Gonzalez’s kick leads Curie to upset win
Updated: October 9, 2012 8:26PM
Eric Gonzalez tried not to think about it.
“Going up there I was nervous,” the Curie freshman said. “I was trying to think where to put the ball and I just chose a random side.”
Gonzalez nailed a shootout kick into the left corner that propelled the Condors to the 1-0 victory on penalty kicks over favored Kelly in the quarterfinals of the Public League soccer tournament Monday afternoon at Lane.
Curie edged Kelly 2-1 in the penalty kick phase.
Just as the two teams struggled to gain any offense rhythm in the regulation and two overtime sessions, they also fired mostly blanks in the shootout. Curie keeper Jose Ortiz stopped one shot, but three of the Kelly shooters overcompensated and hit balls that flew over the top of the post.
Kelly missed its first three shootout kicks. After the first two Curie shooters also were stymied, Jose Rojas nailed a left-footer into the left side. “At that point I was just trying to get a score and something going for the team,” Rojas said. “I had to make a play there and get something going to give us the momentum.”
Down to the final shooter, Kelly’s Edgar Ortega answered by finally breaking through and drilling a shot into the right corner for the Trojans (9-9-3).
It was a dramatic way to end a day marked by anticlimaxes. “We just didn’t do a good of finishing over the top throughout the game,” Rojas said. “There’s no way this game should have been scoreless, for both teams, we had a lot of scoring chances we just did not take advantage of.”
Second-year coach Leon Kim said the Condors (12-1-5) reached the semifinals for the first time in school history. It also a 1st Division team, Curie, beating a school, Kelly, from the Premier conference. “There’s not a lot of separation between the two leagues,” Kim said. “Probably the top three or four 1st Division teams could beat any of the Premier teams.”
Lane 4, Hubbard 1: Junior forward Maciej Skutnik and senior forward Andy Piszczor scored two goals apiece for the host Indians (12-7-1). Skutnik gave Lane the early advantage by nailing a 10-yarder off a beautiful corner feed from Antonio Gonzalez at the 3rd minute of the first half. “It was important to get a goal and get the lead early and take control of the match,” he said.
The early goal held up for the Indians’ 1-0 lead at the break. Skutnik added his second goal at the 2nd minute of the second half, capitalizing on a terrific through ball by Jose Morales. It was just his second and third goals on the year. “I had a scoring drought throughout the year, but I knew now with the [Public League] playoffs I had to step up and score,” he said.
Piszczor put the game out of reach by scoring on two headers, the first assisted by Gonzalez. Luis Guerrero assisted his second goal with a perfectly positioned cross.
David Rodriguez scored on a deflected shot in the closing minute for the Greyhounds (7-1-3).
Mather 3, Amundsen 1: Senior forward Steven Younos recorded a hat trick as the top-seed Rangers (12-3-1) administered the first loss of the year for the Vikings. “I scored the three goals, but my teammates helped me a lot. If they weren’t there those goals wouldn’t have happened,” Younos said.
His first goal staked the Rangers to a 1-0 lead at the break. Just minutes into the second half, he drilled a left-foot shot off a beautiful 2-1 assist from Qudus Lawal to extend the margin to 2-0. On his third goal, he intercepted a Vikings’ throw in and intuitively headed in the third shot.
Younus said as the Rangers advance into the city tournament, they take each opponent as a dangerous threat. “We treat every game like it’s the city final, and we know that we can lose, so we treat every game just as important as the next one,” he said.
The team does not feel pressure, he said. “We know what we have to do and we have to concentrate on that,” he said. Midfielder Kazeem Okedocum scored for the Vikings (13-1-3).
Washington 2, Lake View 1: The Minutemen needed every minute of Monday morning’s Public League quarterfinal to move on, holding off Lake View 2-1 at Lane Stadium.
The game started off with the Minutemen putting all the pressure on the Lake View defense, getting a Carrasco Erick shot that hit the crossbar in the eighth minute.
But it wasn’t until a six-minute stretch toward the end of the first half, where Washington (17-3-1) put four shots on goal, converting just before halftime as Misael Martinez connected on a shot from about 10 yards away.
The second half turned out to be a complete reversal as Lake View took control from the start. The Wildcats (9-7-1) got on the board when Eden Crespo put a 27-yard bomb into the upper right corner 10 minutes into the second half.
The Minutemen put the game away, however, just five minutes later when Gabriel Martinez put in the game-winner.
“In the first half we started out fast and strong,’’ Martinez said. “But then we got two really good goals and that’s what we needed. When they scored the goal, we knew we needed to get it going.’’
“We have a reputation to keep and we do feel like people are trying to knock us off. Our school wasn’t known for soccer, but after last year and this year, people are realizing what we can do.’’