08/15/12 3:00pm

DON D’AMATO COURTESY PHOTO | Action at the Simon Gavron annual soccer tournament last weekend.

The Simon Gavron Challenge Cup enjoyed another year of very even, competitive soccer and successfully raised over $2,000 for the Shelter Island Lions Club’s youth programs.

During the first round of play on Saturday, August 11, just 3 points separated the bottom five teams in round robin play. Because the teams were so close, they all were invited back to the single elimination round on Sunday.

Tournament sponsors La Maison Blanche and Sunset Beach were the 7th and 8th seed and were eliminated from the tournament by the 1st and 2nd seeded teams, Bill Miller Associates and Christian Johnson Tree & TrufWorks. SG United, a local team that has competed in the tournament for the past 10 years, finished in 6th place out of eight teams in the tournament.

SG United did not play well on Saturday but its fortunes changed on Sunday as the team began to play like the champions they were in 2010, when they won the Challenge Cup. In the first elimination round, SG United faced Shelter Island Pharmacy, a team that has supported the tournament since the beginning. In this quarter-final match, SG United handily beat the Pharmacy, a team of all-league and all-county players from Southold High School’s graduating classes of 2007-2012, by a score of 3-1. SG United’s young Jimmy Read led the scoring in that game, with both the go-ahead and final goal, to the dismay of the Pharmacy squad but to the delight of the SG United fans with his patented celebration, “Discount Double Check.”

SG United met some stiff completion in the semi-final round against Leslie Czeladko’s team, sponsored by Tree & TurfWorks. At the end of regulation play and an additional 5-minute overtime period, the score remained tied at 0-0 so penalty kicks would decide the match. SG United made all three of their shots but Tree & TurfWorks could only score two so the number 6 seed moved on to play the number 1 seed, Bill Miller Associates.

Bill Miller Associates had a far easier time getting through to the finals. They beat La Maison Blanche, captained by Alistair Maclean, by a score of 5-1 and then went on to beat Bateman Painting, a Sag Harbor team, by a score of 4-1. Bateman Painting had beaten the Outsiders FC, captained by Carlos of Fedi’s, by a score of 4-1 in an earlier lopsided match.

Bill Miller Associates is a team that plays year-round at a very high skill level. Their level of play did not diminish during the tournament; they scored 21 goals in the two days of play and easily moved into the finals. During the final round between Bill Miller Associates and local favorite SG United, it looked as though Bill Miller Associates would continue its domination as the first half ended with a 2-0 lead.

This would change in the second half as SG United, again led by Jimmy Read, quickly scored a goal in the opening minute to make it 2-1. Later in the match, SG United’s Alex George, a talented midfielder, all-state high school player and recent Marist College graduate, evened the score with a penalty kick. SG United tried to hang on as George went out of the game with leg cramps from two days of continuous play and high humidity.

As the game drew to a close, the team play of Bill Miller Associates proved to be too much for SG United to hold on to the 2-2 tie and Bill Miller Associates won the match, 3-2, claiming their second consecutive Simon Gavron Challenge Cup title.

After the finals, all the teams were invited back to La Maison Blanche for an afternoon buffet. Later this summer, the winning team will also be treated to dinner for 10 at Sunset Beach, which has sponsored the event for the past 10 years.


08/07/12 8:00am

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | The SG United soccer team, named for Simon Gavron, during the 2009 Simon Gavron tournament.

La Maison Blanche this year has joined Sunset Beach as sponsor of the Simon Gavron Challenge Cup Trophy soccer tournament, which will be played for the seventh consecutive year at Fiske Field on Saturday and Sunday, August 11 and 12. Kick-off time will be 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Spectators are welcome and are urged to come root for their favorite teams.

The tournament, which benefits the Shelter Island Lions Club’s youth programs, is named in memory of a British publisher with a home in Shelter Island Heights who died in England in 2005. Mr. Gavron was a dedicated volunteer for the town Recreational Department’s summer soccer program at Fiske Field, where he coached the “tykes” age-group.

Eight teams will be vying for the cup, with many local athletes playing for teams including SG United, Sunset Beach, Shelter Island Pharmacy, Christian Johnson Tree & Turf Works and La Maison Blanche.

Sunset Beach has sponsored a soccer tournament in late summer for a decade but dedicated its third annual tournament in 2005 to the memory of Mr. Gavron. He played in the 2003 and 2004 Sunset Beach tournaments as a defender for Binder Pools and was an active participant in the Island’s Monday night soccer pick-up games at Fiske Field.

“Simon was passionate about sports, and playing here on Shelter Island made him so happy,” commented Mr. Gavron’s wife Martha Pichey in a Reporter interview in 2005. “The boys and I are really touched by this tribute to him.” Ms. Pichey and her three children attended that year’s tournament, cheering on S.G. United, a team named in honor of Mr. Gavron.

“We’re proud of the tournament” and how it continues to grow and give back to the community, tournament co-organizer Andreas Nilsson of Sunset Beach commented for the 2005 Reporter article.

Sunset Beach founded the tournament in cooperation with the Shelter Island Recreational Department as a fundraiser for the Shelter Island Youth Association in 2003.

07/27/11 5:23pm

Sunset Beach restaurant will host the annual Simon Gavron Challenge Cup soccer tournament at Fiske Field on August 1 and 8, with the kickoff at 4:30 p.m. each day. The event benefits the Shelter Island Lions Club’s youth programs and is co-hosted by the town’s Recreational Department.

It is named for soccer enthusiast Simon Gavron, who was a founder of a casual Monday night soccer series that attracted players from the Sunset Beach staff. It evolved into a tournament that was named in Mr. Gavron’s memory after his death in 2005.

Eight teams, including many local athletes, will compete. SG United, last year’s champion, will face challengers including Sunset Beach, Gulluscio Storage, Binder Pools and Ram-Pharm United. Funds are raised by team registration fees.

Spectators are welcome.

11/18/10 2:53am

TED HILLS PHOTO | The six Shelter Island girls were a valuable addition to the Greenport junior high soccer program, Coach Christine Aviles-Nott explained: (left to right) Serina Kaasik, Kenna McCarthy, Elizabeth Dunning, Kelly Colligan, Margaret Michalak and Colibri Lopez (not pictured).

The joint Greenport/Shelter Island junior high soccer team finished its season on November 5 in a 1-1 tie with Mattituck. Most of the Porters’ games have been close matches and that Friday contest was no exception. Both squads scored their one goal in the fourth quarter and couldn’t break the tie even after 20 minutes of overtime.

Of the season’s 10 games, the Porters tied once, won once and lost the rest. But Coach Christine Aviles-Nott, a teacher at Greenport Elementary School, wasn’t focused on the season record: “Most of the girls on the team have never played before, so they were really just learning. We’ve been working on basic skills and teamwork.”

The girls’ efforts during the season paid off, judging by their performance in their season finish. “The defense played particularly well,” Coach Aviles-Nott said, adding “we’ve been working on a lot of different offensive plays this year and they really seemed to come together in this game. I’m very proud of them.”

There were six Shelter Island girls on the squad, all seventh-graders: Serina Kaasik, Margaret Michalak, Kelly Colligan, Elizabeth Dunning, Kenna McCarthy and Colibri Lopez. It’s the largest contingent of junior high students from the Rock on a fall team this year.

“We’re very happy that we had six of them come over,” commented Coach Aviles-Nott. “They’re really nice girls and they’re very hard working.” She hopes that Shelter Island players will continue to fill out the team’s roster in future years and help maintain the good relationship that the Greenport and Shelter Island kids have enjoyed.