Samuel Archer did not know how his teammates felt when they lost in the PSAL ‘B’ championship game a season ago in penalty kicks. It did not take him long to find out.
“Since the first day of preseason,” he said, “we’ve all been talking about how last year’s team made it to the finals. All they needed was a good striker to get the goals.”
With Archer joining them this fall, the Spartans had that very force.
Thanks to the talented forward, John Adams got back to the final game, but left victorious in regulation. Archer scored two goals, Johny Silva added another and keeper Emre Onur made eight saves as the Spartans blanked division rival Beach Channel, 3-0, at Randalls Island Sunday afternoon.
“Finally,” Adams Coach Alex Navarrete bellowed. “Sometimes it makes a difference when you already experienced playing in the final and being the loser. You don’t want to do that [again].”
Oh, and they had the best player on the field, too. Raised in Queens, Archer attended the Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts the last two years to further his soccer career before moving back home. The Springfield Gardens resident attended Adams because it was his zoned school. He was warmly received, particularly after the team’s first scrimmage against Long Island City when he had two goals and two assists in the first 15 minutes.
“We were brothers from the first day of preseason,” he said.
Archer went on to score 24 goals to lead the Spartans (15-0-3) to a share of the Queens B-I regular season crown, but more importantly added nine more markers in the playoffs.
“I said it early in the season, it was a gift from God,” Navarrete said. “He came out of nowhere.”
Even without Archer, Navarrete has developed an impressive program at the Ozone Park school in four years. He’s made the playoffs each fall, progressing from the first round to the semifinals, finals, and now winning the city crown. The next step is an even greater leap: The ‘A’ division.
“I’m ready to go up,” the coach said. “I’m not going to say I’m going to be as competitive at MLK or Francis Lewis, but give me [a few] years and you’ll see Adams up there.”