Coach Zef Kabashi is standing in the middle of back row wearing a blue shirt.
Photos courtesy of Queensborough Community College.
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
October 25, 2013-The top-seeded Queensborough Community College Tigers defeated the Bronx CC Broncos 2-0 to win the 2013 CUNY/Applebees Men's Community College Soccer Championship. This is the Tigers' second City University of New York men's soccer title in the past three years after the program was resurrected in 2011.
Queensborough is coached by Zef Kabashi, who also serves the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) as an Olympic Development Program coach. He has coached ODP for the past three years.
In club soccer, Zef coached the then Boys-Under-13 Auburndale/Bayside Slayers of the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) to a State Cup championship in LaGrangeville this past June.
Proving that nice guys finish first, he became the first coach to receive the New York Metro Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NYMISOA) Sportsmanship Award with two college programs. He won coaching the Hostos Community College men in 2007 and with Queensborough in 2011.
In the title match on October 16, Queensborough got on the scoreboard in the 21st minute when Anthony Cavieles fed Brandon Diossa with a perfect pass 18 yards out that Diossa drilled into the lower left corner of the net.
"In the beginning we were a little nervous," Coach Kabashi stated after the match. "I told them to focus on the game itself, and eventually we found our rhythm and found the gaps."
Both teams battled to gain the advantage early in the second half, but Queensborough grew stronger as the match progressed. The Tigers racked up 8 corner kicks and 15 shots down the stretch, completely dominating the final 16 minutes of play.
In the 81st minute, John Velasquez fired a shot from 20 yards that Broncos' goalkeeper Alejandro Rico was able to deflect. But tournament MVP Fookkee Liao raced to the ball and put the rebound into the Broncos' empty net.
"As community colleges are two-year programs, we won our second championship in three years with an entirely different team from our last title," Coach Kabashi said. "Based on the class and work schedules of the players, the coaching staff and I came up with training plan that allowed the players to work and attend class. We were able to achieve harmony and peace of mind for each player."
He continued, "Team-building was also part of the new training plan. We needed the players to become a team in a short period of time. We introduced more team-building activities that had nothing to do with soccer just to get the boys to become a unit, off the field, thereby creating the unit we've become, on the field."
Zef is a longtime midfielder in the Long Island Soccer Football League (LISFL) who is taking a break right now to spend more time with his wife and one-year-old son at their home in Carle Place.
"I'm allowing myself time to regain fitness to make my return to the LISFL in the spring of 2014. I'm not sure yet who I will be playing for but I'm looking forward to playing again."
Congratulations to Zef Kabashi and his Queensborough Tigers!
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 12 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.