Photo by David Russell
The champion Queensborough Community College soccer team.
BY DAVID RUSSELL
The Queensborough Tigers completed a three-peat as the soccer team won its third straight CUNY community college title. The Tigers beat Borough of Manhattan Community College 3-2 in the championship game at the Metropolitan Oval in Maspeth on Monday night.
Steven Fonseca’s penalty kick gave QCC the lead in the 86th minute and the Tiger defense held on for the win. It was the second penalty kick attempt for QCC, but the first one was no good and gave the Panthers some life. BMCC scored twice in the second half to tie the game and scare the Tigers.
“To be honest, I thought they were going to walk away with it because we had a 2-0 lead and we missed the chance to make it 3-0,” said Queensborough head coach Zef Kabashi. “That gave them the spirits to come back. They got two nice goals on us and made it a game. But we hung in there, we toughed it out, and we were able to find an opportunity and we got a chance.”
Even some of the players were concerned. “Of course,” Fonseca said. “I was worried when they scored the first goal actually because I knew they were going to come back and I was actually scared they were going to take the lead. But we knew how to create more chances.”
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead into halftime on a Dimitrios Pappas header in the 29th minute. Pappas was named game MVP. “We had some bad moments,” Pappas said. “It’s all about attitude and we showed that in the game, that’s it. It’s what our coach taught us, that’s it.”
Kevin Zhagui scored in the 52nd minute to make it 2-0. The Panthers tied the game with a pair of goals and appeared to take a 3-2 lead but a goal was waved off after a foul was committed. It was another lost chance for BMCC, who missed a penalty kick early in the first half.
It was a far better result for the Tigers than the 5-2 defeat they suffered to BMCC in the opening game of the season. The title game was the toughest of the three that Queensborough has won as part of the three-peat. “This one made my hairs turn gray even more,” Kabashi said. “This was a tough one. Three years in a row, it’s a great accomplishment. I’m happy for the boys, they worked hard this season. We started out on a low point but we built really well. The boys worked together, it’s a balanced team. Everybody worked for their position, they earned it, and they worked together so it was great to see the boys achieve this.”