Grand Street upsets Lewis to head to first A Division soccer semifinal

Grand Street upsets Lewis to head to first A Division soccer semifinal
Phot by Brandon Mauk

Grand Street’s Cinderella run continues.

In just its second season in the A Division, No. 7-seeded Grand Street is on its way to its first Public School Athletic League semifinals after beating No. 2 Francis Lewis 2–0 on the road in the boys’ soccer quarterfinals on Oct. 29.

Grand Street (10–2–1) won the Brooklyn A Central crown this season and shut out longtime Class-A power Francis Lewis, which has been a high-scoring team all season. The Wolves advance to face No. 3 — and defending champions — Aviation 12 p.m. Tuesday on Randall’s Island. A trip to the finals is on the line, but Grand Street is ready, one player said.

“We have a very confident feeling,” said Grand Street star Briail Wilson George. “We feel like we could take this all the way. We’re confident in how we play. We’re playing Grand Street futbol and everybody’s playing for each other.”

The Wolves and Patriots played a scoreless first half, and neither team gave up many quality scoring chances. Grand Street (12–2–1) had its best opportunity in the 27th minute when Wilson George tried a bicycle kick but missed high. Andrew Sepulveda had Lewis’ lone quality chance in the 35th minute, but Alexis Torosina denied it on a leaping save. Grand Street has not allowed a goal in three post-season games.

Two minutes into the second half, Grand Street finally broke through on George’s 13th goal of the season. He dribbled past the tight defense and fired a shot just outside the 18-yard box to put his team up 1–0.

Francis Lewis (11–2–1) did not go easily. The Patriots dominated possession for the rest of the game and had several scoring chances in the second half — including crosses off corner kicks that could have been goals. Grand Street iced the game in the 79th minute on George’s 134th goal of the season.

Grand Street was physical and took away the space Lewis needed to get goals. It blocked shots, stole the ball, and played top-notch defense against a dangerous offense — and that was precisely the plan, the team’s coach said.

“Our game plan was to not give them spaces,” said Grand Street coach Johnny Chavez. “As soon as they got the ball, we tried to put a body on them, and if possible, double-team them.”