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Aviation had been able to advance through the PSAL playoffs without playing its best on offense. However, the team’s scoring struggles continued in the semifinals and finally cost the Flyers.
A return trip to the title game was not to be as No. 11-seeded Aviation fell 1-0 to No. 2 Beacon in the Class A boys’ soccer semifinals on Randall’s Island last Tuesday afternoon. It ended a tremendous run by the senior class, which reached three straight final fours and lost to Martin Luther King Jr. in the final a year ago.
“It’s been a magical run, special group of kids, talented kids,” Aviation Coach Mario Cotumaccio.
Beacon’s goal came in the 39th minute after the Flyers controlled possession for three quarters of the first half. The Blue Demons’ Benjamin Kline ripped a shot from the right side that deflected off Aviation keeper Andy Lucero, but Daniel O’Grady was there to head in the rebound to give Beacon (13-2-0) a 1-0 lead.
“Everything just changes,” Aviation senior midfielder Jonathan Jaramillo said of the score. “Your heart just drops, and you get crazy and you just don’t play your game.”
Up until that point all signs were pointing in the Flyers’ direction. Cotumaccio felt his team would certainly score a goal or two with how well they were playing. Forward Ousmone Barry hit the post on a shot from the left side in the 16th minute, and Beacon keeper Alexandre Coste stopped a Jaramillo header off a Charlie Morales cross in the 29th minute.
Aviation (11-4-1) got a bit more anxious after the break. Jaramillo, instead of trying to tap the ball into the net, blasted it over the crossbar from inside the box in the 75th minutes. The Flyers’ best chance came in extra time. Edgar Hernandez got his head on a cross to the far post, but Coste closed in quickly and made the stop.
“It feels like we do the right things in the midfield and the defense and we can’t finish in the final third,” Hernandez said. “It’s very upsetting. It gets frustrating, but we kept trying. It didn’t go our way.”
But, the mark that Aviation seniors left on the school will endure. Their first two seasons were considered Cinderella runs, but they turned trips to the semifinals into the norm.
“We had a great time,” Jaramillo said. “Now they are getting use to seeing us in the top four.”
MLK 5, Bryant 1: The No. 4 Owls saw an unbeaten season end a game short of the final at the hands of the defending champions. Bryant (12-1-2), which won the Queens A West division title, gave the unbeaten and top-seeded Knights all they could handle in the first half. Sophomore Kiran Lama scored his first goal of his career off a pass from Danny Gutierrez to tie the score at 1-1 in the opening half.
“I thought we had them,” Owls Coach Byron Ortiz said. “We played a great first half.”
MLK (15-0-0) eventually wore the Owls down. The Knights, which took at 2-1 lead into the break, saw five different players score. Ortiz was proud of the way his team competed in the gam and all season long.
“Great season,” Ortiz said. “We played the best.”
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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