by George Angelidis, staff reporter
The Francis Lewis Patriots are 10-1-0 in the PSAL Queens A division. They’ve looked pretty sharp in the first nine games of the season and weren’t presented with any challenges, sailing into first place. The Patriots are now four points ahead of their rivals, Bayside High School, who they faced on September 29.
Francis Lewis hasn’t lost a home game in over six years, and they weren’t going to let Bayside change that. Roughly 200 spectators showed up on a Saturday morning to see this long awaited matchup.
Francis Lewis came out the stronger and less nervous of the two sides and sailed to a 4-0 victory over their rivals with goals coming from Emanuel Alvarez, Sharif Mayan and two from Charlie Yang.
There still is a competitive battle for the goalkeeper position. Several of the inexperienced players are getting more playing time and gaining some much needed experience. Various players have stood out during the first eight games.
“The player who stood out to me had to be Trey Dorie James, (a junior defender). He has been the most aggressive player on the back line for us and hasn’t really faltered in my opinion. The most underrated player is probably Niko Touros, (a junior midfielder/striker). He has constantly played at a high level for us and has delivered a lot of key assists and has very positive energy up front,” Senior athlete Luca Damasco said.
The Patriots still need to put in a lot of work to be ready for the playoffs. Once playoff time arrives, the team can’t afford any mistakes. One minor mistake could possibly cost the Patriots the championship which they have fought so hard for.
“The team looks very solid at the moment. The attack is flying high, the defense is solid but most importantly, the communication between players on the field is great leading to better chemistry,” former Patriots’ player Carlos Moran said.
Charlie Yang leads the Patriots in scoring with 21 goals and also leads the team with 14 assists throughout the first 11 games of the year. He is a 6”3 speedy forward that isn’t afraid to test the goalkeeper with some very ambitious shots, which, most of the time, lead to something positive for the team.
On October 10th, Francis Lewis took on Cardozo at the judge’s home field. There was a lot of support for the home team , which possibly could have thrown off Lewis. Lewis found themselves down 3-1 at halftime after a couple of mistakes and unlucky breaks.
In the second half, Cardozo became a much more defensive team. The game ended with a final score of 3-2; Francis Lewis’ 67 game winning streak was finally snapped.
This showed that the Patriots aren’t, in fact, invincible, and that they still some work before playoffs. However, this loss brought the team much closer as it was a huge learning experience for the players.
“This loss couldn’t come at a better time. If we kept on winning without understanding our problems, then during playoff time, our weakness would be exposed, then we would have a huge problem. Now we know what areas that we have to work on in practices and motivates us to start another historic unbeaten streak,” said captain Charlie Yang.
The last game of Francis Lewis’ regular season is against Bayside at the Commodores home field on the 22nd of October. Bayside has looked very sharp after their first defeat against the Patriots. Lewis really has to be careful and make sure that they play at a high level to get the victory and secure the #2 seed for the playoff and get a first round bye, just behind the powerhouse Martin Luther King.