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2002 TimesLedger All-Queens CHSAA Soccer Team

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Nick Caputi    Jr.    GK    St. Francis Prep

There were several quality keepers in the CHSAA this year, especially in Queens, but Caputi proved to be a step above the rest. He constantly thwarted perennial powerhouse Monsignor Farrell in the Terriers’ 2-0 city quarterfinal win, so much so it prompted veteran Farrell coach Franco Legovich to say Caputi’s performance was the best he’s ever seen in a single game.

Jeovani Paredes    Jr.    Def.    Holy Cross

Considered the team MVP by Holy Cross coach Dom Cinelli, Paredes made a seamless switch from defensive center midfield to sweeper late in the season and that move — more so than any other — helped the Knights win the CHSAA city title. Paredes is a very technical, crafty and clever player who sees the field well despite his lack of size.

Peter Pavlakos Sr.     Def/Mid    St. Francis Prep

When Mark Martello, St. Francis Prep’s top defender, went down with injury, Terriers coach Franco Purificato asked Pavlakos to move from midfield to play defense. It was a position he had never played before, but the unselfish Pavlakos obliged and did a tremendous job.

Nick Katsanos    Sr.    Def.    Molloy

While there were flashier players like Gabe Ortega and Rob Sardis in the midfield and up front, not many on the Stanners were as reliable game in and game out as Katsanos. At 6-foot-2, the two-year starter dominated in the air, but could also hold his own on the ground, playing the ball simply and patiently.

Sebastin Garcia    Jr.    Mid.    St. John’s Prep

After a stellar sophomore year, Garcia had an even better junior year, shattering the school’s single-season goal mark with 21 goals en route to an undefeated season. Garcia, a two-time first-team selection, has all the tools to be a solid Division I player; he has the size, the strength, the speed and most importantly an uncanny ability to finish around the 18-yard box.

Ferney Ruiz    Jr.    Mid.    St. John’s Prep

Garcia will be the first to say if not for Ruiz, he would not have broken the single-season scoring record. Ruiz, the Red Storm’s assist leader, is the perfect compliment to Garcia. What he may lack in size or speed, Ruiz, who should also garner Division I looks next year, makes up for in heart and smarts. O’Grady calls Ruiz, who also repeats as first-team All-Queens, “the perfect midfielder. He is very mature on the field, he is always talking, always directing things.”

Gabe Ortega    Sr.    Mid.    Molloy

Much like Holy Cross’ Tamer Mohamed, Ortega’s best quality may be his vision of the field. A member of the United States U-18 national pool, Ortega’s playmaking ability and the finishing of Rob Sardis made them one of the most dangerous one-two punches in the CHSAA. A two-year starter, Ortega, who will play defense in college, has limited his college choices to Loyola (Md.), St. John’s, Hofstra, Boston College and Seton Hall.

Chris Herrera    Sr.    Mid.    St. Francis Prep

There may have been flashier midfielders in the CHSAA who scored prettier goals, but there weren’t many around as consistent as the Terriers leader, on and off the field. Herrera, part of a tight knit senior class, was the backbone of a St. Francis Prep team that established itself as one of the top teams in the city.

Eric DiFulvio Jr.     Mid/Fwd.     Holy Cross

Wherever he plays, whether it is outside midfield, sweeper or forward, the versatile DiFulvio excels. And in the playoffs, DiFulvio led the offensive charge and scored the goal of the year in the CHSAA semifinal against rival Molloy. The Whitestone native won the ball and dribbled through two defenders 40 yards from goal, sprinted towards the goal and calmly slotted the ball inside the far post from the top of the 18-yard box.

Mike Alesi    Sr.    Fwd.    Christ the King

One way to tell the great players from the average one is how they perform under pressure. And Mike Alesi, a diminutive senior forward, stamped his first-team status with a remarkable performance in the CHSAA B title game against undefeated St. John’s Prep. Ales netted a hat trick in the heartbreaking 4-3 loss.

Rob Sardis    Sr.    Fwd.    Molloy

Sardis was one of the top strikers in the CHSAA this year despite battling the injury bug during the season. At 5-foot-6 the three-year starter didn’t make the biggest target down field, but few were faster and more lethal around the 18-yard box. The Howard Beach native, who would like to study physical therapy in college, is interested in Adelphi, Fairfield and Hofstra.

2002 TimesLedger All-Queens CHSAA Second Team

Mike Testa    Jr.    GK    Molloy

Marcus Federic    Sr.    Def.    Holy Cross

Mark Martello    Sr.    Def.    St. Francis Prep

Ariel Castellanos    Jr.    Mid.    Holy Cross

Kayode Sodeinde    Sr.    Mid.    Christ the King

Edwin Montes    Sr.    Mid.    St. John's Prep

Patrick Boyle    Sr.    Mid.    Molloy

Paul Nittoli    Jr.    Mid.    Holy Cross

Julian Escobar    So.    Fwd.    McClancy

Chris Lupoli    Jr.    Fwd.    Holy Cross

Chris Belac    Jr.    Fwd.    St. Francis Prep

Updated 10:25 am, October 12, 2011
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