Second Half Goal Powers Dolphins Over Seahorses
These rivals haven’t faced each other in the regular season the last two years. Beach Channel had participated in the PSAL Class A league, and the Seahorses remained in the Class B division. The Dolphins this season joined Far Rockaway in the competitive Queens B1 Division.
The matchup was a cagey affair which started off slow for Beach Channel.
The second half was a different story for the Dolphins. A Fernandez shot towards the goal was deflected by a Seahorses defender into the right foot of Franklin Zuniga, who slid the ball into the net to give Beach Channel a 1-0 win at Far Rockaway.
It was the first meeting between the Far Rockaway Educational Campus and the Beach Channel/Channel View since October 19, 2009. The Dolphins got two goals from Jose Baries that day in a 5-1 defeat over the Seahorses.
Beach Channel had held firm while Far Rockaway applied the pressure for the first 20-25 minutes of the first half. Fernandez said the team came out fired up in the second half and the results showed on the scoreboard.
“I’ve been waiting for this game so long. I’ve been dreaming about it,” Fernandez said. “And just walking and playing on this field is great. This was a tough game. We just pour our hearts out today. Even though it didn’t show like it. We never give up.”
Far Rockaway (0-1, 1 point) played well enough that the result of the game could have ended up in their favor. They controlled the possession for most of the first half and just missed on two good opportunities.
Junior forward Samen Menard saw his shot on goal just sail past the left post in the 11th minute. Bryan Aguilera dribbled past two defenders and his 25- yard shot hit the top of the crossbar in the 27th minute.
Beach Channel coach Dominick Stanco praised his team for keeping their composure and playing more relaxed in the second half.
The return of Zuniga, a senior forward that didn’t play last year has also made a big difference. After scoring the game winner in a 2-1 Beach Channel win in overtime over Springfield Gardens last week, Zuniga put the Dolphins out in front with a 51st minute goal past Far Rock goalkeeper Hector Castaneda Reyes.
“We have a lot to play for I told them. They set the goal and they believe it. We believe we’re good enough to win the division,” Stanco said. “We can’t lose games this early. These are games you got to have especially when its home and home.”
Far Rockaway coach Michael Falzone was impressed with his young team’s overall effort. Aguilera and fellow sophomore Reyes each played a solid game. The experience of defenders and co-captains Ruel Ruddle and Brandon Fyffe should help the Seahorses, who have missed the playoffs the past two seasons.
“I think we did a good job. It was unfortunate Bryan took a nice shot, hit the post,” Falzone said. If it goes in, it could go the other way. It’s something to build on from here on out. I’m looking for us make a playoff run this year.”