Francis Lewis once again was toppled by the omnipresent Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. High School in the boy’s Public School Athletics League (PSAL) soccer championship.
On Sunday, November 8, more than 1,000 people joined the two teams at Randall’s Island to watch a spectacle of great soccer – the battle between the No.1 and the No. 2 ranked teams in the city.
The No.2 ranked Francis Lewis came into this event with a head full of steam, but the dominant MLK squad took a 1-0 lead in the second half, which was enough to seal the victory for the Manhattan-based school.
“Francis Lewis came out with an exceptional amount of energy . . . They took us out of our element in the first half of the game,” said MLK head coach Martin Jacobson.
There were only a few shots fired on goal by each team, but that didn’t matter to MLK’s Moriken Sangary, who scored the game winning shot for his school. Sangary, who only scored five goals in the entire season due to a knee injury, looked stellar as he dribbled through two defenders and drove past Francis Lewis’ keeper for the score.
“Sangary promised me a goal,” Jacobson said. “He said ‘coach, I’m gonna get you one in the game.’”
It was not all fun and games for Sangary. After his game-winning goal, the ecstatic striker celebrated by doing a double back flip and came up hobbling. All his teammates and his coach were relieved when they found out it was only a minor cramp.
The boisterous crowd was pumped for a high-spirited game, but Francis Lewis fans left the field disappointed as they have done in four out of the five last seasons.
“In the last few seasons, we have had to play Francis Lewis [in] the finals and semifinals,” Jacobson said. “They are a tough team and sure do give us a run for our money every time,” he added.
After the big win on the road, the youthful victors showed that they were still kids at heart. On the bus ride back home, the MLK squad had only one request for a celebration dinner – McDonald’s.