Beach Channel Advances After Slaying Knights
The storm wasn't coming from the clear blue skies. The thunder and lightning was coming from their head coach Dominic Stanco.
He wasn't pleased with his team outplaying but only securing a 1-0 lead in the first round of the PSAL B girls' playoffs against a John F. Kennedy team. Stanco gave his team a stern reminder that their uneven performance could lead to an early playoff exit. Senior Jodian Braham got the message loud and clear and got her team over their lackadaisical hump and into the second round of the playoffs.
Braham scored two goals in the second half as Beach Channel cruised to a 3-0 win over JFK. The Dolphins, the 11th seed, has a much tougher opponent in the second round, with undefeated sixth seed School of the Future from Manhattan standing in their way at presstime.
Beach Channel struggled to finish their numerous scoring opportunities in the first half. Braham's goal in the 29th minute was the only score of the half but her miss on a one-on-one breakaway was just the least of the team's problems the senior midfielder/ forward admitted.
"I had a breakaway and I passed it right to the keeper," Braham said. "Half of our players were just watching the ball, not defending and we weren't as aggressive as we usual and he clarified that.
In the second half, the Dolphins came out a relaxed team and outplayed an overmatched JFK squad. Shanice Walters came on a substitute and in the 19th minute, put home a right-footed shot into the net to give Beach Channel a 2-0 lead. Braham scored her second goal in the 38th minute and defender Marissa Austin was effective in substituting in goal.
"Of course she might have had a little nervousness but she is a leader," Stancso said of Braham. "Jodi is a leader and she shows it off the field and on the field."
Stanco said he was pleased at the effort his team made in the second half. But it had to come after a tongue lashing he didn't want to give.
"I was tearing my hair out only because after seeing the first 20 minutes, I knew we were the better team. We were dominating play," Stanco said.
But the first half effort he told his team wouldn't be good enough to defeat their next opponent. School of the Future went 12-0 in the Manhattan B II Division and their stringent defense has only allowed two goals.
" I know our team hasn't been outplayed at home all year. But if we play like that (first half against JFK) on Thursday against School of the Future, we're going to be down 3-0, 4- 0 before halftime."