Baires Late Goal Secures Beach Channel Victory
Jose Baires isn't demonstrative nor is he loud when he is playing on the soccer field with his Beach Channel teammates.
But being vocal wasn't what the Dolphins needed in the final seconds of a hard fought game against Jamaica High School.
Baires' right foot was required to break a deadlock with a minute left in the second half. The junior midfielder's wicked shot got past goalkeeper Trevor Paddy and gave Beach Channel (7-0-0, 21 points) an exhilarating 5-4 victory in a battle between two of the top teams in the Queens B1 Division.
With 30 seconds left in the contest, Baires took advantage of a Jamaica (4-1-0, 12 points) defensive lapse and from 20 yards away, struck a right-foot shot. The ball skipped on the ground and got past Paddy into the net to ignite a wild celebration from his joyful teammates.
"I just shot it at goal. I hit it good, it bounced and it's hard to block one of those shots," Baires said. "They (Jamaica) got a lot of skill and heart but we do too."
Baires leads the league with 15 assists in only 7 games. His ability to find teammates, especially on corner kicks, allowed Carlos Mejia to score two goals in the first 10 minutes of the game which gave Beach Channel a 3-0 lead. Mejia, who leads the team in goals with 9, added a third in the second half to give the Dolphins a 4-2 lead.
But Jamaica, a strong and physical team that made the PSAL semifinals last year, tied the game at 4-4 on Cesar Aguilar's header with two minutes left. At the final whistle, it was the Dolphins who have the advantage with seven games left to win their fourth consecutive division championship according to head coach Dominic Stanco.
"Without a doubt they are one of the best teams. Stanco said about Jamaica. "I was impressed with the way we played because this was a statement game. A win is a win and we went to their field and got out of here still in first place."