The Francis Lewis boys’ soccer team is starting to make this look a little too easy.
First, the No. 1 Patriots spanked No. 4 Stuyvesant in the second round last Wednesday by five goals. Then Tuesday, Lewis followed up that performance with another 6-1 pasting, this time against No. 7 Brooklyn Tech in the PSAL Class A quarterfinals at New Dorp HS on Staten Island.
“We haven’t had a good challenge yet,” senior defender Jeffry Nunez said.
No joke. To call the Patriots’ win against the Engineers comprehensive would be an understatement. Lewis brought intensity from the first minute and didn’t let up until Ricky Rada’s goal in the 65th minute made it 5-0. That’s when coach Roger Sarmuksnis called off the dogs and brought in his second unit.
Sarmuksnis was unsure what to do under these circumstances. He didn’t want his starters to come out early in fear they wouldn’t have been as effective in the semifinals, where the Patriots will play Martin Luther King Jr. on Thursday at Flushing Meadows Park Field 3 at 2:30 p.m. MLK beat Lewis in the finals last season in penalty kicks.
“I just want the guys to stay sharp,” Sarmuksnis said.
Any sharper and someone might get hurt. Six different Francis Lewis (12-0-2) players scored Tuesday. Star junior Sebastian Guenzatti opened it up in the 11th minute with a spectacular individual effort and the Patriots tasted blood. Senior Edison Macias, coming off a hat trick against Stuyvesant in his first career start, scored in the 21st minute and less than 60 seconds later junior Frank Lopez found Nunez in the box to make it 3-0.
“We’re not selfish at all,” said senior center midfielder and captain Idris Mashriqi. “We share the ball around.”
The second unit even got into the act. After allowing Brooklyn Tech’s lone goal, to Roy Getsis in the 66th minute, senior Luis Diaz, who starred in goal last year for the Patriots, came back and scored in the 79th minute.
It was clear that Brooklyn Tech was overmatched from the start, even though Sarmuksnis says he’s afraid to take any team for granted. It’s also clear that Lewis won’t have as easy a time with Martin Luther King.
The Patriots players have been waiting for this opportunity for a year. They drew even with the Knights in last year’s final through 100 minutes, but struggled getting balls past sensational MLK goalkeeper Malick Faye in penalty kicks as King went on to win its 10th title in 12 years.
“We wanted to play them so we can get our revenge,” Mashriqi said. “We’ve been focused on this game since last year.”
It might be a bit bothersome that Lewis has yet to be tested at all this postseason. But the Patriots don’t think it’ll matter when they take the field at Flushing Meadows Park on Thursday.
“It’s not gonna be 6-1,” Mashriqi said. “We’re gonna have a challenge. We like challenges.”
©2008 Community News Group
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