From the first moment they learned there would be an inaugural PSAL lacrosse championship game, Cardozo wanted nothing more than to be on the field at Midwood High School on May 29.
With the title game within their grasp, the Judges showed how motivated they were from the opening whistle of their semifinal match against host Tottenville, jumping ahead 3-0 in the first quarter en route to a 10-6 victory last Thursday.
Second-seeded Cardozo (14-7) will take on No. 1 Midwood (11-4) in the championship match, scheduled for Wednesday. The Judges, who split two regular season games with the Hornets, have never won at Midwood.
Led by Jonathan St. Jules, who scored six goals, Midwood trounced No. 4 Curtis, 14-3 in the other semifinal match. Since its inception in 1988, the Hornets have won the PSAL league title every year. But this year, theyll have to do it on the field.
Having an actual championship game instead of picking the winner based on record has raised the level of competition, said Cardozo second-year coach Lou DeCicco. What better time to try and beat Midwood for the first time at their field than in the championship game.
Midwood won the first of two regular season games against Cardozo, 12-6 on April 19 at Midwood, but the Judges responded with a 10-5 victory May 6. In that match Cardozo broke a 5-5 halftime tie with five unanswered second half goals.
While this is the first year of a PSAL lacrosse championship, Cardozo has built a lacrosse tradition over the past several years as one of the better teams in the New York City Metro League Association.
Against Tottenville (6-3 PSAL), Cardozo was patient and methodical offensively, working the ball around the perimeter setting up high percentage shots. The Pirates, conversely, tried whenever possible to run-and-gun.
As coach always tells us, the other team cant score if they dont have the ball, said Cardozo senior Michael Tran, who had three goals and one assist. We have several set plays and we like to try and get the best possible shot.
Tran, who leads Cardozo with 24 goals and 25 assists, wasnt the only Cardozo player to score three goals. Fellow senior middie Luis Lopez also scored three times and added an assist to add to his season total of 20 goals and 10 assists. Anthony Goodwin scored a pair of goals and Thomas Tsiatsis added another for the Judges.
Cardozo led 4-1 at halftime and went ahead 7-2 in the third quarter, but Tottenville, led by All-American Rob Christy, roared back to cut its deficit to 7-4 heading into the final stanza.
Christy led the Pirates with three goals and Mark Cohen added a pair, but Tottenville couldnt get any closer than 9-6 in the fourth quarter. Cardozo goaltender Michael Honig, who made 17 saves, came up with a few key stops late in the game to ensure the victory and a third and deciding game with Midwood.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2002 Community News Group
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