By Robert Cole
Bayside’s boys’ soccer team earned a 3-1 victory over Cardozo on Columbus Day, led by a solid performance from sophomore Maximus Pericic, who scored the first two goals of his high school soccer to lead the Commodores (3-2-3) to victory.
“I think it was a great game,” Bayside coach Joe Corrado said. “It was a good win, anytime we play Cardozo and we beat them, it’s always good.”
“We just had to get a big conversion out of this match, because they beat us on our field last time,” added Pericic, who scored his first career goal in the 32nd minute of the first half, off an assist from Kevin Gonzalez to extend Bayside’s lead 2-0.
The opening goal came in the 18th minute of the game on a strike from Adrian Wong. George Maris was credited with an assist on the play.
The Commodores took the 2-0 lead into halftime with a great deal of confidence.
“We put the ball in the back of the net early, which was good for us,” Corrado said.
Cardozo (2-5) came out after the halftime break ready to roll and took control of play, pressuring the Commodores and eventually getting a reward for their endeavors, cutting into the Bayside lead seven minutes into the second half on a goal by Alexander Lara, making the score 2-1.
With the Judges having seized momentum, Bayside turned to Pericic to grab it back. The sophomore took advantage of the fast, wet turf to score his second goal at the 25-minute mark to seal the 3-1 win for the Commodores.
“I think soccer games are like [a] roller-coaster, they go up they go down, it happens in a course of a game,” Corrado said of his team’s performance in the second half. “I don’t think that we were ever out of it, Cardozo played well, they popped in a goal, but my guys figured out a way to come back and put the last goal in. It was a good game of soccer.”
Pericic was pleased with his performance.
“I was very happy and I was surprised I scored my first goal ever with these guys,” he said. “It was just amazing to put those two shots in the back of the net.”
Cardozo came into the game short-handed, missing three of their starters who received red cards in a 3-2 loss to Jamaica last week.
“I had a lot of second-string players step up today, after losing three starters to an unfair judgement,” Cardozo coach Patrick Frazier said. “The guys who I took off the bench stepped up and I thought we played very well, but in the end those three starting positions were big.”
With the victory, Bayside continues to build its confidence heading toward the end of the season as they look to secure a playoff spot.
“This team is a wonderful group of kids. They work so hard, they deserve the result, and this was a good result for them,” Corrado said. “It will boost them up. I think this team is only going up, so we’re excited.”