By Brandon Mauk
For much of last season, the Bayside boys’ soccer team had to rely on a stingy defense and an all-world goalkeeper to get them to the PSAL Class AA semifinals.
That wasn’t the case in this season’s opener against Francis Lewis, even after host Bayside’s loss of its two top scorers from last season.
Senior Phellymain Landveld scored twice to lift Bayside to a 3-2 victory over the Patriots on Sept. 9.
“It feels great, first game of the season, beating our rivals. There’s nothing better,” said Bayside captain Diego Lezcano. “It’s the best feeling you could get at the beginning of the season. It pushes us to work harder for the rest of the season.”
Landveld put the Commodores on board in the 16th minute and scored the eventual winner in the 55th minute. The performance left Bayside Coach Joe Corrado impressed.
“That’s dynamite stuff,” Corrado said. “He’s one of our strikers up on top. We expect him to get those type of results. He took advantage of what they gave him and he made two beautiful goals.”
Jhair Larrea followed Landveld’s first goal with one of his own in the 35th minute. Francis Lewis answered back with a goal by team captain Thomas Mastoras less than a minute later, cutting the lead back to 2-1.
The Patriots had the best of the possession throughout the rest of the first half, but Bayside held them off to keep the score at 2-1 going into the break.
“We have a lot of seniors on the team, we have a lot of juniors, so we’re a team with some experience,” Corrado said. “Most of these guys started last year. You’ve just got to be ready for the pressure, and they handled the pressure very well.”
Landveld scored his second goal of the game in the 55th minute of the game to make it 3-1 by lobbing the ball well over the keeper’s head
“Best feeling in the world, nothing less,” Landveld said.
Francis Lewis cut the lead back to one on a goal by Julian Gomez in the 69th minute, but they could not get the equalizer despite a handful of good chances in front of the net.
Bayside’s star goalkeeper Julian Rodriguez allowed a rare two goals, but recorded nine quality saves. His teammates put a little of the onus on themselves for the two scores.
“We need to take better control of the ball, we need to move more,” Lezcano said. “If we have possession, they’ll just be chasing us.”
While there are still things to improve on, Bayside was pleased to get off to a good start with a victory over Lewis.
“It makes it even tougher to get the first win, but the kids battled,” Corrado said. “’m very happy with the result.”