Far Rock Falls One Goal Short
Far Rockaway girls soccer head coach William Neylon knew his first round opponent very well. Long Island City was a long time divisional rival until moving to Queens BII this year. It seemed though that the Seahorses forgot what LIC was capable of doing on the field.
In the first half, Long Island City (8-4-1) scored three goals as they held on to defeat Far Rockaway (10-2-1) 3-2 last Friday.
Jessica Restreppo keyed an LIC offensive attack that constantly put the pressure on Far Rockaway’s defense. It was her across the field pass to midfielder Daniela Brandao, who shot it past goalie Renella Pereira to make it 1-0. Lady Seahorses’ Shickon Asfall tied the game 10 minutes later, but Restreppo was the main reason according to Neylon that kept his team off balance.
“That #9 (Restreppo) is a fantstic player and I don’t think they would have won without her. She was absolutely super,” Neylon said.
“Their whole attack is centered on that one player and they just tried to feed her the ball as much as possible.”
After being pushed to the ground by a Far Rock defender, Restreppo got right back up and in one motion, put her left foot on the net to make it 2-1. Midfielder Jennifer Williams added another goal in the 34th minute to make it 3-1.
“They were in our division so we know that they’re a quality team. There were no great surprises there. Their two best players (Restreppo and Williams) can take care of business,” Neylon said.
In the second half, Far Rockaway got closer as Troy Ann-Brown easily scored on a penalty kick shot to make it 3-2.
The Seahorses’ got their greatest and last opportunity to score with seconds left in regulation. LIC goalie Yuri Giraldo could not get a handle on a long shot attempt by Fayon Malcolm. The ball trickled to Brown but she could not get enough power on the ball as it trickled wide right as time expired.
“I have a great deal of pride in the girls. This is the first year Far Rockaway girls soccer has a won a division. So I’m proud. We had a great regular season.”
Season Ends For Brown
For Troy Ann-Brown, the senior striker will have her season once again end in the first round of the playoffs. But it was a good overall season as the only four year player on the team scored her career high in goals with 17.
“I had to focus a lot. It takes a lot of patience and dedication to go to the ball and give it all your might,” Brown said.
“I needed practice and I listened to people who told me to work on things. I didn’t do what I only feel but I listen to others so I can work on things.”
Born in Jamaica, Ann-Brown never played the game before arriving in the United States in the fifth grade. It wasn’t until she turned on the television that soccer would be Troy’s greatest interest.
“I watched international soccer. I watched the men because the girls soccer is too slow! The men are too fast. I don’t want to say that but you just learn more from the men. I don’t want to say that girls are bad,” Brown said.
What clinched her love for the game was the exploits of French international player and English Premier League soccer star Thierry Henry. The 6 foot 4 Arsenal striker’s long strides and numerous goals impressed Brown immensely.
“Thierry Henry is my favorite player. He’s just really good. He’s dedicated. If he has a mistake, he learns from it.”
The aim before the season
was to gain a playoff spot. When Brown checked the standings late in the regular season, she was surprised on how well the Seahorses were doing. It was more shocking to her that the team was doing so well that they going to clinch the division. I’m surprised we won. We knew our record but it’s like wow and it’s the first time in my final year that we finished #1. We didn’t expect to be that high!!!”