Stella Maris,Beach Channel Even Score With Rivals
Ayoung Stella Maris soccer team has had to discover how best their talent can mesh into a cohesive unit this season, in the Brooklyn/Queens CHSAA Division.
The first half against Christ the King on Monday, October 1 at Fort Tilden illustrated how inexperienced they could be. But the second half gave much needed hope to Stella Maris.
With Christ the King taking a 3-0 lead, and a 4-1 cushion in the second half, the Lady Flippers responded with a spirited effort in the second half.
With only a minute left in the second half, Stella Maris' Shannon Barnes used the uneven Fort Tilden grass turf to her advantage.
The senior connected on a 40-yard free kick, which bounced in front the Christ King goalkeeper, and went in the back of the net as the game ended in a 4- 4 tie on October 1.
Barnes and goalkeeper Iris De La Cruz, are the nucleus of a young Stella Maris (1-2-2) team that lost seven seniors and were defeated in the diocesan semifinals in November of 2006.
Most of the roster contains younger players, such as Liz Cholakis, a freshman forward who arrived from St. Francis de Sales. Cholakis scored two goals to start the second-half rally.
But with a minute remaining in the second half and the Lady Flippers down by one goal, Barnes took a free kick which was 40 yards away from the goal.
Barnes is slowly getting used to the uneven surface of Fort Tilden, but she used it to her advantage.
On the dirt portion of the field, Barnes kicked a floater towards the goal and it bounced wickedly under the Lady Royals' goalkeeper.
"I wasn't even sure I was going to take it… but I knew we just had a minute left and I just knew I had to go for it all," Barnes said.
Barnes strongly feels this team has enough talent to be a dangerous playoff opponent, if Stella Maris makes the playoffs later this month.
The senior believes her younger teammates are starting to learn what it takes to win. Cholakis said she knew what lesson was taught last Monday.
"This tie tells us that we're not going to give up. We can make that comeback," Cholakis said.
Adams, BCHS Tie Again
Of the lesser-known song titles from the iconic 1970's rock group Led Zeppelin, one was called "The Song Remains The Same."
The title of the song could be applied to the everburgeoning boys' soccer rivalry between John Adams and Beach Channel.
Last Friday afternoon, these two of the top PSAL 'B' teams battled at Beach Channel for supremacy in the Queens 'B1' Division.
These two evenly matched teams couldn't get the goal for a victory and three points, as the Dolphins and Spartans settled for a 0-0 draw on September 28.
Both squads will have to wait to the third and final meeting on October 19 at John Adams (5-0-2, 17 points) to determine a winner in the season series.
Beach Channel made a second half rally and got a 2-2 tie on the road on September 11. The swirling 15-20 miles per hour winds of Jamaica Bay did play a role in this contest, but it was really the defensive work by both teams that told the story.
Beach Channel (4-0-2, 14 points) held Samuel Archer, John Adams' dangerous goal scorer, to no goals on the day.
Dolphins coach Dominic Stanco shadowed the strong Spartans forward with central defender John Okoroerhun and a host of others.
Archer did shake loose for his only scoring chance late in the second half. In an impressive end to end run late in the second half, Archer dribbled past six Beach Channel defenders, but the senior's right-footed, 15-yard strike to the goal went wide and left the game scoreless.
Though the Dolphins were held scoreless by Adams, senior sweeper Eduardo Flores says the last meeting will decide a winner but also who will be crowned the division champion.
"It was an up and down game. We shut Archer down and we knew he was the guy," Flores said.
"We came out to make a statement today that we can compete with Adams and any other team."
Far Rockaway will travel to Beach Channel for a boys' soccer matchup on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m.