September 17, 2013 | 501 views
East Meadow opens with win
East Meadow kicked off its 2013 boys’ soccer campaign with a 4-2 victory over Clarke on Sept. 7, with senior tri-captain Ryan Lao, an All-Conference returnee, pacing the offensive attack with two goals and two assists. The center midfielder was joined in the scoring column by returning junior, Billy Walsh, an All-County Honorable mention honoree last season, and junior midfielder Alberto Fernandez, each of whom scored once.
“When he scored two goals I was amazed,” Jets coach Bob Elder said of Lao, a strong playmaker. “He’s usually the guy that gets the assists.”
Walsh, who led the team with 14 goals last season, also played the part of playmaker in the win, netting a pair of assists, while senior goaltender Rui Cunha stopped 10 shots. “It was a nice opening win and the boys did really well,” Elder said. “It’s always good to win but I think the bigger [lesson] was that we were up 3-1 and there was a 20-minute dryspell [with Clarke cutting the lead to one]. We fought through that and scored to make it 4-2.”
Lao and Walsh are locked in as two of the top offensive performers for the Jets, who also hope to get some production from junior forward Marcelo Espinoza, a newcomer to the varsity team, senior Adeel Sheikh and junior Phil Wulff, a junior varsity call-up whose game continues to develop rapidly. Sophomore David Echeverry also figures into the offensive mix as a midfielder/forward. “From what I saw the other day [against the Rams], I think we can put the ball in the net,” Elder said.
Cunha, a four-year member of the East Meadow varsity team, gets support from senior captain Eric Gershoff, a returning All-Conference sweeper, and senior Josh Mathai, the stopper. “We have a lot of seniors and upperclass [players] going right down the middle [of the field],” Elder said. “[Rui] is very athletic and a lot of the things he does are instinct and you can’t train that.”
Juniors Dean Terki, and Jake Healy, the two outside backs, provide East Meadow with some size and toughness on defense, while classmates Chris Delgado and Mike Warren, each of whom can also spell Cunha in net, have also worked their way into the mix at midfield.
East Meadow travels to Port Washington for a 4:45 p.m. start on Thursday and battles Uniondale at home on Saturday at 10 a.m. The Jets close out the week at Valley Stream Central on Wednesday with the opening tap set for 4:45 p.m.