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Panthers Claw Way To First-Ever Crown

Armed with a new coach and a fresh attitude, the Borough of Manhattan Community College Panthers won their first-ever CUNY Athletic Conference/Brine Men's Soccer Championship. The Panthers took a 4-1 lead at the break, and held off a strong charge from their host, Bronx Community College, 4-3.

After taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by freshman Duanemarc Ball in the sixth minute, Tournament Most Valuable Player Durraine McKenzie netted a pair to give BMCC an almost insurmountable 3-0 lead with eight minutes remaining in the first half.

"We are more dedicated this year," said McKenzie a sophomore whose team struggled in 1999. "We're now moving as a cohesive unit. The coaching is so solid now."

"I thought that I was going to have a heart attack watching the game," said the new coach of BMCC Emeka Ezuego, a native of Nigeria, who played on their 1994 World Cup team and their 1996 Olympic squad. "It's tough not being able to go out there and contribute myself."

"We had a great start today," continued Ezuego. "But we looked real tired the last 15 minutes. We almost let it slip away. But we're 2-9 and we have to keep on working hard to have a successful year. There's a lot of potential here. I'm proud of this team already."

The other Panther goal was scored by freshman Jacek Lawniczak in the 44th minute. The Broncos' tallies were scored by Mohammed Iddriss (39th minute), Michael Fisher (55th minute) and Lamine Toure (88th minute).

Bronx, coached by Sam Eromosele was seeking their fifth CUNY title in the game. They already have the most tournament wins (4), with Eromosele kippering the last two in 1994 and 1995.

In the consolation game preceding the final, Queensborough the defending champions defeated Kingsborough, the 1998 titlists, 2-0. QCC sophomore goalkeeper Rodolpho Hernandez pitched the shutout as Andrew Whilby (27th minute) and Kevin Rivera (60th minute) provided the offense for the Tigers.

By Gregg Cohen

2001 Championship 2002 Championship  2003 Championship 2004 Championship
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