2008-10-17 / Sports

Dolphins Leap Over Kangaroos At Columbus Day Tournament

By Elio Velez

Felix Luna and Carlos Mejia celebrate earlier this season in a game against Martin Van Buren. Photo by Peter Borriello. Felix Luna and Carlos Mejia celebrate earlier this season in a game against Martin Van Buren. Photo by Peter Borriello. Beach Channel Dolphins boys soccer coach Dominic Stanco looked forward to Columbus Day. Not because it was a day off from school, but his team proved they were ready to make a deep run once again in the playoffs.

In the PSAL Columbus Day Soccer Tournament, Beach Channel proved too tough for Boys and Girls to handle. Two goals from seniors Carlos Mejia and Felix Luna gave the Dolphins a 4- 1 victory over the Kangaroos.

Boys' soccer commissioner Vito Rizzi invited the Dolphins, who were the only team from the PSAL B League, to compete in the eight-team tournament. The first place Queens B1 Division Beach Channel, flying high to start the season with an 11-0-1 record, weren't afraid of the big stage.

They displayed the tenacity and grit

Against the Kangaroos, who are currently in first place with a 6-2 record in the Brooklyn Central 'A' Division.

"We attacked the net. We scored four goals against a first place team from the 'A' and today this was a statement," Stanco said.

"I feel like this team is good enough to play anybody. I don't think we're weak in any position."

Stanco asked Rizzi this past spring to promote his Dolphins to the 'A' Division. John Adams, who won the 'B' title in November of 2007 with a 3-0 victory over Beach Channel was the only team promoted.

"I wanted to move to the 'A' because I felt this year we had a team ready to compete in the 'A'. So the guys took this like a playoff game," Stanco said

A shocked Boys and Girls could only put their hands on their hips and watch in despair as Luna and Mejia converted on goals to put Beach Channel up 2-0 only 15 minutes into the first half. The Dolphins continued to display tenacity and grit in the second half, despite losing key senior defender John Okoroerhun to a possible season ending left knee injury.

Boys and Girls senior forward Mansoor Mana Ali scored in the second half to cut the lead to 2-1, but they got no closer. Luna and Mejia sealed the deal, scoring back-to-back goals in the last 10 minutes to go up 4-1. Mejia, the senior midfielder who added to his team leading total of 15 goals, says the team has a few things left to accomplish. The final one will be to win a city championship.

"When we all play, we play with heart," Mejia said.

Beach Channel can secure their fourth straight division title with a victory at home (4 p.m.) on Tuesday against second place Jamaica. It will be a rematch of their hotly contested 5- 4 victory earlier this season in which they won with a Jose Baires goal in the last 30 seconds of the game.

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