Dolphins Eliminated From Soccer Playoffs in Heartbreaker
Beach Channel had clawed their way from a 2-0 deficit against Brandeis and extended their playoff life for a tie into overtime. But in a matter of seconds, the Dolphins’ fortunes turned to the absolute worst.
In the second overtime of a PSAL quarterfinal game, midfielder Marlon Velasquez committed a turnover in the Brandeis end. One pass later, striker Harvel Thomas kicked a ball past a diving goalkeeper Hector Garcia to send the Dolphins home in a 3-2 loss last Tuesday at Tilden H.S.
“Their best goalscorer gets open on a broken play and he buries it on the corner. There’s nothing you can do,” says a downbeat head coach Dominic Stanco said after the game
It was an excruciating loss more so since the Dolphins played better than they did in the first half. While they were sleepwalking, Brandeis took advantage by scoring two goals in the first half for a 2-0 lead.
Both goals were the result of direct kicks caused by fouls from a sloppy Dolphins defense. In the 30 th minute, Christian Hurtado weaved a kick from the 30 yard line through the defense for a 2-0 lead. As he celebrated in amazement, the goal seemed to snap the Dolphins out of their slumber.
“I think the guys were caught up in the excitement of it all. They were a little too intimidated,” Stanco said.
“The first half, the nerves got us but once we broke through we had some golden opportunities to do something and put it away.”
Velasquez cut the lead 2-1 on a free kick as the half ended. The Dolphins continued to pile the pressure and finally scored on Dave Scott goal to tie the game with five minutes left in the second half.
Sometimes a game can be decided on a matter of inches and the Dolphins just missed a goal winner in the first overtime. Velasquez directed a corner kick to the front of a crowded set of players at the Brandeis net. The ball deflected off one of the Bulldogs’ defenders, hit the right post and narrowly missed by inches of going in the net.
For the second straight year, Brandeis eliminated the Dolphins and the only thing Stanco can do now is plan for next September when the season begins. He says that the hurt of a loss and divisional rival John Adams advancing to the final four today will only get him more prepared to go further next year.
“We made it further this year than any other year. I’m proud of these guys that we made the final eight. We got to look forward to next season, Stanco said.
Edwin Sanchez will start on defense in the PSAL Exceptional All Star Senior Game at Campus Magnet on Sunday. The game will be played after the A and B championship.