By Marc Raimondi
But in this pair's case – Shin plays for Parascos on the Cardozo girls' soccer team – the combative relationship has had more to do with outside influences than internal ones. The past two seasons, Shin missed the Judges' PSAL Class A quarterfinal game because her club team, Albertson, was playing in the State Cup. Both times, without its excellent midfielder, Cardozo lost and saw its season end.”I wasn't upset and hurt by it, never at Franny,” Parascos said. “I was just frustrated at the scheduling problems we had with the outside playoffs and our playoffs.”That won't be a problem this season. Shin, now a senior, left Albertson in November after a conflict with coach Paul Riley and is playing with her previous team, the Bayside Flames. She spurned her scholarship to Division I Fairfield for a better financial deal – and education – at Division III Brandeis. And coming with all of that is a renewed commitment to Cardozo, as well.”As a captain I think it's my job this season to dedicate myself to the team,” Shin said. “I'm trying to make it up this year as a senior.”Part one was patching up the sometimes-strained relationship with Parascos. It isn't out of line for a coach to expect his best player to show up for the biggest game of the season, but he also understood why Shin didn't two seasons in a row. Club teams are much more prestigious – and more highly scouted by college coaches – than their PSAL counterparts.For better or worse, high-school teams have become secondary in youth soccer and the problem is compounded by the PSAL. The league holds its girls' soccer season in the spring instead of the fall, like every other association in the state, due to lack of field space. The spring high-school season is in direct conflict with the club season and the State Cup.None of that will come into play this season with Shin and Parascos. Though the two-time TimesLedger PSAL All-Queens first-team selection might have to miss her boyfriend's prom to compete in a playoff game.”We're very good right now,” Shin said of her relationship with Parascos. “We understand each other better. Whenever there's a conflict, we talk to each other, we talk it out. I call him; he calls me. It's all good.”Added Parascos: “She's really taken on the job of captain and the girls look up to her. She's very special.”That harmony could end up being bad news for the rest of Queens. Shin, a crafty and skillful midfielder, is one of the most talented players in the borough and all of New York City. Cardozo also has a very strong supporting cast, led by junior forward Paola Ramos and freshman prodigy Ebelyse Guaranda. Sweeper Jessica Giraldo and goalkeeper Stephanie Beltran are also two of Queens' best at their respective positions.The Judges have nine freshmen, but there's enough talent there to make people believe they could challenge neighborhood rival Bayside for borough supremacy. Last season, the Commodores were the first Queens team to make the PSAL Class A girls' soccer championship game since Richmond Hill in 1986. Bayside brings back star junior forward Despina Psomopoulos, midfielders Zoe Margulies and Seena Sleem and goalkeeper Nicole Carroll, but coach Joe Corrado's team also lost key players like center-midfielder Alex Knese and defender Nicole Lee.The Bayside-Cardozo rivalry will be renewed early – the Judges will host the Commodores Monday at 4 p.m.”I think we have a lot of offensive weapons,” Parascos said. “It's just a matter of finding where everybody is supposed to be…We have to find everybody's niche. We're gonna be pretty good. How good? I don't know. It depends on how the rest of the league is.”Cardozo's success will certainly hinge on Shin's performance. She'll definitely be around come playoff time this year, which might be half the battle.Reach Associate Sports Editor Marc Raimondi by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.