Arts and Business, the defending 'B' champion, defeated Springfield Gardens 8-1 in a game that was marred by aggressive play that, at times, bordered on recklessness. The fourth-seeded Golden Eagles (9-4) were assessed three yellow cards in the second half and appeared to implode as they fell further and further behind late in the game. By the time the match was over, three school safety officers gathered between the teams to maintain order. A racial slur was made by a player on Springfield Gardens and Michelle Tapper, the best player on Springfield Gardens, spat at Arts and Business goalkeeper Aileen Alvear when the teams lined up to shake hands.When a school safety officer attempted to intervene, Tapper shouted at the officer and scurried away. The officer pulled out a note pad and scribbled Tapper's name down, uttering: "I know people at Springfield Gardens."Horan told Springfield Gardens' coach Chris Lawler after the game that his team played like a "bunch of animals" and promised to call his school's athletic director to complain about the team's style of play.In preparation for the match Friday, Horan watched Springfield Gardens defeat South Bronx HS in a first round match, and cringed at the way the Golden Eagles executed their game plan."Five players from South Bronx left the field injured because Springfield Gardens just beat them up," he said. "South Bronx had the more talented team, but Springfield Gardens just beat them up. I respect teams that are physical. We play in one of the most physical divisions in the city, but when you play dirty and you're looking to take someone's legs out on every single play- that's not right, and I told their coach that."Lawler blamed his team's attitude on the officiating and argued that the final score was a poor assessment of his team's talent."We were winded out there," he said. "We can't play a tough game on Wednesday and come back and play a tough team a couple days later. It's not fair."Arts and Business senior midfielder Alison Lubo alleged that players on Springfield Gardens were yelling instruction to each other to "hit her," and were spitting at the Bulls.On Friday, the undefeated Bulls completed the first leg of what they hope is a journey to another 'B' championship. Senior forward Amparo Garcia scored three goals, but was benched after she picked up a yellow card for shoving in the 72nd minute."That was the first time I ever played against a team that so dirty," she said. "We kept our composure and played smart. All the pushing could have led to something that could have been ugly."Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by E-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 130.
©2005 Community News Group
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