In a year filled with hometown athletic successes—the Little League World Series appearance of the Par-Troy East All-Stars, the 19-2, conference-winning Parsippany High School field hockey team, the Parsippany Hills High School Vikings nearly making the state football sectional championships—add one more. The Parsippany Soccer Club's U-17 team, the Gators, won the Super Y-League national title against the Ironbound Soccer Club 4-2 in extra time Dec. 11 in Bradenton, Fla.
"This represents the first Super Y-League National Title for the Parsippany SC boys program," said PSC President David Ferguson. "It is a remarkable achievement for both our club and the Parsippany community. We are obviously extremely proud of this very talented group of young men."
The outcome could have been very different.
Parsippany looked certain to win the game in regulation time. After Newark's Ironbound was reduced to 10 men in the final five minutes, PSC's Enver Caymaz had a chance from a tight angle on the left to put the game away in the 89th minute. Ironbound proved resilient, however, and scored a goal in the final minute of regulation, sending the game into extra time.
But within three minutes of the first half of overtime, Caymaz restored his side’s lead by scoring a hat trick, giving Parsippany the game and the Boys U-17 Championship at the North American finals.
“It feels just great, I can’t explain my feelings,” Caymaz said. “Two years ago, we were at the bottom of the Super Y, but now we’ve won the championship. It feels great.”
Par High soccer coach Ahmed Kandil said that while there are many great players on the squad, including Caymaz, Clayton Flon, Zach Panzner, Michael Weston and Jae Wong, he gives much credit to the leadership of three PSC players who are also senior captains of the PHS soccer squad.
"Our team captains Ryan Vyskocil, Sebastian Gallo and Andrew Ruane all emerged as leaders," said Kandil. "Ryan was very vocal as a keeper and kept us in some games this year. Andrew and Sebastian were two of our best defenders and at the end of the year, we moved them up top to more offensive roles. The two combined for 14 goals and 18 assists on the season and really set off an offensive spark.
"Winning a national championship is a phenomenal way for these guys to cap off their senior year of success," he continued. "I am very proud of the boys and their accomplishments this year and hope this success will carry on to the next level [at] college."
Ryan Vyskocil, who's been playing soccer for seven years (three years with the Gators), said the win has a great deal of meaning for the PSC.
"It was such a big accomplishment, and if felt great to prove to the rest of the state that PSC is a legitimate club in the state of New Jersey," Vyskocil said.
Andrew Ruane, a nearly 13-year veteran of the PSC, explained that the Super Y-League runs in spring and summer, and that the top two or three teams in each regional section of the country are chosen to vie for the national championship in Florida.
Ruane said playing Ironbound was meaningful, because of the rivalry between the two clubs.
"We've seen them numerous times throughout the season, and it always goes back and forth between us," he said.
That proved to be the case in 2012, as it was Ironbound's Premier Strikers who took home the Super Y Mid-Atlantic division crown.
Ironbound edged out Parsippany for the Mid Atlantic Division during the regular season, and the two teams played to a 1-1 draw last summer. But the December finals matchup proved to be fateful for the Par-Troy boys.
Stan Lembryk, who coaches the Gators along with CC Wong, said that over the past three years, the team has progressively improved its skills. He credited that growth for the big win in Florida.
“It’s incredible,” the coach said. “It’s a first on the boy’s side for our club, and it’s something we’ve been talking about for almost the last three years with this team. When we got together, we were almost in last place in our division, so in three years we’ve gone from worst to first, sort of speaking, and I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet.
“[O]nly the team knows where it started from, and where it finished up and what we had to do to get there," Lembryk continued. "It’s been an incredible year for us. We’re thankful for the league putting on such a great environment in a great venue here.
"Words don’t describe the feelings the boys have, and they’re great.”