2009-10-30 / Sports

Relieved Dolphins Get Soccer Playoff Reprieve

By Elio Velez

The toughest thing for Beach Channel boys soccer coach Dominic Stanco is to watch his team lose a game. On Tuesday afternoon, his feelings after the Dolphins 3-2 defeat at the hands of Prospect Heights Campus in the second round were a range of feelings that pretty much centered on heartbreak.

As he watched the tears flowing from most of his team's eyes after the tough loss, Stanco wasn't able to hold back his own. It was an emotional ending for the Dolphins, who with aspirations to reach the PSAL B championship game, were eliminated in the second round the past two seasons.

But less than 24 hours later, it was an entirely different story for Stanco and the Beach Channel Dolphins.

On Wednesday morning, Stanco was informed by PSAL boys soccer commissioner Vito Rizzi that Prospect Heights, the second seeded team in the PSAL B's "S" bracket, which beat the third seed Dolphins, was forced to forfeit their victory because of two ineligible players.

What it means for Beach Channel's is that their season is once again resurrected as they reopen their quest for the championship. The Dolphins will now face first seed Edison High School in the quarterfinals as the game takes place at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning at Van Buren High School

"I saw my team's eyes and they couldn't hold back and I had started to cry," Stanco said as he described the events of a rainy Tuesday afternoon.

"To go through that experience, and now get a second chance, I know my guys will be ready to accept that golden opportunity to go out there and get that victory."

Two players on the Prospect Heights roster were ruled ineligible for playing a varsity sport in their fifth year of high school. PSAL and Department of Education rules states that once a student matriculates in a high school as a freshman, he or she can participate in a sport for only the next four years.

Stanco knew his players were upset after the previous day's events. But once he heard the ruling late Wednes - day morning, the first player he in - formed was co-captain Ryan Creese, one of five seniors whose season will at least continue for one more game. "He was very happy. He told me he didn't cry yesterday [Tuesday] at the game until he got home Once he thought about it, it had hit him hard." Stanco said.

But now the events of that rainy day are clearly washed away by Wednes - day's developments. The PSAL has al - ready experienced this last week in dis qualifying John F. Kennedy, who was originally named the third seed in the B playoffs.

By fielding an ineligible player in six games, those wins became losses and it meant that JFK finished the season at 6-7 and missed the playoffs by one game.

"There were two players for Prospect Heights present that were ineligible to play," Rizzi told the Wave on Wednes - day. "The game is ruled a forfeit and Beach Channel will go to the next round."

The Dolphins coach felt his team played well against Prospect Heights for most of the game. The scoreboard proved his assertions correctly in the first half when senior Ryan Creese net ted two goals in the first 20 minutes of the game to give Beach Chan - nel the lead. But Prospect roared back by scoring twice within the next five minutes. Mohamed Mohsin and Fer - nando Escalona scored to send the game into halftime at 2-2. Beach Channel had two close chances to score in the second half, but was push - ed away by goalkeeper Juan Ulysse.

Prospect Heights then capitalized in the 34th minute as Dolphins goalkeeper Erick Mejia Gutierrez failed to clear the ball past midfielder Jesus Vas - quez. The midfielder then directed his 35yard shot high above Gutierrez' leap and into the net to give what was at first a 3-2 Prospect victory.

But now those events are quickly regarded by Stanco and the Dolphins as ancient history.

Beach Channel will face a quality opponent in undefeated Edison, who won the Queens BII championship with a 12-0 record.

The Dolphins will have to be prepared if they are to stay alive.

"These guys will be ready," Stanco said. "We're going to make a few ad - just ments and take advantage of this second chance."

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