BOSTON – Battery Park Gunners cleared a major hurdle in the defense of their National Amateur Cup championship by beating Mass Premier Soccer 2-1 at Madison Park High School in Saturday’s snowy state final.
MPS went into halftime with the lead thanks to former Revolution defender Sam Brill, who scored in the 41st minute.
The second half saw another former Revolution player scribble his name on the scoresheet when Joe Germanese equalized in the 60th minute. Matt Shea scored the game-winner in the 86th minute.
The Gunners’ win earns them a berth in the region 1 tournament, which will kick off in spring 2013.
Despite the frosty conditions (gametime temperature: 31 degrees), neither club encountered any trouble firing up the engines in the first half. In fact, Battery Park nearly seized the opening goal inside of 14 minutes when Ryan McDaniel crossed it far post for Bobby Linaberry. But Linaberry banked it off the post.
MPS put the Battery Park defense under siege for stretches in the first half, but with little to show for it. That was until Brill knocked a Nick Cristman corner kick through to grab the lead minutes before the interval.
However, the Gunners would get their revenge in the final 45. After MPS lost the ball inside their own end, the Gunners counterattacked, with Karl Desmond leading the way. Desmond found Germanese to his right, where the former Revolution midfielder fought off a pair of MPS defenders and tucked it inside the far post.
MPS eyed an opportunity to reclaim the lead 15 minutes later. Cristman looked for a give and go with T.J. Thompson until defender Jason Pan intercepted the return pass.
With both teams’ attacks stalling inside the final third, the match seemed destined for overtime.
Then, in the 86th minute, John Griffith pointed the Gunners to paydirt when he played an incisive pass through to Shea. With only keeper Jeff Newman to beat, Shea calmly put it away to send the defending champions back to region 1 play.