BY ANDREI GRESKA
MILWAUKEE (Feb. 15, 2010) - The Milwaukee Wave Reserves won the Madison United President's Cup tournament over the weekend, capturing their last three matches on penalty kicks.
Playing with only eight players, the Wave Reserves withstood a grueling schedule to win seven games in two days.
"I have to give these guys a big hand of respect because we only had eight players and they were tired," Wave Reserves coach Mark Litton said. "But they stayed disciplined and they stuck with our game plan. And because they stuck with our game plan, we were able to get through every game, even with heavy legs."
The final three matches were overtime thrillers, with penalty kicks the deciding factor in each.
With the score tied at 3 at the end of regulation, the Wave Reserves took out the defending champion Croatian Eagles 3-2 on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals. They followed that performance with another 3-2 spot kick victory, this time over Arsenal, a team made up of mostly University of Wisconsin players.
In the championship match, Alex Megson headed an early goal to put the Wave Reserves up on Hrvatski Orlovi. After conceding two goals, the Wave Reserves tied it up with a blast from Piper Lee that beat the Orlovi keeper on the back post.
In the shootout, Megson, Lee and Pablo put in their shots and gave their keeper Jamie Lieberman the opportunity to win the tournament and steal the show. Lieberman did just that, diving to his right and stopping the penalty kick to win the President's Cup. Lieberman was named tournament MVP for his penalty heroics.
Megson led the Wave Reserves with 17 goals, scoring at least one in every game, while midfielder Pablo played all 190 minutes, including 140 minutes on Sunday. Lee added six goals of his own in the seven matches. The three players came though in the clutch, sinking their penalty shots in all three opportunities they had.
"It's fantastic. We play in the Milwaukee league and the competition is pretty decent, but coming here, everybody wants to win this prestigious tournament and we did well," Lieberman said.
This was the first time the Wave Reserves had entered this tournament. Most of the players on the roster practice with the Wave every day and play once a week in a league in Milwaukee.
"We play against the same faces every week," Litton said. "So to come and get the chance to play against different teams from different parts of the Midwest, it's been great for these guys."
The first team's next game is at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21 against the Philadelphia KiXX. It's the World's Longest Pinewood Derby, and fans can run a car down the track beginning at 10 a.m. For more information, call 414-224-9283 or visit milwaukeewave.com.