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Mesia leads Bishop Ford past Cardinal Spellman

The Bishop Ford boys soccer team captured the Brooklyn/Queens ‘B’ division championship largely on the strength of stars Oscar Castillo, James Caicedo and Angel Cordero.

“Oscar, James and Angel, the three of them make us a strong team,” Bishop Ford coach Barney Cassidy said. “They’ve been with me for four years and they play well together, they complement each other.”

But the Falcons advance to the CHSAA Class B intersectional semifinals thanks to sophomore Wilmer Mesia, who picked a great time to score his first two goals of the season.

Bishop Ford defeated Cardinal Spellman, 4-2, at Aviator Sports Complex last Friday afternoon to make it to the “B” semis for a third straight year.

“We haven’t seen him play like that in a long time,” Castillo said of Mesia. “Today he came out and it was good for us.”

The Falcons faced defending Class B champion Salesian, which defeated Christ the King, 2-1, this past Thursday afternoon (after this paper’s deadline). The Eagles defeated Ford in the semifinals in each of the last two years. But those games were played in Westchester County. On Thursday, the Falcons were be home.

“We get them here on our field and we’re looking forward to it,” Cassidy said. “They’re a good team.”

Bishop Ford (9-1-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Mesia and Caicedo in the opening 20 minutes, capitalizing on a pair of Spellman defensive miscues. It was the worst possible start for the Pilots.

“The first 10-15 minutes we came out scared,” Cardinal Spellman coach Tom Cabrera said. “We were very intimidated. Then we realized we could play with these guys and little by little we started building and we were even.”

The Falcons maintained their two-goal lead with 5:10 left in the first half when Mesia ripped an open shot into the upper right corner of the net for his second ever varsity goal.

“It felt good,” Mesia said.

Mesia started the season playing in the back, but was pushed forward to outside midfield and said he’s gained confidence by playing with Castillo, Caicedo and Cordero. And now that he’s finally scored, he said he thinks more goals will follow.

“I have the feeling like I can do more,” Mesia said.

Cardinal Spellman (11-4-2) pulled within a goal midway through the second half on a Michael Ziegler penalty kick, but eight minutes later Castillo put the game away with a low shot inside the far post from 20 yards.

“We came with the right mentality,” Castillo said. “We knew we had to play our best in the beginning, give 100 percent. We had to score goals in the first few minutes that way we could take our time and keep the ball.”

Meanwhile, Cardinal Spellman ends the season with three straight losses after one defeat in 13 regular-season games.

“We made one or two mistakes and they capitalized,” Cabrera said. “We came back and played hard. We still had a chance and we were still in the game, right to the very end.”

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