By Joe Pantorno
Queens High School of Teaching took its fair share of lumps playing in PSAL Class A division. However, things have changed this season. The Tigers are unbeaten after being moved down to the “B” and have racked up wins, including a 5-1 victory over Robert Wagner last Friday afternoon at Queens Farm Park. The last season QHST was in the “B,” it won the city title in 2008.
“I think ‘A’ challenged us a lot more than ‘B,’” forward Jasmine Saborowski said. “Playing in A for so long helped us work on self-improvement and work as a team to dominate down here.”
The striking pair of Bustos and Mikayla Saborowski proved unstoppable with Bustos recording a hat trick and Mikayla Saborowski adding two goals of her own. The Tigers (8-0-0) have brought their experience playing in the “A,” where they went 5-19 in the last two seasons with them. It gave them a decisive advantage over Robert Wagner at different points throughout the game.
“I still don’t think it was easy,” Queens High School of Teaching Coach Alfonso Fernandez said. “Robert Wagner played hard. We just had a lot of commitment out there.”
Mikayla Saborowski had the Tigers off and running when she slid a left-footed shot near the post into the back of the net with just six minutes gone by. In the 10th minute, Bustos was on the mark when she unleashed an unstoppable 20-yard strike to double the Tigers’ lead. Indecisiveness in the Robert Wagner backline had three defenders looking at each other as Mikayla Saborowski walked in on goal and poked in her second of the game to make it 3-0.
“We just worked on spreading out,” Saborowski said. “I thought this was going to be a really intense game, but we went on and controlled it.”
Bustos began the second half by chipping the ball over the keeper from 22 yards out, just tucking her lofted shot under the crossbar. Down 4-0, Robert Wagner (6-4) scored in the 62nd minute. Maria Segovia, in a rare shot on goal, tucked in her chance into the bottom right corner after weaving through the defense. Bustos restored the four-goal advantage and got her hat trick 11 minutes from that time when she walked in alone on goal and tucked her shot away from 13 yards out.
“The strikers are always scoring,” Fernandez said. “They’re doing well because they are understanding the game.”
It’s one of the advantages that come with playing against more skilled teams and at a faster pace in the “A” division. Fernandez said some of his players disagreed with the PSAL’s decision to move them down, but he feels it is for the better.
“We had very tough games the past two years,” Fernandez said. “This is more competitive for us so we’re happy right now and more comfortable.”