High School Roundup: Dolphins Seal Division Soccer Title
Beach Channel boys soccer coach Dominic Stanco was expecting to celebrate his second consecutive PSAL "B" Division I championship on Tuesday, October 24 with a victory over Queens High School for Teaching.
Then he got a phone call early that morning. Stanco was informed the game was forfeited, which would have given the Dolphins a victory and an undefeated season at 11-0-1.
Later that afternoon, another phone call came to his guidance counselor office. The game was resumed, which meant Stanco had to round up his players before they left school for the day that one more regular season game had to be played. Forfeit or not, the Dolphins were still prepared to sew up a division title with an 8-0 victory at home, which puts them in prime position to gain a bye in the first round of the playoff that starts next week.
Stanco came to the program three years ago to assist head coach Thomas Kazalski to revive a dormant and losing program. In 2006, after fending off a tough and talented divisional opponent in John Adams who they might meet later in the playoffs, Stanco has been happy that the pieces have fit together.
"I'm excited to coach this team. The Team chemistry, with at least seven or eight new players was great. Everyone got along," Stanco said.
"When they're on the field, they may get on each other but that's only to make them play better and win."
The PSAL "A" and "B" playoffs include teams who have finished with .500 average or higher. The "A" playoffs begin on Monday and the "B" commences on Tuesday with first round action. As one of four "B" teams to be undefeated, the Dolphins are more than likely to receive a bye and a home playoff second round matchup on Friday, November 3 at 2:30 p.m.
Eight goal scorers led the Dolphins to an easy win. Senior forward Dave Scott's goal finished a stretch of scoring 13 times in the final seven games of the regular season. He'll be counted along with senior sweeper Erik Rengifo and Marlon Velasquez as core members whose thoughts of winning a PSAL city title has permeated around the team since day one.
With a defense that has jelled old and new players, along with a potent attack, confidence has been bountiful on this team. Earlier in the season, Scott wasn't feeling that confident as the goal scoring touch was absent. A striker's confidence is predicated on scoring goals and Scott, who finished the season with 16 goals, went five games without one. After a benching and curtail of his playing time, Stanco's belief that Scott would dig deep and grab his starting job back with a better performance was justified.
"I had to take playing time away from him and he may have lost at least 20 minutes of playing time in a game.
"It gave him some drive and he did not want to come out when he got on the field. He accepted the challenge and didn't give up. He plays like a animal out there now."
Far Rockaway finished their campaign with a record of 2-10 as injuries, lack of depth and inexperience were a few factors that led to their disappointing campaign.
Stella Maris kept their CHSAA girls soccer playoff hopes in good shape with three wins in three consecutive days. The Flippers increased to a record of 9-5 with wins against Christ the King, St. Saviour and St. Edmund on Wednesday afternoon.
The regular season will conclude with a makeup home gain at Fort Tilden against St. John's Prep at 4 p.m. The CHSSA Brooklyn/Queens playoffs are tentatively scheduled to begin on November 3.