Soccer Roundup: Lady Dolphins Advance, Stella Maris Hangs In
These are trying times for the Stella Maris Lady Flippers soccer team as they try to prepare for the Brooklyn- Queens CHSAA playoffs stating on Tuesday with a giant shadow hovering over the program.
On October 19, the school announced that they would close effectively next August due to low enrollment.
The news clearly affected the Stella Maris team even though two days later they would defeat St. Agnes, 2-0. On October 23, Maria Steele and Lynn Raider, two of Stela Maris' starting defenders, left the school to attend St. Edmund Prep and Forest Hills High School respectively.
The Manhattan-Queens Division second place Lady Flippers (7-3-1) are still adjusting to what's been happening. Though they lost 6-1 to third place Christ the King on Monday, coach Michele Raaf says her players adjusting well to the madness happening surrounding them.
The rest of the team will remain and finish the season.
"They've been very mature about it. I've sat down with them and we just talk about it. I also organized a game of dodgeball in the gymnasium to re - lease some stress," Raaf said.
Raaf, the 20-year old coach, is only two years removed as an alumnus of the school. But she is committed to guiding the team into the playoffs as either the second seed or the third seed representing the Manhattan-Queens Division.
The Lady Flippers will either play against Bishop Kearney, Brooklyn's second seed team or St. Saviour, the third seed team.
To acquire the second seed, Stella Maris will need to have won either against Notre Dame Academy, the Manhattan-Queens Division leader at presstime or they must defeat Font - bonne Hall today at 4 p.m. in Fort Til - den. Christ the King will seal the second spot if they defeated St. John's Prep on October 28, and Stella Maris loses twice.
A post-season is berth is assured for the Lady Flippers and Raaf is confident her team will give an inspired effort in their final campaign.
"I'm trying to get through this too. But I'm concentrating as a coach, not as an alumnus so I can help them get though this," says, says Raaf, whose sister Ashley is an integral part of this year's team.
"I know that my sister Ashley is also going through it too. We just try to talk it out as a team, practice hard and try to take the stress away for at least two hours so we can go out there and try to win."
Hills, Lady Dolphins Advance
May 27 was not a banner day for Beach Channel girls' soccer player Gerlisa Hills. The team's leading scorer was suffering from dehydration and was at the hospital recovering at the same time her Lady Dolphins teammates lost in the first round of the PSAL B playoffs to Baruch College.
The senior forward returned to the field to score 17 goals in the regular season, but Hills was looking for to make up for lost time on Monday afternoon against Choir Academy of Har - lem on Monday afternoon.
In a tense and tight affair, Hills scored in the first half and host Beach Channel went ahead in the second on Jessica Maiga's goal as the number 8 seed Lady Dolphins defeated number 9 Choir Academy, 2-1
Beach Channel will advance to the second round and face off against number one seed, and defending PSAL B champions, Flushing on Tuesday at Grand Street Campus (9:30 a.m.).
Hills is grateful she will at least have one more playoff game to take part in
"I was in the hospital. I couldn't stand up on my own. I was crying that I couldn't come, but what could I do," Hills said.
"We came out here trying our hardest. That's what we did and we came out with the win."
The Lady Dolphins lost a 1-0 lead as Choir's Bruque Drummonds goal in the 25th minute of the first half evened the score. Beach Channel de - fense held off their opponents for the rest of the half and was bolstered by the return of sweeper Shanice Walters.
The Beach Channel starting senior defender arrived at halftime but she wasn't rusty at all. She used her good speed to negate Drummonds, who scored 14 goals this season, from getting the ball in dangerous situations.
Maiga contributed with a right footed goal in the 42nd minute of the game to give the Dolphins a 2-1 lead..
Lady Dolphins coach Osei Akoto acknowledged his team will have a tall order on their hands against Flushing.
The undefeated Red Devils defeated Beach Channel 7-0 in the regular season. The sophomore pair of sisters Melissa Lijo (27 goals) and Sara Lijo (10 goals) have lit up the scoreboard once again.
"They pulled it through. They work hard and they end up with the results. I work hard as possible with them and they get the results," Akoto said.
"We can do only what we can do. We play and we'll see what the results are."
Seahorses Lose In OT
Far Rockaway coach Michael Falzone knew their PSAL B first round matchup against Taft would be a tense affair.
And when the game went into overtime, Falzone's intent was to calm down the team's nerves. But before they could settle down, number 4 seed Taft would end the fifth seed Sea - horses playoff run.
Paul Amissah scored his second goal of the game only three minutes into the first overtime as Taft won 3-2 on Sunday afternoon at South Bronx High School.
"They were a little nervous going into the overtime," Falzone said about his team. "They scored quickly and I really thought we had a good chance to in. We played well and I felt we were the better team. But they won and de - served it."
Far Rockaway midfielder Teddy Pierre tied the game at 1 in the first half.
The Seahorses took a 2-1 lead when Oscar Gomez scored in the second half. Taft tied the game with 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Falzone still regards the season as a success as the Seahorses ended the regular season at 8-6.
They made the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
"I was sad it ended. But I thought we had a terrific season and we accomplished the goals we set," Falzone said.
King Defeats Lady Seahorses
Number four seed Martin Luther King scored three first half goals as they went on to defeat Far Rockaway, 4-0, in the first round of the PSAL B girls soccer playoffs on Monday. The number 13 Lady Seahorses lost on the road at Randalls Island in Manhattan.