Nov 12, 2023

They had played Woodstock Academy twice during the regular season, and twice PSA’s Elite soccer team came out on the wrong end of the result. But by the end of Sunday’s GESP Conference Tournament championship game, those games didn’t matter.

PSA’s Elite team won the third and final meeting at Woodstock Academy to claim the first championship for PSA’s soccer program. 

“This is a 100 out of 100,” said vice-captain Leo Uren. “It is so good to be the champions with the school that I have been with for three years. We’ve never won a championship, so in my senior year, winning a championship… it’s insane.”

“We listened to Coach Kurt (Lunzmann)’s tactics. This is one of the first times we kept disciplined for 90 minutes.” said captain Bereket Hadgu. “I’m so tired, but I am so happy for the boys. I love it, I love everyone. It’s good to make history at PSA.”

Mario Navas opened up the scoring after collecting a misplay by a Woodstock defender and beating the keeper one-on-one with about 13 minutes left to play in the first half. “I pressed the center back, and I don’t know what happened but I had a one-vs-one with the keeper and I threw the ball through his legs,” Navas said. “I can’t describe how this feels because it’s the best feeling I’ve ever had. It’s the most emotion, I can’t describe it. It’s just simply the best feeling.”

It stayed 1-0 until Woodstock leveled it with a quick strike five minutes into the second half but PSA picked itself up and answered just two minutes later. Carlo Paniagua dropped a perfect free kick on to the foot of Anton Lemos, who buried the shot in the lower right corner from just in front of the net. “Carlos gave a perfect cross and I just volleyed it,” said Lemos. “I was so excited to score the winning goal. And now winning for the first time with PSA soccer… I’m honored that I scored the goal that was the difference. And I’m so happy for my friend (Mario) for scoring the first goal.”

PSA advanced to the title game by knocking off Hoosac 2-1 in the Saturday semi-final. Assa Mora got PSA on the board in the first half and Gabriel Gomes added a goal in the second half. Mora’s goal in the 30th minute was assisted by Aiden Basabose. Hadgu assisted on Gomes’ goal, which came in the 70th minute. Hoosac scored with five minutes remaining in the game to make it interesting. 

“We dominated the game and scored two goals, but we squandered too many one-on-one opportunities,” Lunzmann said. “The score could have been 5-0. We need to put those opportunities away early if we are to have a chance against Woodstock.”

PSA hit a crossbar once in the first half but was able to do just what Lunzmann hoped for and put those chances away. 

And in the process, the MUSTANGS made history. 

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