In addition to tallying the first collegiate victory for first-year head coach Ovid Cusu, the win also marked the program’s first league win since joining the Skyline Conference last season.
“It was a great win for our team,” said Cusu. “We have a long road ahead of us, but I’m confident to say these kids work as a team.”
St. Joseph’s looked the crisper of the two squads throughout the opening half, seizing more of the early scoring chances. Beka Goduadze broke the deadlock just past the 15-minute mark volleying a service from Christ the King product Cesar Oviedo from the right wing into the back of the net.
Five minutes into the second half, the Maccabees nearly tied the game with Albert Dichy shooting a ball past Bears goalie Julian Rodriguez, but Christopher Cabrera, another Christ the King grad, stopped the shot at the goal line with his body.
The Maccabees kept the pressure on, drawing a foul in the box with Itamar Ben David calmly putting away the ensuing penalty kick to draw even.
With just over five minutes to play, rookie Thomas Mastoras from Francis Lewis High played a through ball from the midfield to a streaking Mano, a late substitute, whose one-touch chip over the outstretched goalie found the goal from just inside the post for the game-winner.
It was the seventh goal of Mano’s career, moving him into a tie for fourth all-time. It was also his third career game-winner, moving him into a tie for the program lead.
The Bears will try to move two games above .500 for the first time in program history when they take on John Jay College this week.