Brijbasi nets two as Gilman rallies from behind to defeat Boys’ Latin in MIAA A league match

by Joe DiBlasi
The Gilman Greyhounds and the Boys Latin Lakers have met in rivalry soccer competition for decades, but as Hounds veteran coach Jon Seal said after his team captured a hard fought, come from behind 3-1 victory over the Lakers on Friday, “It’s a Conference game now.”
With the Lakers recently moving up to the MIAA A Conference, there is much more on the line than just bragging rights.
The host Lakers (1-2) scored first when sophomore Swaynee Queen tallied on a feed from senior captain Owen Reid at 24:28 in the first half.
Coach Aaron Urban-Zukerberg’s feisty squad made it stand up until Gilman standout Elijah Brijbasi converted a penalty kick twelve minutes into the second half to tie game at 1-1.
Both keepers continued to step up and turn back offensive thrusts by both teams, and the game stayed tied until the Lakers were called for a hand ball, just outside the box with 11:25 to go in regulation.
Brijbasi deftly lofted a direct kick into the top left hand corner of the net, out of the reach of Laker keeper Owen Allen-Worrall who had 8 saves on the day.
The Greyhounds (2-0) got an insurance goal from a wide open Josh Melancon on the right side with 1:11 to go to secure the win.
Brijbasi described the PK.
“It was a ball in, just outside the box, a handball. I knew exactly where I was going to go with my kick. I just placed it, I crossed it in, and it went top left. I just basically try to cross it in and it goes in. This was a huge win for us.”
Melacon, a junior midfielder and team leader, said, “He (Brijbasi) does that all the time in practice. I’m ecstatic about this win. They are a great team, and we lost to them last year in a heartbreaker, so this win means a lot to us.”
Coach Seal lauded Brijbasi.
“Elijah works very, very hard on set pieces in practice, and it’s not an accident that he scored that ball [on the direct kick]. I think he showed that he’s one of the best players in the area today.”
Seal also had high praise for the Lakers.
“They knocked off a good Loyola team here last week, so we knew what we were up against. They are very organized, and they play hard. I thought we had the better of it in the first half, even though we let up for that thirty second stretch when they scored that goal. We made some adjustments at halftime, and came out and showed some composure in the second half, and we were able to score three, which was great to see.”
GIL 0 3 — 3
BL 1 0 — 1
GOALS: GIL-Brijbasi 2, Melancon; BL- Queen.
SAVES: GIL-Chodnicki 4; BL- Allen-Worrall 8.