Seeking its sixth consecutive Public League Boys’ soccer championship game, the Northeast High Vikings struck early and often to best their neighborhood rival Washington Eagles in a Public League semi final at recently refurbished Charles Martin Stadium. The regular season matchup of these two teams ended in a 0-0 tie.
The first goal came in the 7th minute and was a work of art. Juan Arroyo following up his well aimed backward head lead pass and buried a ball returned to him in mid air past the Eagles goalkeeper.
In the 16th minute, captain Alejandro Giraldo fired a long 40+ yarder from the right side that found net. In the 34th minute, he once again shot from middle distance to find pay dirt. Giraldo spent a number of games on the injured list along with several other Vikings earlier in the season. Since returning, he has shown that he not only can score, but also can place the ball perfectly to his teammates, which he demonstrated over and over again in this contest.
Due to scores by the fantastic freshman Sidiki Fofana and senior Arthur Ferreira in the 42nd and 50th minute respectively, the game turned into a blowout by halftime with a score of 3-0.
NE pulled their oversized and very solid goalkeeper Sebastian Gimeno, who spent most of the game untested, at the 65th minute. The game ended with a final score of 5-1 after the Eagles were able to poke a goal in with 14:18 remaining.
Next up for the powerful and versatile NE squad is the winner of the Central/FTC semi. NE has won the last three Pub Championships, and in 2015 won the City final against Roman Catholic. The game will be played at the South Philadelphia Super Site on Saturday, October 28. The Vikings only loss this season was to Central in a 1-0 stunner, a matchup which has been played for well over 100 years. Should Central be their opponent, revenge will be in the air. The winner of this 4A final faces the Catholic League counterpart, and the winner of that goes to the PIAA State Tournament as the city’s representative.
NE is coached by the very capable and successful triumvirate of head coach Kraig Feldman, his father and former head coach Sam Feldman, and Ashley Johnson, both of whom assist Kraig Feldman and relay the game plan orders to the players during live action.