Fort Hamilton was able to exact revenge on Telecommunications, the only team to beat them this year, on the strength of two goals from senior Cansu Usta.
The forward tallied strikes in the 29th and 68th minutes to help give her team a 3–1 victory over the visiting Yellow Jackets in Public School Athletic League Brooklyn A-III girls’ soccer last Friday. The win keeps her team in the hunt for a third straight division title.
Usta’s first goal came off a corner kick where her strong and accurate leg bounced the ball off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net. Her final tally came when she sized up a ball in the middle of the field and drilled it past the keeper from 25 yards out.
“The ball came off a defender,” said Usta, who has 29 goals this season. “It was on my weaker foot, but I had to give it a try.”
Her shot was successful and helped hand previously unbeaten Telecom (8–1–1) its first loss. It was the second time the Tigers squad (11–1–1) has done so to a top-division opponent this season. Fort Hamilton, Telecom and Grand Street are all deadlocked at top the division, with each team having a different number of games remaining.
“It feels great,” Usta said of the victory. “We beat Grand Street when they were undefeated and now Telecommunication.”
As far as Telecom is concerned, coach Charles Young said it’s better to have a wake-up call now than during playoff time.
“I can deal with it,” said the Yellow Jackets coach. “It helps in the sense that they won’t get so cocky.”
Junior Melissa Gonzalez, who leads her team in goals with 19, struck the Yellow Jackets’ lone score. Gonzalez corralled a short pass off a corner and was able to bend the ball around the goalie and into the net in the 55th minute, which at the time put her team within 2–1.
“I think we played well,” Gonzalez said. “We had a couple of mistakes, but every team has mistakes, and next game we’ll try not to make those same mistakes.”
Fort Hamilton’s goal keeper Rigopoula Nasopoulos was big factor in the win. The senior notched double-digit saves and was flawless for the majority of the game outside Telecom’s single score.
“Our goalie was phenomenal, Tigers coach Ed Coyne said. “She played as well as I’ve seen a high school goalie play.”
Teresita Gonzalez scored the third goal for Fort Hamilton. She sent a looping shot over the keeper’s head in the 49th minute off a throw in.
“I’m just happy for these kids because they’ve done such a good job,” Coyne said.
Telecom is looking to learn from defeat the same way Fort Hamilton did with a division title still in sight.
“Every champion needs to learn how to lose,” Gonzalez said.