By Joseph Staszewski
Nick Matusewicz realizes good things are happening when the ball finds Denes Kostel. That’s why dribbling the ball deep while along the box he had his eyes on the budding junior.
“I saw Denes running in and I was like, ‘Oh, I got to get it to Denes,’” Matusewicz said. “You just throw it at him and he just hits it in.”
He fired a hard cross to Kostel’s right foot and watched him kick the ball into the net for his second goal of the game in the 55th minute. It proved to be the winner in an important 2-1 win over Christ the King in CHSAA Class AA boys’ soccer at Juniper Valley Park last Thursday. Kostel has had some of the Stanners’ biggest goals this season, including the lone tally in a 1-0 victory against rival and second-place St. Francis Prep Oct. 9. It’s been the highlight of strong overall play.
“What I like about Denes is it’s not just about goal scoring,” said Andy Kostel, the Molloy coach and Denes’ dad. “He is learning the whole game. There are plays he made during the season that’s caused goals. Denes is finishing very well.”
Denes Kostel got Molloy on the board in the 50th minute after a scoreless first half. He was told not to take the corner kick by his father despite initially being told to do so by an assistant coach. He rewarded the switch by heading in a Daniel Corridan corner kick to make it 1-0. CK keeper Giuseppe Porretto appeared to head it out, but the referee called it a goal.
“I was celebrating even before he did everything,” Denes Kostel said.
It put Molloy (13-1-0) a win away from securing the division title and an automatic bid to the CHSAA state playoffs, should a team outside Brooklyn/Queens win the city crown. Christ the King (10-4-0) had a chance to be in the mix with the Stanners and St. Francis Prep, but lost 2-1 to Fordham Prep last week and by the same score again here. Royals Coach Ovid Cusu said his second-year ‘AA’ program needs to believe it can overcome the teams in the upper echelon of the league.
“It seems to be we are getting to that point, but once we need to get that win we don’t do it,” Cusu said.
His squad got back in the game when Calogero Curcuru converted a beautiful bicycle kick in the box off a free kick by Brian Fernandez to make it 2-1 in the 65th minute. The Royals pressured and had a number of set-piece chances that they could convert, thanks to the play of Stanners keeper John Young, who forms a dynamic duo in net with Nick Dorcean.
Their consistent play all season alone with Kostel’s key scores has Molloy feeling pretty good about the way it is playing heading into the playoffs.
“Everything has been going right,” Denes Kostel said. “Once you get into a rhythm, everything starts flowing.”