By Dylan Butler
The compliments couldn’t escape Rich Parascos’ mouth quick enough.
The Cardozo girls’ soccer coach acted the part of cheerleader as the Lady Judges played their best half of soccer in the opening 40 minutes en route to a dominating 2-0 victory over Francis Lewis Monday at Cardozo.
“There’s been no better ball movement,” Parascos said. “We’re starting to play the system now, and the scoreboard was not an indication of the way we dominated today. We’re stopping the ball at the midfield now.”
After a 2-0 loss to perennial powerhouse Tottenville in the PSAL Classic April 27, Parascos made a subtle adjustment, moving Diana Thomas back to sweeper from left fullback.
Since the shift, Cardozo (15-1, 15-0 Queens A) has given up just two goals in six games.
“It makes me feel more comfortable,” defender Jeannette Couture said of Thomas’ playing sweeper. “I’m not afraid to go forward for the ball because she’s so solid.”
But against depleted Francis Lewis (8-4-1 Queens A), playing without key starters Jessica DiPardo (broken bones in both hands) and Malgarz Pisaczyk (twisted knee), Cardozo keeper Lisa Prasso was the only person who touched the ball less than Thomas.
“It’s patchwork. we’re trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together,” said Francis Lewis coach Roger Sarmuksnis, who was forced to push center midfielder Angela Wooley back to anchor the defense. “Hopefully we’ll lick our wounds and when the week is over, we’ll be in the playoffs. And that’s all that matters.”
The Judges spent the entire first half dominating possession, threading passes from player to player and constantly peppering Francis Lewis goalkeeper Nesime Bal (18 saves). Carolyn Durniak’s header at the far post off of Patricia Sotirakis’ corner kick put Cardozo in front 1-0 in the ninth minute.
“That was a beautiful half. It was the best half I’ve seen the girls play this season,” Thomas said. “The passing, talking, spacing — everything was really nice.”
Sotirakis made it 2-0 in the 17th minute when she intercepted a bad pass in the Patriots’ 18-yard box and beat Bal low from 16 yards out.
“Today had nothing to do with the scoreboard,” said senior Vivian James. “We dominated the field and did a good job with the give and goes.”
Bayside 2, Richmond Hill 1. Ashley Spellman and Angelica Carmona scored for Bayside (7-8 Queens A).
Bryant 2, Townsend Harris 2. Stacy Giannoukakis and Lindsey Molina had a goal and an assist apiece for Bryant (11-3-1 Queens A).
Thomas Edison 4, Campus Magnet 1. Catia Santos scored two goals, and Carina Edwards and Zujenis Pico each scored a goal for Edison (6-2-5 Queens B-I).
Beach Channel 1, Robert F. Wagner 0. Ashley Magnussen scored the lone goal in the first half for Beach Channel (2-7-2 Queens B-II).
Bayside 2, John Adams 0. Danielle Stanley and Angelica Carmody scored for the Commodores.
Newcomers 5, Springfield Gardens 0. Ana Sanchez had a goal and an assist, and Maria Rios, Jenny Garcia, Armela Dosti and Erica Torres scored one goal apiece for Newcomers (9-2 Queens B-II).
Van Buren 1, Jamaica 0. Diane Sadicario scored on a pass from Kristie Castillo in the first half for Van Buren (7-3-2 Queens B-I).
Newtown 4, Richmond Hill 1. Alba Carrasquero scored three goals and Elizabeth Pastor added another for Newtown (5-7-1 Queens A).
Bryant 2, Francis Lewis 1. Giannoukakis and Eleni Petropoulos scored, and Vanessa Schoening made 13 saves for the Owls.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.