Last fall the young soccer team from Kingsborough Community College lost in the final of the City University of New York Athletic Conference to the Borough of Manhattan CC. The Wave entered into the Region XV National Junior College Athletic Association tournament, only to lose in the first round to a stronger Nassau CC squad to finish with a 6-8 record.
With the additional year of experience from the holdovers, and with some outstanding newcomers, the Wave feel that they could go deeper into the playoffs this season.
Heading the returnees is forward Tsion Thomas, whom coach Franco Legovich will count on to do a bulk of the scoring from the forward position. Thomas along with teammate Richard Roberts, a freshman midfielder, are the main scorers.
The scoring is also bolstered by Karon DeCurrie, a freshman striker, and sophomore midfielder and forward Oludamilaire Aderimehin.
In addition to the offense, emphasis will also be put on defense, whom the coach believes is the strength of the team. Depth is very strong.
With the returnees, including seven starters, the Wave has more experience in the back. And the players hopefully can produce offensively.
“We haven’t won the championship in over 20 years,” team co-captain Jesman Thomas, a sophomore, added. “We are hoping to do that this year.”
The goalie spot could be shared by holdover Julian Clarke and new comer Maxsin Rachkovskiy. Clarke is a versatile player who could see action at either defense or midfield.
However, a solid defense, led by sophomores Thomas, Oluwatobi Oni, Vladimir Hernandez and Julian Clarke, is the big asset and key to this team. Add to this list sophomore Cedric Philippe at midfield, and freshman midfielder-defender Delroy Stanp will also help this team that is competing in a tough region.
“We are hoping to have a better team this year than we had last year and go further,” Thomas.
“If I get a good goalie and two midfielders, then we should be in good shape,” said fourth-year coach Franco Legovich. “We had good preparation for our season. Our goal is to win the CUNYAC title and qualify for the regional playoffs.”
Last year the Wave along with the other teams in the circuit were permitted to carry a roster of 16 players. Now the athletic directors let the soccer teams to dress 24.
Meanwhile in Downtown Brooklyn, Poly Tech of New York, now affiliated with another Division III college New York University, will rely on a deep squad of 27 players, led by nine returning lettermen, including seven starters, from a 2-15 team, Two of the players Dennis Kats, who plays midfield and defense, and Eugene Kaminsky, a right midfielder and forward, reside in Coney Island and spent their high school days together at John Dewey, where they played soccer for a club team because the school did not field interscholastic sports.
“I came to play to help the team and I feel we can do a lot better than we did last year,” Kaminsky said. “When we play it’s intense and we do what we need to do to win. I try to bring everybody together as much as I can.”
Kats’ role is to try to lift ‘up’ the spirits of his teammates.
“I try as hard as I can,” Kats said. “The team helps me out a lot. We have good coaches who bring in a lot of experience. They pass it on as much as they can.”
“We are young and talented,” Head Coach Nate Kalin added. “Of the teams that I’ve worked with here at Poly this team is motivated and determined to have a winning season, something we’ve never had.”
Kalin will rely on the defense to do the needed job.,
“Our majors strengths are our defense, youth and motivation,” he said. “We have to keep opponents out of the goal more. We’re not the most offensive team. We can score goals but we have to stay in games with our defense.”
Defensively, Poly will rely on freshmen Fred Byrne and Joe Gabor to lead the attack. Avon Gabriel, Kisheon Alexander and Kaminsky will rotate in there.
“Fred and Joe are freshmen but they play like juniors,” Kalin said. “I’m a believer in we need one goal to win a game. We still have to find who will be our scorers. There are a lot of players who could be.”
Jamel Pelle, Alexander, and Diego Schwartz are possible scorers, along with Orrin Phillips and Adam Lakawicz.
While Wilson Zhindon played goalie last year as a junior, senior Volkan Turgut, a transfer from St. John’s University, expects to take over the starting role in the nets. Wilson will move to defense.
“We have a lot of freshmen coming in and great defensemen,” Turgut said. “We should be greatly improved over last year.”
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