By Joseph Staszewski
What a boys’ soccer season it was in Queens.
Aviation made history by upsetting national power Martin Luther King Jr. in the semifinals en route to the school’s first ever PSAL Class AA crown. It wasn’t the borough’s only champion. Monsignor McClancy won its fourth straight CHSAA ‘A’ title and Grover Cleveland upended Robert F. Kennedy for the PSAL ‘B’ crown.
Archbishop Molloy won Brooklyn/Queen but fell to Fordham Prep in the CHSAA Intersectional final. Bayside reached the PSAL semifinals for the first time in three years. Those were just some of the memories made on the field this season. Here are top players in Queens who made them happen:
All-Queens Boys’ Soccer Player of the Year: Kevin Zepeda, Aviation
The senior forward waited for the perfect time to join the Aviation program. Zepeda excelled in his first season of organized soccer. He scored 16 goals, including the winner against MLK and the tying score in the final. He also dished out eight assists to help push Aviation over the top in the post season.
All-Queens Boys’ Soccer Coach of the Year: Mario Cotumaccio, Aviation
Five years of being in the title hunt ended up with Cotumaccio being carried around the field after finally bringing the crown home. The 19th-year coach continually gets the most out of his team in the post season and the trend continued as No. 12 Aviation dropped the first, fourth and fifth seeds on it way to the title.
All-Queens Boys’ Soccer First Team:
F Anthony Baltazar, Newtown
Newtown enjoyed one of its best seasons in recent years and Baltazar was a huge reason why. The junior forward netted 25 goals and dished out four assists to help Newtown reach the PSAL quarterfinals.
D Roko Basic, Monsignor McClancy
Basic was the rock of the Crusaders’ defense and part of a senior group that has known nothing but titles. He is the unquestioned leader in the back, but his tying goal in the final forced penalty kicks that the Crusaders eventually won.
M Daniel Corridan, Archbishop Molloy
The senior captain did a little bit of everything for the Stanners and always played with maximum effort. Corridan’s poise allowed him to control play at midfield, He was the player the offense ran though and had a knack for key goals
D Lucas DoNascimento, Archbishop Molloy
DoNascimento was the versatile piece that made Molloy go. His effort and athleticism allowed him to cover ground and challenge with the best in the city. DoNascimento could also put up to spark the offense.
D Ryan Hoffman, Archbishop Molloy
The senior has been a stalwart in the back for coach Andy Kostel, He has helped make the Stanners one of the city’s best defensive teams year in and year out. Hoffman’s smarts and physical play made him so reliable.
F Michael Jimenez, Bayside
Bayside wasn’t an offensive juggernaut, but Jimenez made the times he scored count. The senior scored six times and dished out three assists. Jimenez tallied the winner in the quarterfinal and assisted on the lone second round score.
GK Chris Kilcarr, St. Francis Prep
What would the Terriers have done without Kilcarr? SFP struggled to score, but were constantly in games because of his acrobatic saves and down right refusal to allow any get past him. He will be missed next season.
M Juan Carlos Obregon, Christ the King
The Royals had one of their best regular seasons in recent years and the dynamic Obregon was a catalyst. The speedy senior streaked past defenses for 21 goals and nine assists to help CK finish second in Brooklyn/Queens.
M John Nunez, Christ the King
Nunez was always up for the big moment. Five of the senior’s 13 goals came against Molloy, St. Francis Prep and Xavier to help the Royals finish second in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens. The dynamic midfielder also added seven assists.
GK Julian Rodriguez, Bayside
The Commodores allowed just one playoff goal in three matches. Rodriguez was key to that. The junior made 109 saves and let in only eight goals all season to help Bayside win the division and reach the semifinals.
D Juan Sanchez, Aviation
Defense wins championships and in Aviation’s case, it did. Sanchez was the leader of a back four that recorded three playoff shutouts and allowed just three goals. They held everything together.
M Mikel Agaraj, Newcomers
F Julian Cabanillas, Francis Lewis
M Leo d’Alessandro, St. Francis Prep
F Nick Eras, Queens Vocational Tech
F Pratik Gurung, Grover Cleveland
M Andrew Laurenzano, Holy Cross
F Paul Morales, Monsignor McClancy
M Andy Munoz, Christ the King
D Ronald Orejuela, Bayside
F Chris Ray, Archbishop Molloy
F Niko Vasilakos, St. Francis Prep
GK Almpertos Zervas, Newcomers