2006-11-10 / Sports

Adams Overtime Goal Shocks Dolphins Out Of Playoffs

By Elio Velez


Beach Channel's Eduardo Flores (center) flies high to head the ball away from John Adams. Photo By Peter Borriello.Beach Channel's Eduardo Flores (center) flies high to head the ball away from John Adams. Photo By Peter Borriello. There is a respect that Beach Channel varsity soccer coach Dominic Stanco and John Adams head coach Hector Alex Navarette have for each other.

The divisional Queens PSAL "B" rivals said before the regular season that they might meet once again meet in the playoffs. Both were surprised that their squads were placed in the same playoff bracket, which meant that Adams and Beach Channel would compete in the quarterfinals at Bayside High School on Election Day.

Stanco and Navarette hugged each other after another tough and thrilling contest. The thanks and congratulations would go this time to Navarette and his John Adams Spartans, who with an Alexander Salas overtime goal sent the Dolphins out of the playoffs in a 2-1 victory. With not even a minute completed in the first overtime, the Dolphins, who looked exhausted after winning the previous day against Arts and Business, made the last crucial error in their season.

Adams forward Kenneil Haye had chased a ball deep into the Beach Channel end of the field and was closely followed by sweeper Erik Rengifo. With the ball heading to the corner, Rengifo intended to play the ball and clear it to his teammates.

The senior slipped to the ground and Haye quickly crossed the ball to a streaking Salas. Wide open, Salas headed the second goal he would score above the leaping arms of BBCHS goalkeeper Alpha Dia into the back of the net. Rengifo looked shock as he watched John Adams mob their teammate Salas.

For the second year in a row, Rengifo's team was knocked out of the quarterfinals in similar circumstances. Brandeis eliminated the Dolphins in a 3-2 second overtime win last year. Navarette witnessed in person a tired and battered Dolphins soccer team had eked out a 1-0 double overtime victory against an Arts and Business team who was originally eliminated in the first round.

A PSAL citywide investigation found that Jefferson, who was the original second round opponent for Beach Channel, had used an ineligible player. Samuel Tilden, Adlai Stevenson and Hillcrest was also found guilty of using illegal players and eliminated from the playoffs. With Arts and Business reassembled, the second round "B" game was rescheduled to last Monday. BCHS got the win on a Christopher Frey golden goal and played their game against Adams less than 24 hours later in a 9:30 a.m. start. Navarette said the Dolphins gave their all even if they weren't fully rested.

"I've always said playing against Channel would be like a final. Unfortunately one of us would have to lose. We both worked hard," Navarette, a former Major League Soccer player, said.

"They were killing themselves to win. We had the advantage playing Friday and getting rest. But I have to give my respect to them. They are a great team."

Stanco says he has an equal amount of respect for Adams and though his team may not have been 100%, they had their chances to advance to the next round. "One mistake made the difference and that's it. Both teams played 50-50 and one mistake decided the game."

The Dolphins fought through their weariness to take the lead in the first half. Marlon Velasquez pounced on a defensive miscue and right foot a shot into the net for a 1-0 lead. A failed clearance gave Salas the opportunity to creep towards the net and score his first goal to the game in the 36th minute. It was crucial errors such as that which sent BC home.

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