a relatively quiet clean sheet. Kwadwo Asante, Jeff Bauda, Alex Osuch and Waddington compiled assists in the victory.
Without Patrick Schulz, Sammy Wasson and Ian Brown in the lineup, United missed three key pieces, which certainly played a role in the lopsided result.
Clarence Yotes 2, Yemen Elite 0
Quick sum: After warding off Elite's advances in the first half, Clarence were opportunistic on two second-half chances. J.J. Hughes' composed side volley through traffic and an exquisite shield, turn and finish from Brendan Brody accounted for the goals, while a brilliant point-blank reaction save by Len Previte on Sami Kassem in the first half kept the Yotes from having to chase the game.
Kenny May put in a stellar shift at right back, serving alongside the dynamite central pairing of Ryan Schroen and A.C. LaFlore. Chris Cournan and Aaron Zelko did well to prevent too much Yemen Elite pressure up the wings.
Brother Sami and Mahmoud Kassem, as well as winger Alex Marecki, were threatening for Elite, which missed Steve Pondeca, Adel Rahman and Koby Sapon-Amoah. It was perhaps the absence of Ali Adil that hurt the most, though, as Elite demanded more from their front line.
No. 4 Clarence Yotes at No. 1 Amherst Sharpshooters
No. 3 BSC Raiders at No. 2 SoHo FC
[Read: BDSL premier and championship division quarterfinal preview, with predictions]
East Aurora FC 5, Rangers FC 1
Quick sum: Entering the match, Rangers faced the challenge of compensating for the absences of leading scorer Dominic Parisi and center back Jimmy Nesper, both of whom were out of town. Needless to say, the match did not go well for the higher seed, as East Aurora built a 3-0 lead early and never looked back.
Joe Vucic scored three times for EAFC, but his sideline antics during the match have him facing a potential suspension from the league. Cole Beale and James Ritchie also struck for the victors, while assists came from Ryan Keller (2), Vinny Chimento and Myles Taylor.
Filipe Pacheco scored Rangers' lone goal, with an assist awarded to Josh Weigand.
Wolfpack 3, Lykan 1
Quick sum: A workmanlike effort from Wolfpack was enough to advance to the semifinals, as Kyle Hanavan's unit received two goals from Caleb Richards and a single tally from Nick Cavalieri, with assists to David Farley, Matt McCoy and Scott Berardi. Wolfpack's three-spot was the most allowed by Lykan in a single league match since May 22, a seven-match span.
Brian Cleary posted Lykan's lone goal in the loss, giving him the most points on the team for the season (7). While this result was perhaps the most easily predicted, Lykan's unexpected trip to the playoffs was a solid response to an alarming two-year free fall.
No. 5 East Aurora at No. 1 Southtowns FPFC
No. 3 Wolfpack at No. 2 Buffalo Bantu
FC Quake 2, RVS United 0
Beast City FC 3, SPAL Buffalo 1
No. 4 Beast City FC at No. 1 Panthers
No. 3 FC Quake at No. 2 Williamsville Willies
Pendleton United 2, DSC Buffalo 0
Crimson Fire 2, West Side FC 1 (ET)
No. 4 Crimson Fire FC at No. 1 Rampart FC
No. 3 Pendleton United at No. 2 Tonawanda United
Lasalle FC 3, Devils 2 (Devils advance due to Lasalle's attempted usage of ineligible player)
FK Bosnia 2, Aurora Arsenal II 0
No. 5 Devils vs. No. 1 Dutch FC
No. 3 FK Bosnia at No. 2 Youngstown Marksmen
Email Ben Tsujimoto, who's not an ineligible player, at email@example.com