Canales scores 2 to lead Edison over Hillcrest

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For Jose Canales and the Thomas Edison boys’ soccer team, the wound from last year still is very fresh. The Inventors senior captain remembers all too well how his team, led by his older brother Noe Canales, who now is at Stony Brook, went undefeated during the regular season only to be upset by A.P. Randolph in the first round of the PSAL ‘B’ playoffs.

There was talk about moving up to the ‘A’ division, but Canales, who scored two goals to lead Edison past Queens B North rivals Hillcrest 3-2 last Thursday at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, said his team still has some unfinished business.

“Last year was disappointing, not just for ourselves but also for the whole school,” Canales said. “Maybe this year we can go to the semifinals or the finals.”

Canales’ memory also helped him score the game-tying goal 10 minutes after Hillcrest took an early 1-0 lead.

As he collected the ball at the midfield line, Canales noticed Hillcrest sophomore keeper Kevin Mullings standing at the top of the 18-yard box. Canales decided to go for it, lofting a high shot that bounced in front of Mullings, over his head and rolled into the net, tying the game at 1 in the 17th minute.

“It was weird. I said, ‘Let me take a chance,’ ” Canales said. “I just took it and I was probably more surprised than anyone. I didn’t expect it to go in, but thankfully it did.”

Hillcrest coach Matt Strong immediately pulled Mullings from the net, replacing him with junior Andre Mattison.

“He’s been playing up and I keep telling him to get back, get back,” Strong said. “You have to know where you are on the field.”

Edison (3-0 Queens B North) took a 2-1 lead just two minutes later as Arturo Pico’s chip pass deflected off a Hillcrest defender and onto Francisco Gongora’s feet. The senior striker walked in and easily slotted the ball past Mattison low inside the far post.

Hillcrest, a team comprised almost exclusively of Caribbean-born players who love to play long balls down the field, nearly tied the game at 2 in the 26th minute as Andre Reeves blasted the ball high in the air deep from the Hawks’ defensive third.

The ball bounced in front of Edison keeper Luis Durango and started to roll behind him, but the senior hustled back and picked up the ball just before it crossed the goal line.

Canales netted his second of the game on a beautiful combination with Tony Cimi, who freed Canales down the wing. Mattison came off his line, but Canales won the chase and tipped the ball into the open net from six yards out to give Edison a 3-1 lead in the 54th minute.

But other than the goal, the Inventors strayed away from their style of two-touch soccer and began to also play long ball soccer. Hillcrest (2-2 Queens B North) took advantage and had the better of play in the final 20 minutes.

“I told our players to keep the ball down. We know their style, they like to play the ball in the air,” Canales said. “The first half we kept the ball on the ground, but in the second half we lost our concentrat­ion.”

After Elie Fonrose scored on a rebound in the 60th minute, Reeves had a pair of golden opportunities to tie the game; however, his breakaway in the 67th minute went off the football crossbar and he was stopped in the final minute by Durango, who came off his line and slid at a loose ball.

“Andre usually makes those,” said Strong, whose team now has lost two league games by identical 3-2 scores. “With the addition of the three corners we had, we had five late chances to get a goal. If we make a mistake, we’re going to pay for it every time.”

Newtown 8, John Adams 1. Andres Gonzalez netted a hat trick and Richie Lesmes scored twice for Newtown (4-1-1 Queens A West).

Campus Magnet 2, Van Buren 1. Keon Bobb and Lipton King netted second half goals and Kijana Kerr made five saves for Campus Magnet (4-1-1 Queens B South).

Bayside 3, Flushing 0. David Salazar had two goals and Stelious Andreou added another for Bayside (3-0-1 Queens A East) in a three-goal second half.

Forest Hills 7, Franklin K. Lane 1. Jose Batista scored three goals and added a pair of assists, and Christian Schwartz, Michael Moncado, Oskar Kowalski and Julio Pascal also scored for Forest Hills (2-2-1 Queens A East).

Campus Magnet 1, Richmond Hill 1. Mark Richards tied the game for Magnet in the 70th minute.

Newtown 1, Newcomers 0. Juan Morales netted the game-winner for Newtown, which was missing starters Lesmes and Andres Gomez who were serving red-card suspensions, 10 minutes into the second half on an assist from Alan Acevedo. Newcomers, which was led by senior keeper Elvir Prasovic, who made 19 saves, dropped to 1-1-1 .

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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