A contentious game between neighborhood rivals has left one team from Bayside tied for first atop the Queens ‘A-IV’ soccer standings, while the other is dressing its wounds in more than a figurative way.
Courtesy of a tense 1-0 win in extra time on April 24, the Bayside Commodores emerged from their home field with a comfortable 5-0-1 record matched only by Francis Lewis. Getting there was not easy, however: Friday’s contest against Benjamin Cardozo was a physical affair that saw little offensive coordination and audibly frustrated Bayside senior Despina Psomopoulos, in her second game back after injuring her ankle.
“I felt like I was getting a lot of shoves,” Psomopoulos said. No matter, however: She followed her late-game outburst with a free kick that sailed right over the keeper and into the net, bringing Bayside a Golden Goal victory in a game that looked headed for a scoreless tie.
If you asked Benjamin Cardozo head coach Richard Parascos, meanwhile, a scoreless tie was how the game should have ended. With about five minutes remaining in the second half, Cardozo senior Paola Ramos, who has scored twice in league play this season, caught her cleats in the Bayside Field turf and injured her knee in apparently serious fashion. She lay on the ground in pain for 21 minutes before ambulance workers arrived to carry her off the field.
In a meeting with referees, Parascos suggested the game should be cut short; Joe Corrado, the opposing coach, said he had no objection to resuming the contest after Ramos was off the field. The game continued after a 31-minute delay, and after the final whistle, Parascos told Corrado that the Bayside coach was “too worried about the win today.”
“This is varsity soccer. You can’t just end the game because someone got hurt,” Corrado responded.
At the time, neither team looked poised for victory. The weather was windy, and neither team, Cardozo in particular, had been unable to capitalize on a handful of goal chances. In the first half, sophomore Ebelyse Guaranda crossed the ball from the right flank into the goal box, but sophomore Courtney O’Buckley – who had a strong game otherwise – could only knock the shot wide with the outside of her foot, nearly colliding with Bayside senior keeper Nicole Carroll in the process.
Carroll was fairly active all afternoon, repeatedly scurrying to the outside of the penalty box to stifle Cardozo attacks in the making. Early in the second half, she was nearly beaten by a deflected corner kick before the ball was frantically cleared by a Bayside defender. Later on, she was in a dangerous one-on-one with Cardozo sophomore Ariel Levy, who followed a beautiful weave into the box by whiffing on the shot.
Bayside’s chances were largely limited to free kicks by the heavy-footed senior Anca Dogarescu, whose shots were usually on target.
“Both teams had a lot of good chances,” Corrado said. “Every time we play them, it’s like this.”