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Sewanhaka tries to turn corner

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Times have been tough on the soccer pitch at Sewanhaka over the past few years. Finding the back of the net hasn’t come easy for the Indians, and the team has registered just five victories since last earning a playoff berth in 2016. 

Sewanhaka hasn’t had the start it would have liked in 2019, but has hopes that it is turning the corner in what is clearly a rebuilding phase. After last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with visiting Floral Park, the Indians are 1-5-3 overall (1-4 in Nassau Conference A1.) Humiko Rivera-Mora scored the team’s lone goal.

Coach Patrick Corvetti, who is assisted by two of his former players Akeel Rodney and Edwin Argueta, understands that things aren’t going to change overnight. “We’re looking to change the approach and the culture here,” Corvetti said. “The players have talent, but it’s going to take time for them to understand the tactical parts of soccer. Things are going to be good in the future.”

After going 0-1-2 to start the season, the Indians got in the win column with a 3-0 road victory over intradistrict rival Elmont Memorial. Sewanhaka got goals from seniors Elton Ortiz and Jerry Tejada, and junior Kevin Zumba.

It was a homecoming of sorts for Corvetti. Prior to a successful three seasons as head coach at SUNY-Old Westbury, he led the Spartans to three conference championships while coaching at Elmont. He was selected as conference coach of the year during each of those championship seasons.

Sewanhaka leans heavily on its senior leaders. Center back Joe Vadacchino, who assisted on one of the goals at Elmont, is a hard-working player who wins numerous 50/50 balls. Jordan Pacheco has speed and skill at outside fullback. Senior keeper Nicholas Guajardo has compiled 33 saves, including six in a 2-2 draw with Freeport. 

The midfielders and forwards are showing some promise for the future. Zumba, freshman Jose Diaz, and junior Mathew Cano all figure to be part of the turnaround. Senior Adrian Falla rounds out the starting lineup at midfield. Joshua Gallardo leads the team with three goals and two assists. 

The talented Rivera-Mora, who has three goals and an assist in 2019, is the team’s spark plug. Corvetti expects a lot from the sophomore midfielder/forward in the present and future. Tejada has a goal and two assists on the season.

With a beautiful facility, and new locker rooms and uniforms, the team’s new coach has positive vibes. “I have had to redo myself in terms of how and what I’m teaching the boys,” Corvetti said. “We’ve had a million conversations about what it’s going to take to change the culture,” Corvetti said. “In the past, the team has been in the mix for a playoff spot from time to time. We want that to be the norm. It’s going to happen. The future is going to be bright.”

The Indians host Malverne/East Rockaway this Saturday morning at 10.