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St. Edmund Prep coach: We’ll win soccer championship

The St. Edmund Prep Eagles 3–1 win over the team it lost to in last year’s soccer finals has coach Dan Mangano thinking big: in fact, he’s predicting a rematch in the finals — and a championship for his girls.

“This is going to be our year,” said the confident coach after watching as Anfisia Gordeev scored a goal and assist on another to lead the St. Edmund past the St. John’s Prep Red Storm 3–1 in Brooklyn-Queens soccer at All-American Field on Friday. “We’ll be playing that game at the Aviator Sports Complex, and there’s no way we’re losing.”

Friday’s win avenged the team’s 3–1 loss to St. John’s Prep in last year’s final, and proved the Red Storm could defeat its rivals, whom it played to a 1–1 tie earlier in the year. So when the final whistle blew, the Eagles players poured onto the field to celebrate.

“This is our field and we wanted to beat them,” said sophomore Maura Bellone. “It’s a great accomplishment.”

Gordeev made sure of it in the 50th minute. Taking the ball 18 yards out, she showed some fancy footwork, faking to her left, quickly spinning around, and launching a goal in the back right corner of the net to make it 2–1.

“They’re pretty much our rival and it’s always a tough one so it felt good to put my team on top,” Gordeev said.

Before giving her team the lead, Gordeev helped even the score on a corner kick. She crossed the ball and senior Monica Mangano headed it in for a goal five minutes into the second half. The play didn’t surprise Gordeev’s teammates.

“She’s just really good at corner kicks,” Mangano said. “I kind of just blindly jumped at the ball and it found my head.”

The third and final Eagles score came off of the right foot of Bellone to give her team a two-goal cushion in the final five minutes.

St. John’s Prep (3–1–1) went into half time with a 1–0 lead thanks to a Christina Caruso corner kick, but three unanswered goals, by St. Edmund (5–0–1) left a bitter taste with the Red Storm, whose first-year coach also expects the teams to meet again in the playoffs.

“We’ll be seeing them again,” said coach Adam Rohan.

St. Edmund welcomes that possibly — and plans on hoisting the championship plaque this time around.

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