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Lakewood hosting 2006 MSSL Cups on Sunday – The Examiner
July 26, 2006

The Examiner
July 27, 2006

Lakewood hosting 2006 MSSL Cups on Sunday

LAKEWOOD – Soccer fans looking for more quality action following the conclusion of the World Cup will be heading to Lakewod this weekend.

That’s where the Jersey Shore Boca U23 men’s soccer team will compete for the Mid-Atlantic Summer Showcase League (MSSL) Championship in their own backyard as league officials announced that the 2006 men’s and women’s MSSL Cups will be held at the new John F. Patrick Sports Complex in Lakewood Township on Sunday.

MSSL is a third-year regional soccer league featuring some of the most competitive soccer clubs and elite soccer teams from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, in which Jersey Shore Boca is a founding member. The league fosters high-level competition during the summer months at both the youth and adult ages in both men’s and women’s divisions.

The adult level of MSSL is specifically designed for collegiate players under the age of 23 and is fully sanctioned by the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA), the national governing body for adult amateur soccer.

The 2006 MSSL Cups will feature the league’s top men’s and women’s teams based on their 2006 overall regular season records competing in a one-day tournament elimination format that will ultimately crown an overall men’s and women’s champion.

“This by far has to be the most prestigious soccer event that the Jersey Shore area has hosted in the past several years. The new John F. Patrick Sports Complex is a great venue to hold the MSSL Championships and all fans attending should be treated to some very entertaining and enjoyable soccer,” said Walt Konopka, a member of the Jersey Shore Boca board of directors, who also coaches the Boca U23 men’s team that will compete for the MSSL Cup.

“And the fact that our Boca U23 team will compete for the league championship basically in our own backyard with easy access for all Shore area soccer fans, coaches and players of all ages to attend, makes it even that much better,” added Konopka.

In addition to the MSSL Cups, all youth and recreational soccer players in attendance at the John F. Patrick Sports Complex on July 30 will be able to participate in free soccer skill demonstrations and clinics directed by MSSL coaches, players and other special guests which will be held throughout the day. Any player interested in participating should wear shin guards and bring their own soccer ball to the complex.

Named for former Lakewood Schools Superintendent John Patrick, the 40-plus acre complex, which opened on April 1 of this year, hosts six soccer fields and four baseball fields, equipped with lighting for night games, ample parking, restrooms, plus a full service concession stand, which will be fully open for business during the MSSL Cups.

“This is a great event for the Lakewood community overall, our Lakewood soccer programs and for the hundreds of soccer fans in our Township,” added Jeff Shapiro, Lakewood Recreation Director.

Teams will be seeded for the MSSL Cups based on league standings with two additional “Directors Picks” based on strength of schedules and winning percentage.

The Boca U23 team has clinched a spot in the men’s MSSL Cup Championship as Boca is currently the only undefeated team in league play (9-0-1) and currently in first place in the MSSL U23 men’s division, a spot they have held for six consecutive weeks.

Boca will look to clinch the top men’s seed in the 2006 MSSL Cup this Sunday as they will play their two remaining regular season MSSL games at Fort Dix.

Last weekend the Boca U23s advanced to the semi-finals of the USASA Regional U23 Championship Tournament on Sunday morning at the Ukrainian National Sports Center in Horsham, Pa., before losing 1-0 to national power FC Delco (Pa).

That was the first loss for the Boca U23 team since May 13 when they dropped a 1-0 decision to the Delaware Dynasty of the USL’s Premiere Development League in a full exhibition game played at the John F. Patrick Sports Complex.