Queens was arguably the best boys’ soccer borough in 2011.
St. Francis Prep won the Catholic High School Athletic Association Class AA intersectional championship for the first time since 2006 and Monsignor McClancy won the CHSAA Class A title. On top of that, Archbishop Molloy and Christ the King were in the ‘AA’ semis along with St. Francis Prep.
In the Public Schools Athletic League, Francis Lewis was back in the title game for the fourth time in five years — it fell to nationally ranked Martin Luther King 3-2 in heartbreaking fashion — while Bayside and Aviation joined the Patriots in the semifinals, making it a banner year for Queens.
All-Queens boys’ soccer Player of the Year: Danny Bedoya, Francis Lewis
His impressive three-year career at Francis Lewis ended without that elusive PSAL Class A crown, though it was no fault of his own. Bedoya was magnificent in a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Martin Luther King Jr., having his way in the midfield against the Knights’ highly skilled trio of Ibrahim Diaby, Tarek Beckles and Bryan Moya and serving balls into the box like only he can.
That was just a snippet of what made Bedoya so special this year. Lewis’ orchestrator, he made the attack so potent with his precise set pieces and on-the-money through balls. It was like the ball was on a string attached to his foot, he was always in so much control. He scored 16 goals and added 14 assists, helping to extend the Patriots’ unbeaten streak in Queens to a hard-to-fathom 57 matches (50-0-7).
“He knows what to do with the ball, even before he gets the ball,” teammate Daniel Castro said of Bedoya, who has drawn high Division I interest from St. John’s, Clemson and Penn State. “Your job is just to finish the play.”
Coach Roger Sarmuksnis has called Bedoya one of the top players he’s ever coached, right up there with Sebastian Guenzatti, Chris Herrera and John Koutsounadis. His play this fall proved, perhaps, that he belongs in his own category.
All-Queens boys’ soccer Coach of the Year: Franco Purificato, St. Francis Prep
Just about every year St. Francis Prep is considered one of the favorites to win the CHSAA Class AA intersectional title. Yet the Terriers have struggled in big games. Until this year. Purificato had the league’s best team, but also pressed all the right buttons and put his players in the best position to succeed. He guided SFP to its first city title since 2006 while juggling the birth of his daughter Carolina.
M Peyton Atteloney, Christ the King
The senior was a rock late in the season when moved into more of a defensive midfield role by coach Ovid Cusu. Atteloney was a tremendous facilitator and ball winner in the middle of the field to lead Christ the King to its first-ever CHSAA Class AA intersectional semifinals.
F Jason Gonzalez, St. Francis Prep
No one had a better postseason in the entire CHSAA than Gonzalez. He scored in the Class AA intersectional quarterfinals, the semifinals and had the game-winning goal against Fordham Prep in the final to give St. Francis Prep its first city title since 2006.
F Sebastian Choinski, Aviation
The Flyers enjoyed their best season in over a half decade, winning Queens A West and reaching the PSAL Class A semifinals. The emergence of the heady striker was one of the major reasons for the memorable season, the senior accounting for 13 goals and 12 assists and getting better as the year progressed.
F Nick Matusewicz, Archbishop Molloy
Whenever Molloy needed a big goal, he provided it. The athletic junior forward had the game-sealing tally in a 3-2 win over Holy Cross in the CHSAA Class AA intersectional quarterfinals and had his team’s lone goal in a 1-1 tie with eventual champ St. Francis Prep in the regular season.
D Christian Molano, St. Francis Prep
An absolute dynamo in the back, Molano was the biggest reason St. Francis Prep was so stingy en route to a first CHSAA Class AA intersectional title since 2006. Perhaps the senior’s best performance came in the regular season when he shut down Iona Prep’s Marist-bound striker Cesar Ceja in an SFP win.
M Santiago Moore, Bayside
If not for a knee injury, there is no telling how far Bayside could’ve gone with the playmaking midfielder who scored 17 goals and added 15 assists before going down in the second round of the playoffs. One of the top talents in the city, the big-footed Moore’s future is bright.
D Jack Moravek, Archbishop Molloy
Big, physical and athletic, it was a challenge for any forward going up against one of Molloy’s senior captains. Moravek was a vital part of Molloy’s leadership as it advanced to the CHSAA Class AA intersectional semifinals in the face of tragedy when junior Justin Thompson was shot and paralyzed.
M Chris Joseph, St. Francis Prep
With a never-ending spark, Joseph seemed to be in the thick of every big St. Francis Prep goal. The super-quick senior midfielder wasn’t only a leader, he was also one of the most dynamic players in New York City with the ball at his feet.
F Kenny Redzematovic, St. Francis Prep
The big, athletic striker was a force with his head or his leg anywhere near the opposition’s goal. He scored once in the CHSAA Class AA intersectional semifinals against Christ the King and was always a threat as St. Francis Prep won its first city title since 2006.
GK Constantine Pougiouklidis, Bayside
Without star midfielder Santiago Moore gone for much of the playoffs, the onus was on the Bayside back line and was phenomenal, leading the Commodores to back-to-back playoff wins in penalty kicks and the first semifinal berth of Coach Joe Corrado’s tenure. Though the Queens power returns several pieces, it loses Pougiouklidis, who will be basically impossible to replace.
F Yiming Yang, Francis Lewis
Big, strong, fast and at his best in the penalty area on headers, the junior striker emerged as a lethal weapon for Lewis, scoring 14 goals and adding five assists. Though the Patriots lose plenty, Yang is back and should be even tougher to handle as his improvement continues.
D Danny Babar, Bayside
F Daniel Castro, Francis Lewis
M Calogero Curcuru, Christ the King
F Robbie Lago, Holy Cross
M Angelo Luongo, Archbishop Molloy
M Eric Mirkov, St. Francis Prep
D Sebastian Morales, Christ the King
F Sal Pipia, Monsignor McClancy
M Kiyo Scott, John Adams
D Ryan Winters, Archbishop Molloy
F Shokhrukhm Zakhidjonov, Forest Hills
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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