This one was worth the wait.
The Grand Street Campus boys’ soccer team has been ready to get out on the field for weeks and — after the squad’s first two games were postponed — the Wolves finally opened up the season, taking down Brooklyn Tech 6–1 in an offensive outburst on Sept. 17.
“We were anxious to play,” said senior forward Tajea Brown. “It was just teamwork. We played hard, and we were able to carry what we did in training onto the field.”
The Wolves’(1–0) front line seized the spotlight early as the squad controlled possession from the get-go. Grand Street’s offense moved up and down the field with ease, directing passes through open lanes and playing to feet — keeping the ball on the ground and, most importantly, away from Brooklyn Tech’s (2–1) defense.
“We were understanding each other and everyone kept moving around, just making space for each other,” said junior wing Ossama Diaby. “We were able to get the goals pretty easily.”
Grand Street jumped out to a two-goal lead at the break, bolstered by its front-line speed.
The Engineers, meanwhile, notched just one shot on net in the first half — an attempt from Joshua Fish that hit off the pole.
It never got any easier for Brooklyn Tech. The squad, which hadn’t allowed a goal in its first two games, lost its starting goalie Elliot Leinweber late in the first half, and the Engineers’ collective confidence took a hit as he walked off the field.
“When the team realized that their starting goalie was down, it definitely changed a lot,” said Brooklyn Tech coach Anthony Cicolini. “But these are things that the kids can learn from and we’re going to fix the mistakes and hopefully correct them for the next game.”
The Engineers tried to find a rhythm after Leinweber left the game, but Grand Street’s offense seized the opportunity, pressing the ball even more in the second half and consistently challenging new keeper Samuel Raykhman.
The Wolves hit second gear down the stretch, moving even faster up the field as the minutes ticked down. Of course, that was the game plan — Grand Street has speed and, this year, the team plans to use that to its advantage.
“In my opinion, the most important thing is just to run up the field and try and get into position,” Diaby said. “If we can do that, we can get the goals.”
Brooklyn Tech was able to get on the board late in the second half as Fish converted a penalty kick. It was far too little, far too late, but the Engineers refused to let the lopsided score effect the team’s confidence.
In fact, Cicolini said his squad was ready to go back and play another game as soon as the final whistle sounded.
“We were all just saying that we’re still excited,” he said. “We wish we could play them again — like tomorrow — because I think we know what we need to do.”
It’s a statement win for Grand Street, a team that took plenty of people by surprise with its Cinderella run to the Public Schools Athletic League championship game last year, falling to Beacon in double overtime.
This first win is simply a step back to that game, a moment the team has been waiting for since last season ended.
“We want to get back to the finals. It’s that simple,” said Brown. “So we know we have to do the best on the field. We’re always going to give it 100 percent.”