Last night, the Bay State Soccer League hosted it's 2019 Ucal McKenzie Cup Final at Almont Park featuring the reigning 2018 Cup Champions, Kendall Wanderers, vs rival GPS Omens.
The Ucal McKenzie Cup is an annual tradition in the Bay State Soccer League. The opening rounds of this single game elimination tournament start in the spring with its Division 2 and Division 3 teams facing off against one another. Then, enter the Division 1 powerhouses. You win, you advance.
2019 Semifinals Results:
With both Kendall Wanderers and GPS Omens advancing, the stage was set for a rematch of the 2018 Cup finals. This match was predicted to contain all the drama and excitement of any high level competition and it did not disappoint fans.
This match started out fast with the Omen's putting lots of pressure in Kendall Wanderer's end. Kendall goalie put in a solid performance with several beautiful finger tip saves early on and then Kendall defense held strong keeping GPS scoreless through the half.
In the second half, Kendall had an early scoring opportunity with a shot that hit the crossbar as seen here: Kendall Scoring Opportunity. However, two minutes later it was Pat Murray of GPS that was able to net the game's first goal as seen here: Murray Goal #1. A few minutes later, Murray adds a second goal, putting pressure on Kendall to answer quickly.
GPS Omens added a third in the 80th minute with a goal from Dave Anderson, assisted by captain Harris Smriko.
Kendall got on the board late in the match thanks to some nice footwork and a rocket of a shot to the corner of the net by Robbie Sabodoz.
GPS Omens prevail 3-1 and reclaim the BSSL McKenzie Cup title. We congratulate the Omens on another successful tournament and wish the Cup safe travels on this year's GPS victory tour!
Click on Photo Gallery above to see more images from the match
Although this competition has been in existence for over 40 years, in 2009 the Cup was renamed the Ucal Mckenize Cup after a BSSL player suffered cardiac arrest on the field during a league game. Ucal was an inspirational figure as a high school coach, mentor, and teammate. The BSSL felt it fitting to honor his legacy, by giving the Cup his name. Fittingly, the very first MacKenzie Cup was awarded to Carico (his team) in its first year after his passing.
This year's Cup had more meaning, as we are 10 years now from Ucal's passing. The Cup will continue to be a tribute to man who saw that anyone can win and in his lifetime did all he could to see that happen.
Ucal was an incredibly talented high school counselor, varsity soccer coach and city youth mentor who connected with each and every one of his students and players. Counseling was not a profession for him, but a calling. Ucal’s laughter was warm and infectious, and no matter how you felt, he made life look better. His love of music, and particularly music he could dance to, was indicative of his love for his native Jamaica. Ucal’s s vibrant and passionate spirit echoed throughout the Newton High School halls. A dedicated doer, Ucal never missed a moment to give of his time. He was the Peer Mentor advisor, coordinated the Senior Faculty Scholarship Committee, advised the Break Dancing Club and worked with Dorchester youth as Coach at Valeo Futbol Academy. Ucal was just as passionate about playing soccer as he was in coaching his team. The spirit of his words and actions buoyed his players in both victory and defeat. His humble demeanor mirrored his inner and outward beauty. His selfless nature and manner were an inspiration.
Above all, and most importantly, Ucal loved his family. Not only was he a loving husband and a gentle human being, but also he was a believer in the good in all people. Ucal truly was a special human being. It was said, "There never was any heart truly great and generous that was not also tender and compassionate." That was Ucal McKenzie according to the foundation set up to continue his legacy.
The UCMBF (Ucal McKenzie Breakaway Foudation) works to bring leading soccer, art and health education, including hands-only CPR and AED awareness, is dedicated to Ucal.
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