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Cardozo clinches second place with 4-0 win

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For the Cardozo boys soccer team, it was the most dangerous of games. While the Judges were playing for playoff positioning, their opponents from Francis Lewis, having already been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, had little to play for and even less to lose.

But led by a pair of goals by senior Rob Bartolini, Cardozo played its most complete game of the season in a 4-0 win over the Patriots Tuesday afternoon.

The win clinches second place in Queens A East for Cardozo, and the first round home game that goes with it.

“This is the turning point of the season,” said Cardozo head coach Rick Parascos. “We’ve been waiting for the right combination, for the right jell. We sent a message today. I’m very pleased with where we are going into the playoffs.”

The biggest adjustment in Cardozo’s win was moving Mark Bojbasa back to sweeper and the play of Freddy Hernandez, who made a rare start up front. Add those moves to the consistent play of midfielders Zaid Zureikut, Pablo Gil and Bartolini and the Judges are a dangerous team heading into the playoffs.

“We came out and knew we had to win,” Bartolini said. “All the seniors stepped up and played well.”

Bartolini scored a pair of goals in the opening 16 minutes to give Cardozo (8-3) a two-goal edge. The senior midfielder first flicked in Gil’s long throw-in and then chipped in a Vadim Spektor corner kick.

Gil added a goal in the 51st minute on a free kick and Zureikut capped the scoring six minutes later.

One of the few positives for two-time defending league champion Francis Lewis (4-7-1), a team decimated by injuries and academic ineligibility that has only four starters left from opening day, was the play of keeper Jimmy Vantas, who made several saves while under constant pressure.

Bowne 1, Bayside 0. Juan Carlos Padilla scored the game’s only goal with 12 minutes left for the Wildcats in the upset win. Bowne improved to 3-5-3 in Queens A East while Bayside drops to 8-1-2.

Edison 4, Townsend Harris 1. Noe Canales had a pair of goals and an assist, Francisco Gongora added a goal and an assist and Arturo Pico had a goal to lead the Inventors (10-0-2 Queens B North).

Campus Magnet 3, Richmond Hill 1. Keon Bobb, Matthew Ajemba and Lipton King scored for Magnet (5-4-3 Queens B South).

Van Buren 2, Springfield Gardens 1. D’Angelo Hinds broke a 1-1 tie with a goal in the 72nd minute to lead Van Buren (5-3-4 Queens B South) to an upset win over league leading Springfield Gardens (10-2 Queens B South). Diego Valasquez scored the first goal for the VeeBees.

Forest Hills 2, John Bowne 0. Adam Zafran and Oscar Yepes scored for the Rangers, who improve to 2-4-3 in Queens A East. Bowne drops to 2-4-3.

Flushing 3, Francis Lewis 2. Han Soo Jun scored his second goal of the game with five minutes left, clinching the Red Devils come-from-behind win. Jing Jun Quan’s free kick from 30 yards out tied the game for Flushing (6-2-3 Queens A East).

Cardozo 3, Franklin K. Lane 1. Bartolini, Gil and Zureikut scored and Noe Bautista had a pair of assists to lead the Judges. Lane fell to 0-8 in Queens A East.

Van Buren 4, Beach Channel 0. Velasquez scored two goals and Jonathan Hernandez and Javier Zoppolo added a goal apiece for the VeeBees.

Springfield Gardens 2, Campus Magnet 2. Yula Sheperd scored off Ricardo Johnson’s corner kick for the Bulldogs.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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