Premier Development League
Cook scores late to send Central Florida past Rapids Reserve for title.
ORLANDO, Fla. (Saturday, August 7, 2004) -- Striker Justin Cook scored with two minutes remaining in regulation to propel the Central Florida Kraze to a 1-0 triumph over the Boulder Rapids Reserve for the Premier Development League championship tonight at UCF Soccer Field.
The PDL is an amateur league and the fourth tier of men's soccer in the United States. There are 55 teams in the PDL, split over eight divisions.
Foward Orville (Villa) Mullings tested the Boulder defense numerous times on the night, but it wasn't until the closing moments that his efforts resulted in the game-winner. Mullings received the ball from second-half sub Xavier Delgado in the middle of the top of the box and he cut to the right side. Mullings' shot deflected off the defender marking him with the subsequent floating ball glancing off the fingertips of outstretched goalkeeper Luis Robles. The ball landed at the feet of Cook and the Ohio State senior put away the loose ball for a 1-0 lead in the 88th minute.
A minute later, Central Florida goalkeeper Ryan McIntosh had to make a great diving of a hard header to preserve the victory.
Boulder controlled possession for much of the first 15 minutes, but the Kraze began to pressure and create chances of its own. The rest of the game was a wild back-and-forth affair that saw both teams with great opportunities.
In the 20th minute, Cook had a chance to put the Kraze on top. A free kick sent into the box from the flank was headed weakly by a Boulder defender with the ball only coming to Cook. His shot missed wide left.
In another excellent chance in the 38th minute, Central Florida midfielder Eric Vasquez charged through the center of the field uncontested and slipped a pass to Mullings about 15 yards from the penalty area. Mullings, on the left side, nearly carried through two Boulder defenders before being fouled on the top boundary of the box. The Kraze claimed unsuccessfully the foul occurred in the box and a penalty kick should be awarded, and then failed to capitalize on the direct kick.
In first-half stoppage time, Boulder midfielder John Pulido-Santodomingo had his shot from the top right corner of the box deflect off a defender, forcing McIntosh to make a diving save.
In the 54th minute, Mullings managed a breakaway after a ball slipped through defender Aaron Pitchkolan's legs, but Robles stuffed Mullings's shot from 10 yards out.
Four minutes later, Mullings again proved dangerous. He shouldered Miguel Guante off the ball in the left corner, took possession and drove into the box before another Boulder defender came over the clear the ball away.
A long ball in the 84th minute found Mullings racing shoulder-to-shoulder with a defender, but Robles came out to snare the ball.