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Newtown’s Carrasquero finishes career three goals shy of 100

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Alba Carrasquero needed five goals in her final high school soccer game to reach 100 league goals in four years. An unattainable goal for some, but not for the Newtown senior.

The Venezuelan-born striker scored twice in the opening 20 minutes. But her staggering career goal total would stay at a school-record 97, as a pulled muscle in her right thigh ultimately did her in when Newtown defeated John Adams, 3-1, in its season finale at Newtown Athletic Field Friday afternoon.

“I had a great career. Four years in high school was awesome,” Carrasquero said. “Ninety-seven goals, I think that’s pretty good. I pulled a muscle and couldn’t even run. I had a lot of chances, but it wasn’t my day.”

For the second consecutive year, Newtown narrowly missed out on the playoffs. Last year it was one point that kept the Pioneers from the postseason, and this year it was one win.

But that may be the only negative in Carrasquero’s brilliant, but unheralded, high school career. The 5-foot-2 magician with the ball will bring her infectious smile and tremendous skill level to Bryant and Stratton in the fall, an upstate New York Division I junior college.

“I’m very excited. It’s going to be sad because I’m leaving my parents, but it’s good,” Carrasquero said. “It’s a different experience, another level. I’m playing with better players who understand the game, but I think I’m going to learn more.”

Added longtime Newtown boys’ soccer coach Howie Ranzer, who just completed his first season as girls’ coach: “Watching her, the way she takes over the game, it’s remarkable what she does sometimes one on 10. She’s poetry in motion. She’s wonderful to watch. She’s a nice kid and she learned how to be team player.”

Carrasquero scored her first goal in the 12th minute, as her shot from 16 yards out deflected off a John Adams defender and into the goal. Eight minutes later Carrasquero put Newtown (7-8-1 Queens A) in front, 2-0, when she put the ball into the upper 90 from the top of the 18-yard box.

“If she continues playing soccer at the right level, she has a lot of potential,” said John Ramirez, an assistant coach at Newtown who is also the director of coaching for the girls’ Olympic Development Program in Eastern New York State. “She has to keep working on her tactical abilities. (Her) technical abilities are excellent, but she just has to work with girls on that level.”

But Carrasquero isn’t just about scoring, as she showed in the 36th minute when her cross eventually found Paola Medina, who poked the ball into the net from 12 yards out to put the Pioneers ahead, 3-0.

“Everybody’s looking for me and they’re looking for me to show them, so I have to put a lot of pressure on myself to distribute the ball, to go back, stop the ball and look,” she said. “I like (getting my teammates involved) because then the whole team’s going to be recognized.”

Carrasquero won't be alone, though, at Bryant and Stratton. Joining her will be John Adams standout Maura Torres, who scored the lone Spartans goal in the 44th minute when she raced into the box and slotted the ball inside the far post from 14 yards out.

Carrasquero had several chances to score three or more goals in the second half, but instead her shots bounced harmlessly into Adams keeper Geneva Singh or wide of the net.

“I’m going to miss the girls, the coaches, the teachers,” Carrasquero said. “They put so much of their time to get us involved and get us up. The team improved a lot. They didn’t even know how to stop the ball and look, we didn’t make it but we were almost there. It was really exciting.”

Jamaica 2, Van Buren 1. Cicely Lopez tapped in her own rebound that bounced off the post with two minutes left in the second overtime period after Rocio Hernandez put Jamaica (11-3-1, 10-3-1 Queens B-I) in front midway through the first half.

Newcomers 5, Arts and Business 1. Jenny Garcia and Rebecca Aupont scored two goals apiece, Jian Shu Wang added another goal and Semra Bektesevic made 13 saves for Newcomers (12-2-0), which clinched the Queens B-II title.

Hillcrest 3, Beach Channel 2. Linda Anyachedelu, Juliana Lucena and Chidi Nwosu scored for playoff-bound Hillcrest (6-6-2 Queens B-I).

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

Posted 7:06 pm, October 10, 2011
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