Villatoro Does The Trick In Far Rock Victory
Far Rockaway midfielder Efrain Villatoro told the Wave a few weeks ago that he would score three goals against Beach Channel. Those were strong words from the senior player but his actions matched his predictions in the final game of the regular season.
The 5 foot 10 star scored three goals in the first half as he capitalized on a porous Beach Channel defense to give the Seahorses a 3-0 lead. His contributions would be enough as the Dolphins scrambled to score two goals late in the second half but could not overcome a 3-2 Seahorses victory last Friday at FRHS.
The Seahorses finished the season with 7 wins, 2 losses and 3 ties and host a first round PSAL B playoff game at home with a yet to be determined opponent on November 2 at 2:30 p.m. At 8-2-2, the Dolphins will host a first round game on November 2 against George Westinghouse High School.
Villatoro didn’t mind the Dolphins celebrating their division winning title on the field after the game. What mattered most was that his team took care of business before the playoffs start.
“I’m surprised at what I did,” Villatoro said after the game. “This game, we concentrated on our game and we were home. We kept it up and we didn’t want to lose here. We finished up good.
“We’re in the playoffs. We focus on what we will do and we know what we can do. It’s a good confidence for us and we’re in good shape right now. We need to keep the good attitude because we have good players and talent.”
With the division already in the bag for the Dolphins, the Seahorses needed to secure second place in the PSAL Queens Division and get a home game in the first round. They started out strong and overwhelmed Beach Channel in the first few minutes of the game. Beach Channel defender Erik Rengifo could not clear the ball from their end of the field as Villatoro pounced on the error and struck a 30 yard goal past goalkeeper Hector Garcia to make it 1-0.
Dolphins’ Marlon Velasquez, returning from a two game red card suspension, missed just wide on a free kick to the Far Rock goal a few minutes later and the Seahorses came right back on the attack. Striker Janoi Allen headed a pass to Villatoro deep into Beach Channel territory and in one motion used his left foot to place the ball to the corner of the net to make it 2-0.
“I liked the way our team was aggressive and moved the ball. When we play like that in the first half, that’s the way we should play,” Seahorses head coach William Neylon who said he will count on players such as Allen, Eder Herrera and Felipe Zaldana to make a playoff push.
Villatoro continued his good fortune with a deflection in a crowd of players in the goalkeeper area for his 18 th goal of the year and a 3-0 lead in the eleventh minute of the second half.
From there on, the Dolphins seemed to wake up from their deep slumber and played up to the level that made them PSAL Queens Champions.
Rengifo, moved from defense to midfield by head coach Dominic Stanco, finished off an easy penalty kick goal to cut the lead to 3-1 with 9 minutes left. Rengifo scored his second of the game to narrow the lead to a 3-2 deficit in the 37th minute.
But the Dolphins could not capitalize on the equalizer as time ran out.
“We were lackadaisical for the first half. Far Rockaway outplayed us and they have more players than just #10 (Villatoro),” Stanco said after the game. “I’m very proud still that we won the division. Now we move on and it’s (playoffs) a whole new season.”