AC Crusaders Open Up to Almost 1800 Screaming Fans in their 2011 Home Debut!

The free drawing for a $2000 all inclusive 3 night 4 day trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, courtesy of APPLE VACATIONS was won by EHT resident Kelli Scrom

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY – MAY 23RD – The AC Crusaders played their first home match this past Sunday in the 2011 National Premier Soccer League season, the match was against the New Jersey Blaze in a Keystone Conference matchup.

In what would be an absolutely fantastic home debut for the South Jersey team who came out 4-0 winners, they also opened up with 10 home grown players in the starting lineup, that would only be half the story.

As the clouds began to threaten the game, the South Jersey fans slowly began to arrive with only a handful of fans in the stands that were mainly friends and family with only 10 minutes to kick-off. It seemed as though the locals had forgotten about the game or decided not to come as the threat of rain appeared high on the horizon. All of a sudden the local soccer fans showed up from all areas, with an announced attendance of 1,722 fans in the stands, I would say that the AC Crusaders and the NPSL had let the rest of the country know that South Jersey was in the house.

The real success for the AC Crusaders was that the locals would go away with more than a smile on their face but with an experience that one fan said was “totally awesome”. In fact, from the half time entertainment that was provided by the Boogie Nights Crew who did everything from announcing the game, and providing the music, they also brought a little Hollywood to the game as they provided the crowd an amazing half time show that almost threatened to delay the start of the second half. In front of the fans both Michael Jackson and Madonna (impersonators) brought down the house with their “thrilling” acts and even had some of the kids joining in on the fun.

With the crowd now at a feverish pitch and the team firing on all cylinders the AC Crusaders concentrated on the task ahead and that was to try and put on a show that would live up to the billing of a home game derby match that would get the home team crowd buzzing.
With only seconds into the game Adam Sternberger burst through the Blazes defense with a one on one chance against the Blazes keeper who made a big save pushing the ball over the bar for a corner kick. It was only 12 minutes later that Sternberger fed the ball through to Jeremy Ortiz who unleashed a scorcher of a shot that the Blazes keeper could not handle making the score 1-0 Crusaders. For almost the rest of the first half and to the Blazes credit they not only kept the Crusaders attack at bay but kept the Crusaders defense on their toes as both teams had went from end to end.

At half time one lucky fan went home with a very large smile on her face! Kelli Scrom of Egg Harbor Twp was presented by President of the Crusaders (Matt Driver) and General Manager (Michael Nicol) on behalf of the Crusaders presenting sponsor Apple Vacations a $2000 All Inclusive vacation to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. On receiving the prize Scrom was quoted saying “you guys are awesome, I never win anything like this, this is so cool”.

The second half was quite a different story, with a couple of tactical changes at half time that allowed for a more offensive line up James Totczyk entered the field and with a few minutes in and provided the pass to Adam Sternberger to slot home a very difficult shot from an acute angle to make the score 2-0! “Hearing the almost 1800 fans in the stands stamp their feet and cheer for their local players was amazing, the crowd really got behind us and gave us a push” one Crusader said. With only minutes into entering the game former Oak Crest High School standout Rodney Aguirre entered the game and within minutes blazed down the right side of the field and fired home a totally unassisted goal to bring the score to 3-0 and if that was not enough after that inspired substitution, substitute Emmanuel Asangmbeng entered the game with only minutes left and with his first touch in the game put the final punctuation mark on the game taking the final score to 4-0 for the Crusaders. It was a night both on and off the field that helped make this a fantastic debut for the AC Crusaders fans and a great advertisement for the NPSL.

The AC Crusaders have been founded by Matt Driver to offer local South Jersey Players a vehicle to continue their soccer career development. The Crusaders will offer current college players the best environment to prepare for their upcoming fall college seasons and provide graduating college players the first step on the professional soccer ladder. 80% of the players selected for the Crusaders roster are local players from the South Jersey area, many from top level D1 College programs and several involved in National Team Pools.

The Crusaders will compete in the NPSL, an independent nation-wide league whose main focus is on the development of highly competitive professional and amateur men’s soccer teams. The NPSL makes every effort to bring quality soccer to all levels of the community and to promote the stature of male athletes as role models for our youth.
Atlantic Soccer Factory is the largest privately owned soccer education company in the South Jersey region. With access to 30,000 youth soccer players through its multiple training platforms, Atlantic Soccer Factory and the AC Crusaders look to accomplish just that. The team will be fully integrated throughout the soccer community and have already arranged agreements with many clubs ASF currently works with to provide tickets and promotional opportunities to its youth teams.

Matt Driver’s efforts are helping to create excitement and interest in a positive entertainment outlet as well as helping gain exposure for the rapidly growing South Jersey soccer community. AC Crusaders games will be fun for the whole family, with game-day activities and professional level competition by the region’s finest soccer players.

Keep updated with current AC Crusader and ASF news on our website at www.atlanticsoccerfactory.com and www.accrusaders.com.

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