Cameron Bonfils was not the only player surprised when Beacon trailed only minutes into the PSAL Class A semifinals held Tuesday at Randall’s Island.
Beacon had trailed in a contest for the first time in the PSAL season and more importantly came in an elimination game. But there was no need for the Blue Demons to panic when they have a potent one-two punch to put goals into the net.
Bonfils and sophomore teammate Jaden Graber each scored two goals to power No. 3 seed Beacon back to the Class A championship game by defeating Erasmus Hall, 5-1, on a cold day at Randall’s Island.
“Me and Jaden work very well and also during the year we come out to Riverside [Park] and train together and work on our shots together,” Bonfils, a senior forward said. “We play all the time at Riverside and that is where the chemistry comes from.”
Beacon scored four times in the second half to book a ticket to the Class A city championship game Saturday in a rematch against rivals and defending title holders Martin Luther King Jr. at Belson Stadium on the campus of St. John’s University at 2 p.m.
No. 18 Erasmus Hall, who had gone on a Cinderella playoff run by upsetting second seed Forest Hills along the way, scored on its first counterattack. Tyrese Duncan crossed a pass to Marvin Mondesir as the junior forward took one touch and rocketed a shot in the net for a 1-0 EHall lead in the fifth minute.
It took Beacon only 11 minutes to respond on a memorable goal as Graber curled a corner kick over the Dutchmen defense and goalkeeper into the net to level the game at 1-all.
The Blue Demons, who improved to 15-1-1 and is No. 7 in the News 12 Varsity New York City rankings, resumed the balance on offense and defense that has helped them reach the title game for the third consecutive season.
Graber continued to pepper the net when his shot was unable to be corralled by EHall goalkeeper Kervin Mondesir and Alex Ferrara pounced on the rebound for a 2-1 Beacon lead in the 51st minute.
The sophomore Graber added a goal in the 62nd minute and Bonfils finished the scoring with his second goal in the 76th minute.
Certain newcomers like senior goalkeeper William Gilbert, a Cornell commit for baseball, along with sophomore Wyatt McCarthy and Kenneth Vanderland has helped add depth to the Beacon roster
“This team, this senior team, is one of the most anticipated teams we have had because when we were freshmen, we realized there was so much skill and like potential on the team,” said senior defender Rene Ismail. “We were just waiting for it to shine and grow older.”
But the only way for Beacon to cap off the season positively is to defeat MLK, who had the upper hand last year by winning 1-0 in overtime.
“There is a dynamic of everyone bringing together and we are a family now and we also want to rebound this year,” Bonfils said. “Losing that game was too difficult and we cant let that happen again.’
MLK advances to final
Akeem Shelton only needed 30 seconds to put MLK on the board with the first of his 4 goals on the day to power the top seed to a 6-0 semifinal victory over No. 4 Tottenville.
The Knights (16-0), ranked No. 1 in New York City by News 12 Varsity, quickly jumped up to a 2-0 lead when Aly Camara assisted on Shelton’s second goal of the game in the eighth minute. Camara and Shelton recorded his first half hat trick to help the defending city champions take a 4-0 halftime advantage. Yaya Bakayoko finished the scoring in the 75th minute.
PSAL Girls A Soccer
The defending Class A champions Beacon jumped out to a quick two-goal lead in the opening 3 minutes and clinched a berth to Saturday’s title game with a 3-1 victory over No. 4 seed Susan Wagner. No. 1 seed Beacon received two goals from Layla Devlin; Mikayla Alcorn added a goal and Kate Diament had 3 assists.
Stefania Skaliotis broke open a 1-1 tie with a goal in the 70th minute to spur on No. 2 seed Francis Lewis to a 4-1 win over No. 3 Brooklyn Tech. Skaliotis scored a hat trick of goals and Kristine Yagudayev recorded two saves to send the Patriots back to the finals for a rematch with Beacon at 4 pm. Saturday at St. john’s University.
PSAL Class B Semifinals
Martin Luther King High School will send two participants to the PSAL soccer championships .The top seed girls soccer Knights advanced to the Class B girls title game for the second consecutive season after defeating No. 21 seed East Side Community by a 2-1 final and 3-1 on penalty kicks.
The Knights will take on seventh seed Columbia Secondary School on Saturday afternoon at 12 p.m. Columbia upended No. 3 seed NEST + M, 3-2.
Jhon Calderon scored two goals and Miguel Diaz added a goal to help No. 6 Franklin Lane record a second half comeback in a 3-2 boys soccer victory over No. 7 Springfield Gardens on Tuesday morning.
No. 13 Flushing International High School clinched its first berth to the Class B boys title game on Saturday at 10 a.m. in a 2-1 upset win over top seed H.S. For Math, Science and Engineering at CCNY. Fernando Ruiz scored two goals in the second half along with Marvin Hernandez and William Perez each adding an assist.