With so many teams cramming games in during the final full week of the regular season, this might have been the most difficult week of the year to pick a #POTW.
Do I go with a player who had a heroic effort in a big game, such as Valhalla’s Kaio DaSilva, Irvington’s Sam Farman and Mahopac’s Mike Bernardi? Do I go a player who put up gaudy, such as Lakeland’s Johnny Denis, White Plains’ Osvaldo Almiron, Mamaroneck’s Juan Giraldo or Port Chester’s Luis Morales? Or, I could go with a hot goalkeeper, such as Tappan Zee’s Vincent Pepe or Blind Brook’s Daniel Rosenbaum, neither of whom surrendered a goal this week. All are deserving, but it’s almost playoff time, and I decided to narrow it down by selecting a player who put up big numbers and put his team in position for postseason success.
Hastings forward Lucas Pereira was as good as anyone this week statistically. He played a part in eight of the Yellow Jackets’ nine goals, scoring six while notching two assists as they went 3-0. He led Hastings to upset wins over larger schools such as Hen Hud and Yorktown, helping his team register big upsets over Class A contenders. Pereira scored two goals in a 2-1 win at Yorktown, had a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win over Hen Hud, and put up a hat trick and assisted on a fourth goal in a 4-1 win at Woodlands.
But perhaps most importantly, Pereira put the Yellow Jackets in position to potentially grab the No. 2 seed in Class B at 11-4 with one game to play.
“Lucas is an extremely humble and talented player,” coach Fred Sandhop said. “Great players make those around them that much better. Lucas is that great player.
“He enjoys the goals but also finds great enjoyment setting up his teammates. Lucas enjoys his teammates so much that many times during a game he will ask to give his spot up to a player that doesn’t get that much game time. He loves the game. At the start of the season, I discussed with him the possibilities of notoriety. His response was, ‘I don’t want awards; I just want to play soccer.’ A class act both on and off the pitch. His team and coaches are very fortunate.”
To make a suggestion for Player of the Week, just send me your nominations on Twitter @vzmercogliano using #POTW.