by George Angelidis, staff reporter
The Patriots’ last game of their regular season was a very difficult away game against the very upbeat and positive Bayside team on October 22nd. The Commodores were looking for revenge after the 4-0 loss in their first game of the season.
There were many significant events which occurred throughout the game which affected Patriots play. Bayside scored an early goal from a cross and took an early 1-0 lead. The Patriots would later equalize, just before the first half ended from a goal off a rebound from senior Emanuel Alvarez.
Francis Lewis were forced to used a total of three goalkeepers throughout the game, something that is rarely seen in soccer. Both goalkeepers Luca Damasco, who started the game and John Saquipulla, a FLHS athlete who started the second half, were forced to leave the game with injuries.
The officiating was horrific to say the least. The refs made some ridiculous calls against the Patriots which aggravated the players and affected their play. Bayside became a much more defensive team after taking the lead, following a penalty kick with about 20 minutes to go.
The Patriots pressed looking for the equalizer. Even their goalkeeper got into the attack, making several 100-yard sprints from his own net to Bayside’s penalty box in desperation for the goal. The Patriots were very unlucky and simply couldn’t find a way to score, losing their second game of the season 2-1.
“That one of the craziest games I have ever played in. Other than the refs pretty much blowing the game for us, I have never seen three goalkeepers play in the same game. I didn’t want to come out because of the importance of the game, but the goalie that subbed in for me did a pretty good job and kept us in the game,” Saquipulla said.
The Patriots, after a long break due to hurricane Sandy, finally got their playoff games underway as they took on Aviation at home on the 11th of November. It was an elimination game, so a loss signifies the end of their journey.
This possibly can be the last high school game for the nine seniors on the team. It was a very tightly contested game, which became very scrappy towards the end of the first half.
Aviation would lead 2-0 at the end of the first half. The Patriots pressed and attacked more in the second half. Aviation’s goalkeeper George Vlahakis, played amazing and saved his team on several occasions throughout the second half.
Aviation would add a third goal to ice the game and ensure the victory over the mighty Patriots. Play then got very chippy, and with minutes left in the game, a huge brawl between the two teams broke out for numerous minutes. What a way to end a high school soccer career.
The Patriots were knocked out of the playoffs in the round of 16 for the first time in over six years. To make matters worse, both teams might be suspended for next season due to this massive brawl. Several juniors this year may lose their entire senior season due to these foolish acts.
“I will forever remember this game. This never had happened to me in my entire soccer career. The worst part about this stupid fight that we got into is that all of of juniors might lose our senior year due to suspension. Is was uncalled for,” junior and WJPS athlete Costas Mastoras said.
The Patriots are losing nine key seniors who are graduating this year. The team surely isn’t going to be as strong as prior years, and once again will have to find a way to win the Queens division. Most importantly, they’ll need to earn a good seeding in playoff time and finally win that PSAL championship, which Francis Lewis hasn’t won in over 30 years.
“I am going to miss everything. I honestly wish I was younger, I wish I just had one more year with my family. In my four years at Francis Lewis I have been to three finals and lost all of them, that drives me crazy. I think about it all the time and wish that we had one more shot at it,” senior Luisito Argudo said.
Senior Emanuel Alvarez emotionally celebrates his goal with fellow teammates Thomas Lada and Emanuel Koufos.
(credits to MSG. Varsity.org)