H.S. Roundup: Stella Maris, Far Rockaway Boys Flying High
At 20 years old, Michelle Raaf has gotten used to being the youngest soccer coach in the Brooklyn-Queens CHSAA. In her second year at the helm of the Lady Flippers program, Raaf has gotten adjusted to coaching players only a few years younger than her. Raaf also has a talented squad to coach with as Stella Maris has gotten off to a 2-0 start.
The Lady Flippers defeated St. John's Prep, 4-1 on Monday in the BQCHSAA opener. On Wednesday afternoon at Fort Tilden, Stella Maris won against St. Agnes, 7-0.
"I love soccer. It feels better to be a year older now because the players won't look at me as a teenager," Raaf said. "We got a lot of good soccer players and we want to keep playing hard."
Stella Maris will host their next two games at Fort Tilden, starting to day at 4 p.m. against Notre Dame Academy. Christ the King will visit on Monday at 4 p.m.
Raaf says her team has a nice mix of veterans and newcomers. Junior forward Liz Cholakis led the team in goals in 2008 and has once again provided production with four goals tallied this season.
Lynn Raider, who also scored twice against St. Agnes, should also help. Shannon O'Connor and Maria Steele also return. Newcomers such as Regina Paskoff and Ashley Raaf will also help.
Michelle Raaf is comfortable she says coaching her younger sister Ashley, who has tallied four goals this season. The sophomore will pair up with Cholakis as forwards who could be tough for opposing defenders to stop.
"It's not hard. I thought it would be hard since she's my sister. I just see her as a player."
Gerlisa Hills scored three goals on Tuesday afternoon as Beach Channel (3-0) held on to a 4-3 victory over Springfield Gardens (0-3).
Far Rockaway (1-2) won their first game of the season via forfeit on Tuesday afternoon over Campus Magnet (1-3).
After losing the first two games of the PSAL season, the Seahorses have continued their early season revival with a 7-0 win on Wednesday afternoon over Queens High School of Teaching.
Far Rockaway won their fourth straight as they received two goals from each Olufemi Ogunsola, Oscar Gomez and Teddy Pierre. Stevens Saintil also scored for the Seahorses (4-2). Ogunsola leads the team with 8 goals.
Seahorses coach Michael Falzone's says his first year at the coaching helm of the Far Rockaway boys program has gone well so far.
Falzone earned all-conference honors playing at Massapequa High School and then graduating to play at SUNY Farmingdale.
"We're like a family. We have a lot of heart on this team. This is team is trying to improve every time out there," Falzone says.
Far Rockaway will play Beach Channel this Saturday at 3 p.m. The game will be played at Campus Magnet High School.
Van Buren Blanks Dolphins
The once high flying Beach Channel Dolphins balloon, whose 5-0 record raised them to the top of the PSAL Queens B1 standings, was deflated by visiting Martin van Buren on Wednesday afternoon.
Van Buren's intense physical nature and timely goal scoring gave them a 3- 0 victory over the Dolphins. The visitors scored twice in the first half off goals by Peterson Jean and Olayinka Adekeve.
Zeakiel Daley scored his goal four minutes into the second half as Van Buren improved to 5-0-1 and leaped over the Dolphins into first place in the division.
Dolphins' striker Carlos Mejia, who has 15 goals going into the contest, was shutdown completely by the Van Buren defense.
Domini Stanco, Beach Channel's coach, says he was disappointed in his team's lack of cohesion and effort on the field. He believes his team wasn't up to the task in such a big game this early in the season.
"I have never seen us play this bad. We looked intimidated out there," Stanco said. "We got to play like the team I think we are capable of next time we go to Van Buren."
The old football motto states that defense wins championships. Beach Channel coach Victor Nazario believes it's to be true, and he's glad his football team subscribed to that motto last Friday afternoon.
A tough Dolphins defense held Springfield Gardens to under 100 total yards as Beach Channel won 14-0 in a PSAL Bowl Division game.
A stingy defense made up for numerous mistakes which plagued the offense in the first three quarters Nazario said. But he was pleased his defense picked up the slack.
"Our defense had to pick us up. For three quarters, we kept shooting ourselves in the foot," Nazario said.
The Dolphins finally got their offense on track in the fourth quarter. Turran Rhodes (100 yards rushing) scored on a 10-yard touchdown with 7 minutes remaining. QB Darryl Sanford clinched the game with a 3-yard touchdown sneak to make it 14-0.
Beach Channel improved to 2-1 but Nazario still thinks his team hasn't clicked on all facets of the game. They'll get another chance to put it all together on Saturday when Jamaica (0-2) visits Beach Channel at 12 p.m.
Seahorses Fumble In Defeat
Far Rockaway wasted numerous first half chances at home on Friday afternoon to extend a halftime lead as Info Tech rallied late to win 16-12.
Information Technology rallied from a 12-0 halftime deficit as they capitalized on four Far Rockaway turnovers in the second half.
The Blackhawks (3-0) did their damage in the fourth quarter. Shaniyat Chowduhry scored on a rushing touchdown and caught a scoring pass from QB Christopher Bohan.
Far Rockaway (1-2) scored all of their points in the first quarter. Travis Wright scored on a 70-yard touchdown run, and recovered one of two fumbles on defense for a touchdown.
But while the Seahorses forced four turnovers in the first half, they performed the exact amount in the second.
"It was a tale of first halves.
We had our chances to capitalize in the first, but we gave up too many turnovers on our end in the second," said Far Rockaway Seahorses coach Walt Wilkerson.
Far Rockaway fell to 1-2 and needs a bounce back win at Adlai Stevenson (1- 2) in the Bronx on Saturday at 11 am.