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Tottenville shuts out Cardozo  at PSAL Girls’ Soccer Classic

Just as the opener did five hours earlier, the main event of the first annual PSAL Girls’ Soccer Classic Sunday featured one of the top teams from Queens against Staten Island’s best.

And the result, although not as lopsided as McKee/Staten Island Tech’s 6-1 win over Townsend Harris, was the same as Staten Island. This time Tottenville prevailed, defeating previously unbeaten Cardozo, 2-0, at Jamaica High School.

Both teams were without starters — Larissa Demelo out for Cardozo, while Heisman candidate Liz Belnavis (knee injury) was one of six regulars out for Tottenville, which has won eight of the last 10 city championships.

The Pirates showcased their depth and controlled the ball for most of the first half but never really had a scoring chance until sophomore Danielle Marino broke into the open field. But she was denied by Cardozo senior goalie Lisa Prasso 28 minutes into the half.

In the second half, Tottenville (11-0-1) seemed to wear out the Judges as they put more pressure on Prasso. Marino, who has tremendous speed, finally broke through scoring the first of her two goals in the 56th minute.

Marino was not done, as six minutes later she put the game away with her second goal of the afternoon.

“The key for us was our intensity level,” Cardozo coach Rich Parascos said after the game. “We didn’t start playing well until it was 2-0.”

Following in the footsteps of a very successful inaugural PSAL Boys’ Soccer Classic, which was a preview of the city championship game between Newtown and Martin Luther King, soccer commissioner Will Stasiuk was pleased that the game drew a crowd that included recruiters from colleges across the country. The Girls’ Soccer Classic featured seven of last year’s eight quarterfinal teams.

“I’m very happy with the way things worked out,” he said. “This was the first year of the showcase, and the girls put on a great performance. Hopefully next year the timing could be a little better, and we won’t have to play during spring break.”

In the opener of the PSAL Girls’ Soccer Classic, Staten Island Tech broke open a close game by scoring four second-half goals to cruise to a 6-1 win over Townsend Harris.

Valerie D’Ambrosi and Chelsea Tait scored two goals apiece and Gina Crifasi and Melissa Cimilluca each scored one for Staten Island Tech (7-0-1), while Andi Strauss scored the lone goal for Townsend Harris (8-2).

Cardozo 4, Bayside 2. Patricia Sotirakis scored two goals and Diana Thomas anchored the defense for Cardozo (9-0 Queens A), which rallied 24 hours after losing its first game of the year.

Bryant 3, John Adams 0. Lindsey Molina had two goals and an assist, Alex Kuta scored a goal and Vanessa Schoening made 11 saves for Bryant (8-2 Queens A).

Reach contributing writer Dennis Pereira by e-mail at or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

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