As the final seconds ticked off the clock in Saturday's Match for Milan, that pitted soccer alums against the 2010 Middlesex League Champion Squad, the scoreboard showed 8-7 in favor of the alumni. All these players came together to support Milan Moosavizadeh to help raise money for their former teammate.
Life changed forever for Milan Moosavizadeh last May, when the young Winchester High Soccer star
There were no defibirillators at the field and Moosavizadeh went nearly five minutes without oxygen. He was placed on life support over the summer and has since been taken off of it and returned home.
Although he has defied dire medical odds, he still faces an uphill battle on his daily road toward recovery.
"It's amazing to see how this kid can touch so many people. A lot of the alumni in today's game don't know him personally, but he's still touched their lives," said Winchester High School Assistant coach and alumni Ernie Drougas.
Milan's family brought him onto the field in the second half, so that he could acknowledge the sizable community that had come out to support him.
Milan's brother Shaundize expressed his gratitude after the game.
"It was a great time and it was great for my brother. It's great to see just how much the community wants to help."
Shaundize suited up for an alumni squad that benefitted from a large turnout of Sachem graduates. There were 37 alums on the sideline from the class of 1977 to the class of 2010. Drougas and the Woolf family had only three weeks to organize the event, but the response exceeded their expectations.
"These soccer kids are family and they stay in touch. They started talking about this game and word spread. Everyone wanted to play," said Howard Woolf, whose son Nick (class of 2010) played an integral role in arranging the match for his former teammate.
Players on both sides joked with one another and the alums caught up with old friends on the sidelines. Drougas, the alumni coach, kept his team fresh with multiple substitutions so that everyone got a chance to play. Coach Paul Austin's squad, coming off a difficult tournament that saw them lose in overtimer, was able to relax and try out some new positions.
"This is their swan song," said Austin. "They had a great season and now let's have some fun. This should be fun. It's a great event and everyone is just coming together for Milan. It's a great day."
The alums were in complete agreement.
"It's a great cause and it's just been a blast to be back on the field again," said Peter Oliver, class of 1984. "It's fun to see all your friends again."
Drougras was proud of how the Sachem players - both current and former - were able to come together for this cause.
"It all goes back to our motto," said Drougas. "It's we not me. It was a lot of work but all of the sleepless nights were worth it. I couldn't be happier with today's game. It was just amazing."
While the game is in the books, there are still opportunities for people who would like to help the Moosavizadehs. TeamMilan.org is collaboration between Milan's coaches and family friends to keep the community updated on his story and how they can help. You can learn more about their efforts at www.TeamMilan.org.