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Cardozo topples Townsend Harris, 3-1

Townsend Harris junior midfielder Jaclyn Miccio walked off the mud-caked field at Flushing Meadows Corona Park Friday barely able to hide her jubilation.

Miccio, one of the top girls’ soccer players in the city, scored a goal but her Hawks were on the losing end of a 3-1 score to city powerhouse Cardozo in a battle of the borough's top two teams.

The reason for Miccio's joy was her team's second half dominance against a Cardozo team almost exclusively comprised of club soccer players. Miccio, one of three Hawks to play outside soccer, scored in the 52nd minute and Townsend Harris had several other quality scoring chances in the final 40 minutes of the game.

“In the second half we beat them,” Miccio said. “We outshot them 7-3 [in the second half]. They thought they had the game in the bag but we came out strong.”

Cardozo (4-0 Queens A) had good reason to think they had the game as they took advantage of a nervous Townsend Harris team to take a commanding 3-0 lead at the break. But according to coach Rich Parascos, the Judges tired in the second half and Townsend Harris pounced.

“When we were fresh, we dominated, we played beautiful soccer,” he said. “But when we fatigued, we weren’t ready. Townsend Harris is a good ball club, but the thing that made them have the momentum in the second half was our own fatigue.”

Whatever the reason, Townsend Harris (5-2-1, 4-1) had Cardozo on their heels from the start of the second half as less than 10 minutes in the Hawks just missed a pair of goals.

Cardozo keeper Lisa Prasso pushed Lauren Porretta’s shot from 22-yards over the crossbar for a corner kick in the 47th minute and one minutes later Stacy Christoforidis hit the crossbar on a long lob.

In the 50th minute Prasso robbed Harris sophomore Michelle Berrios on a point-blank rebound from eight yards out.

Two minutes later Miccio scored a brilliant goal to cut Townsend Harris’ deficit to two, 3-1 as the Bayside native turned from a double team and blasted the ball over Prasso’s head from 28-yards away.

“I just turned and took a swing,” Miccio said. “When I’m up close I usually miss so I was far away and put it over [Prasso’s] head.”

Miccio had the Hawks best scoring chance of the first half when she beat a diving Prasso to a loose ball but her shot towards the open net was stopped by a sliding Jeannette Couture, who pushed the ball over the end line.

Couture was part of an impenetrable Cardozo defense in the first half, which was led by Diana Thomas, who blocked several shots in the opening 40 minutes.

Cardozo scored a pair of goals three minutes apart to take a 2-0 lead 15 minutes into the game. Vivian James stole the ball inside the Harris box and beat keeper Meghan Gill, who came off her line to challenge, low inside the far post in the 12th minute.

Three minutes later James lifted a pass inside the box to teammate Nikki Tzimas, who scored from 12 yards out.

“She called for it,” James said of Tzimas. “I trusted her. I knew if she called for it, she would be there for it.”

Carolyn Durniak capped Cardozo’s scoring in the 38th minute, when she lofted the ball from 20 yards out and it deflected off Gill’s hands and into the net to put the Judges ahead, 3-0.

“In the first half they completely blew us away and we could have folded,” said Harris coach Chris Hackney. “But in the second half we started to play really hard and play with a lot of guts….In the second half, we rattled them.”

Newtown 4, Francis Lewis 4. Alba Carrasquero scored all four goals for Newtown (4-3-1, 2-3-1 Queens A) in the second half. Lewis is 3-2-1 in Queens A.

Cardozo 2, Bryant 0. Larissa Demelo and Racquelle Agranoff broke a scoreless tie with second half goals to lead the Judges. Bryant dropped to 5-1 in Queens A.

John Adams 6, Far Rockaway 0. Michelle Rizzo and Leydi Escobar scored a goal apiece for the Spartans (3-1, 1-0 Queens B).

Bryant 3, Newcomers 2. Stavrula Giannukakis’s 25-yard blast with seven minutes left lifted the Owls to a come-from-behind victory. Cathy Brizis and Eleni Petropoulos also scored for Bryant, while Laura Burlacu scored both goals for Newcomers (0-4-1).

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

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