Friday, February 21, 2020

The MTA Soccer Lions walked into the Ramaz gym on Sunday, April 14th with flashbacks of blowing their 12-5 lead late in the third quarter just a few weeks ago. Luckily, MTA narrowly escaped with a 13-12 win against Ramaz and a chip on their shoulders. Determined to rewrite the narrative and prove their dominance over the division, the MTA Lions put on an absolute show on Sunday. Despite missing some of their most prominent players, such as starters Tzvi Eisen (‘20), Eitan Pfeiffer (‘19) and even their Head Coach Shlomo Amsalem, the Lions were looking to seal a spot in the playoffs. Interim Coach Rafi Kennard motivated the Lions to one of their most dominant first halves of the season. In his first Yeshiva League start, Akiva Sheckter (‘20) made a dizzying array of diving saves and tough blocks to go up 8-2 at the end of the second. Rachamim Seltzer (‘20) had a huge rebound game, as he made his defensive presence known in possibly his best game of the season. Seltzer certainly made Sheckter’s job easier and helped him adjust in his first start; his two goals added on offense as well. With several players missing, seasoned veterans Kovi Pahmer (‘20) and Hudy Weiss (‘19) knew they needed to step up—and that’s exactly what they did. Both players sat for less than a minute the whole game, combining for 9 of the 12 total goals. Weiss had several highlight reel plays, starting with the ball at his own end and dancing through defenders to the goal. Pahmer continued to be a standout role player, ever impressing his team and silencing all the doubters. Pahmer and Weiss, the “Passaic Punishers,” are continuing to make a name for themselves as one of the league’s premier offensive lines. MTA began to worry as the Rams fought for three straight goals early in the third, making it 8-5. Weiss rallied his team together to do what they do best and finish a game that was theirs from the start. Freshman Eli Sheer stepped up to the call, scoring a goal to follow Weiss’ free kick goal. The presence of junior big men Mendel Hein and Andrew Jacobson made things difficult for the Rams, disturbing their offense. MTA held on for a 12-8 win, clinching a playoff spot and establishing that they’re the team to beat in the division. The Lions look forward to another marquee matchup in the division against Heschel.

By Andrew Jacobson (‘20)



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