Westchester Sports Recap0


TUESDAY OCT 1 Valhalla, NY) – Westchester Community College Men’s Soccer freshman Jason Almedia Da Cruz (Yonkers, NY/Escola Secundaria Olavo Moniz (Cape Verde)) was named the Mid-Hudson Conference Athlete of the Week after a spectacular performance during Westchester’s lone contest. Da Cruz becomes the second consecutive Viking soccer player to earn Athlete of the Week honors from the Mid-Hudson Conference after fellow freshman Tuane Tapper (Mount Vernon, NY/Mount Vernon HS) was recognized one week earlier.

Almedia Da Cruz made an immediate splash during Westchester’s 7-0 win over Orange Community College on Sept. 24, notching five points over the first 21 minutes of play. He converted a Luis Madriz (Tuckahoe, NY/Tuckahoe HS) crossing pass for a quick-strike goal during the first minute of play to make it 1-0. Three minutes later, during a transition opportunity, Almedia Da Cruz found Tapper with a crossing pass, and Tapper converted the opportunity to make it 2-0. At 21:10, Almedia Da Cruz scored his second goal of the game to make it 3-0 in favor of the Vikings.

For the 2019 season, Almedia Da Cruz has started all seven games, and he leads the team with three assists. His three goals rank him second on the team, as does his nine points.

TUESDAY OCT 1 (Valhalla, NY) – The Vikings beat Bronx Community College 5-0 in a home Region XV game. A much improved Bronx team owned time of possession for much of the first half, and took the first seven shots of the game. A diving save by Griza late in the first half kept the game tied. Late in the first half controversy ensued as Westchester sophomore Jose Tovar (Yonkers, NY/Riverside HS) was pulled down from behind in the middle of the box while winding up to shoot, but no call was made. The controversy seemed to galvanize Westchester as the Vikings spent the final five minutes of the first half deep in Bronx territory, but were unable to convert any of their opportunities, and the game was tied 0-0 at halftime despite an 11-5 edge in shots by Bronx Community College (4-6, 3-4).

Minutes into the second half, a Bronx transition opportunity forced Griza to make his best save of the game, a diving stop to keep the score tied 0-0. From there, Westchester took over, owning time of possession and the Vikings took 14 of the final 15 shots of the game. Finally, at 66:23, Tovar was pulled down in the box yet again, drawing a penalty kick, which was converted by freshman Leo Olos Moura (Port Chester, NY/Port Chester HS) for his second goal of the season, and a 1-0 lead. Less than eight minutes later, freshman Juan Torres (New Rochelle, NY/New Rochelle HS) gobbled up a Jordan Bennett (Peekskill, NY/Peekskill HS) crossing pass, and fired a shot to the near left post for a 2-0 lead.

Three minutes later, a spectacular effort by Luis Madriz (Tuckahoe, NY/Tuckahoe HS) saw him race past the Bronx defense and fire a shot from a near-impossible angle for his third goal of the season, and a 3-0 lead.

At 81:56, freshman Juan Espinosa (White Plains, NY/White Plains HS) snuck behind the Bronx defense, and scored on a breakaway thanks to a nifty pass from Torres for a 4-0 lead. For Espinosa, it was his first career goal.

The scoring concluded at 87:07 when freshman Tuane Tapper (Mount Vernon, NY/Mount Vernon HS) netted his eight goal of the season, thanks to a fantastic pass by freshman Jason Almedia Da Cruz (Yonkers, NY /Escola Secundaria Olavo Moniz (Cape Verde) for the 5-0 final. Westchester outshot Bronx CC 19-18 for the game.

THURSDAY OCT 3 (Valhalla, NY) –The Vikings beat Suffolk, in a home Region XV match, 4-1.. Suffolk had gone at least nine straight games without a loss to Westchester CC, dating back to 2012 – the point where records began being kept and stored away. Since then, there have been some rough moments for Westchester in this series. A 9-0 Shark win in 2012. An 8-0 win one year later. A 10-2 Suffolk win in 2014, and a 7-0 win one year later. In 2018, the teams tied 1-1, which felt in many ways like a win for Westchester Community College.

However, on Thursday, it was Westchester’s time. Finally. After years of futility against one of the nation’s premiere men’s soccer programs, the winner of five Region XV Championships during the last 11 years, Thursday was a great day to be a Viking. Four Westchester CC goals during a 19-minute span in the second half put the most emphatic of stamps on one of the biggest wins in Westchester history and in the process put the Vikings in the driver’s seat for a top-four regular season finish in Region XV play, and playoff home game.

Like the powerhouse program they are, Suffolk (9-6, 5-2 Region XV) neither went down quietly, nor made it easy for Westchester (7-2, 6-2 Region XV). The visiting Sharks dominated play during the early going, bending the Viking defense repeatedly during the first 15 minutes. At no point did the Westchester defense break. As the Vikings settled in, the game evened out, the two teams engaged in a slugfest that featured 22 total fouls, and 9 combined cards. At halftime, the score was 1-0, but Suffolk owned a 14-6 edge in shots as Westchester failed to make much of a dent in the Suffolk defense.

However, halftime turned the tide in Westchester’s favor. Two quick chances for the Vikings to open the half were turned away until 52:37 when freshman Jason Almedia Da Cruz (Yonkers, NY Escola Secundaria Olavo Moniz (Cape Verde) received a long pass, and streaked down the right side of the field. His crossing pass found the foot of fellow freshman Luis Madriz (Tuckahoe, NY/Tuckahoe HS), who promptly deposited the ball into the lower left corner for a 1-0 Westchester lead.

Seven minutes later, Westchester had another golden scoring opportunity. The Suffolk CC goalkeeper pulled down a Westchester forward who was preparing to shoot, drawing a yellow card and penalty kick for the Vikings. Sophomore Jordan Bennett (Peekskill, NY/Peekskill HS) calmly finished the opportunity, and it was a 2-1 game.

Just over a minute after Bennett’s heroics, a beautiful Suffolk passing play and finish put the Sharks on the scoreboard for the first time, making it a 2-1 game, and seemingly turning momentum Suffolk’s way.

However, the change in momentum could not have been more short-lived. The next time the Vikings had the ball, sophomore Jose Tovar (Yonkers, NY/Riverside HS) dribbled near the top of the box, made a quick turn, and blasted a rocket into the upper right corner on a picture-perfect shot to make it a 3-1 lead, and end all hopes for a Shark comeback. 10 minutes later, Madriz made another fantastic play, finding freshman Jonny Reyes (Peekskill, NY/Peekskill HS) with a beautiful pass in transition, and Reyes scored his third goal of the season for the 4-1 final.

Viking sophomore goalkeeper Guilherme Griza (Novo Hamburgo-RS (Brazil) Colegio Marista Pio XII) was once again spectacular, stopping 10 out of 11 shots – including eight out of nine during the second half – for the biggest win of his stellar career.

Suffolk had its fair share of opportunities, out shooting the Vikings 27-14, and the Sharks took seven corner kicks to Westchester’s two. However, it was a day when the Viking defense did just enough to secure its biggest win.

SATURDAY OCT 5 (Valhalla, NY) – Sophomore Jose Tovar (Yonkers, NY/Riverside HS) scored his third goal of the 2019 season, and fellow sophomore Guilherme Griza (Novo Hamburgo-RS (Brazil) Colegio Marista Pio XII) made 11 saves, but the Westchester Community College Men’s Soccer team lost a 2-1 overtime heartbreaker to Borough of Manhattan Community College on Saturday at Barrett Field. With the loss, the Vikings fall to 7-3 for the 2019 season, and 6-3 in NJCAA Region XV play. The loss also drops the Vikings into fifth place in the NJCAA Region XV play heading into the final week of the regular season.

It was the third consecutive game over the last two seasons that Westchester CC and BMCC (7-2-1, 6-2-1 Region XV) have played a one-goal thriller. Ironically, Westchester fell 2-1 to the Panthers one year ago during the regular season before dispatching BMCC from the NJCAA Region XV Quarterfinals in penalty kicks.

This time around, it was much of the same for this rivalry as each team had their fair share of chances, but most of the game played in the midfield area.

After a scoreless first, half that featured mutiple Griza saves from the doorstep. BMCC seemed to break the game open as a shot from point blank range appeared to aim for an open net, but was stopped by Viking freshman Kelvin Espino (Dobbs Ferry, NY/Dobbs Ferry HS) before it crossed the goal-line to keep the Panthers off of the board. BMCC finally struck first at 53:38 on a picture-perfect corner kick goal to make it 1-0.

However, the lead was short-lived. At 62:41, Viking freshman Jason Almedia Da Cruz (Yonkers, NY Escola Secundaria Olavo Moniz (Cape Verde) was attempting a scoring opportunity, but was pulled down in the scoring box, drawing a penalty kick. Tovar, who scored huge goals during two games this week, converted the kick and the game was tied 1-1.

From there, both teams desperately attempted to score the winning goal, but extra time was required. At 97:55, a BMCC player appeared to have a breakaway opportunity, but pulled down in the scoring box, leading to a penalty kick opportunity. The kick was converted, and BMCC notched a huge Region XV victory.

The loss marked the first time this season that Westchester CC fell at home.

BMCC took 27 shots – including three in overtime – compared to 14 for Westchester, who took two overtime shots. The Panthers also had eight corner kick opportunities, compared to three by Westchester.


TUESDAY OCTOBER 1 (Valhalla, NY) – Sophomore Gabriela Faria (Yonkers, NY/Saunders HS) registered a career-high 18 kills, and freshman Stefania Rinaldi (White Plains, NY/Valhalla HS) recorded her first career double-double with 11 digs and 14 assists. The Westchester Community College Women’s Volleyball team lost a five-set thriller to visiting Dutchess Community College, 3-2 on Tuesday night at Viking Gymnasium. With the loss, Westchester is now 4-9 overall, 4-9 in NJCAA Region XV play, and 2-5 in Mid-Hudson Conference play. The five-set marathon saw Dutchess capture the first set 32-30, before Westchester stormed back to win the second set 25-16. The Hawks were 27-25 winners in the third set, before the Vikings forced a deciding set 25-21. In the last set, Dutchess won 15-12 to split the season series with Westchester CC.

Also for the Vikings, sophomore Melody Pabon (Bronx, NY/Celia Cruz) had 12 kills, eight assists, and five digs.

THURSDAY OCTOBER 3 (Bronx, NY) – Freshman Stefania Rinaldi (White Plains, NY/Valhalla HS) had three assists and six service aces, and sophomore Gabriela Faria (Yonkers, NY/Saunders HS) added five kills and two service aces, but the Westchester Community College Women’s Volleyball team was swept 3-0 by Monroe College – Bronx Campus on Thursday night at Monroe-Bronx. With the loss, the Vikings are now 4-10 overall and 4-10 in NJCAA Region XV play.

Monroe – who defeated Westchester 3-2 on Sept. 17 – won the match 25-16, 25-19, and 25-17, and remains in first place in Region XV.

Also for Westchester, freshman Cristina Stasolla (Dobbs Ferry, NY/Maria Regina) had a team-high five assists, while freshman Nicole Taormina (Bronx, NY/St. Catharine’s) added four service aces.

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