Senior star Vasquez steps up offensive production as PDS men’s football dominates Lawrenceville, WW / PS
WILLING TO FIGHT: Princeton Day school boys soccer player William Vasquez, right, battles a WW / P-South player for the ball last Friday. Senior forward Vasquez netted a goal and an assist to help PDS win 4-1. The Panthers, who fell 3-2 to WW / P-North last Monday to drop to 3-4, host Peddie School on September 29, Blair Academy on October 2 and Pingry School on October 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
William Vasquez ran away with a bloody nose last Friday as the Princeton Day School boys’ soccer team hosted WW / P-South.
But the senior PDS star smiled as he received treatment, after scoring a goal to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead.
“I had a bloody nose when I was partying there,” Vasquez said.
After edging out the Pirates, PDS never looked back on the road to a 4-1 victory.
The Panthers controlled the second half, securing goals from Theo Capeilleries and Joaquin Rodriguez as they closed the deal.
“We had them in our half and once we scored that third goal we kept going,” said Vasquez.
“We’ve learned from past experiences that we can’t give up, even if it’s 3-1 or 4-1. We have to play like it’s 0-0 every time.
It took a while for the PDS to start as they fell 1-0 three minutes into the game.
“When we were down from a zero we just had to hold our heads up and keep going,” Vasquez said. “Once we scored that first goal, we started to play well. “
Vasquez helped the Panthers score that first goal, sending a ball into the box that Todd Devin directed to the back of the net with 19:11 left in the half.
“I think Milan [Shah] had a great game on that, ”Vasquez said. “He gave it to me and I saw Todd at the far post. I had to give it to him.
With just under four minutes to go into halftime, Vasquez dribbled past WW / P-South defenders and unleashed a low volley past the Pirates keeper.
“I beat him, then I beat him again,” said Vasquez of the Pirate Defender.
“I knew I had to put it on my right foot because it’s my strong foot and I just put it on the lower left to finish. It was a great moment. “
The tally gave Vasquez his second straight big game as he also scored a goal and an assist in a 2-1 win over Lawrenceville on September 22.
“I think it’s just changing where I am,” Vasquez said, reflecting on his recent soaring.
“At first I was on the left side, then he put me in the forward position. I think just changing myself is what is working for me right now.
PDS first-year head coach Brian Thomsen likes what he sees of Vasquez.
“He’s having a good week, he hit the post in the first two minutes against Lawrenceville,” said Thomsen.
“Then he was fouled in the box, took a penalty and you could see his energy change. A confident player is a confident player.
The team’s confident play against the Pirates was the result of hard work.
“We’ve been talking about it all week, just changing the mindset a bit,” said Thomsen.
“If we don’t have a good mentality and we don’t want to work hard and we don’t want to win 50/50 balls and we don’t know what to do with all the little things that win games, then we’re n will not be successful.
PDS showed this mentality by moving away towards victory. “We talked about it at half-time, which we have to play with confidence,” said Thomsen. “We have to score the third goal to open the game up a bit.”
In addition to Vasquez, junior goalie John Mazzarisi, senior defenseman Connor Topping and junior midfielder Rodriguez have also won big games.
“John played amazing in front of goal, Connor played amazing,” said Thomsen.
“I thought that with Joaquin, once we brought him back to the central defensive midfielder, he was really in control of the tempo of the game, which is amazing.”
Thomsen likes the spirit he sees in his players in his first year at the helm of the program.
“The boys are enjoying the season so it’s going to be good,” said Thomsen, whose team fell 3-2 to WW / P-North last Monday to drop to 3-4 and will host Peddie School on Sept. 29, Blair Academy on October 2 and Pingry School on October 5.
Vasquez, for his part, enjoys playing for Thomsen. “I love Coach BT, he talks to us and tells us what we’re supposed to do and he’s smart with his decisions, which side we should be on and everything,” Vasquez said.
“I have the impression that we communicate better, there is by far a better chemistry. I am excited.”