Wojciech Wojcik and John Neeskens celebrate the Cosmos B’s first goal (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
By Michael Lewis
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Cosmos B continued its undefeated march through the regular season as it clinched a spot in the National Premier Soccer League playoffs Saturday night.
Bledi Bardic, Wojciech Wojcik, Darwin Espinal, Danny Szetela and Ivan Berterame scored to pace New York to an emphatic 5-0 victory over the defending league champion Elm City Express at Hofstra Soccer Stadium.
Bardic, Wojcik. Espinal lead Cosmos B with six goals apiece and Szetela has five.
Cosmos B (8-0-0, 24 points) remained atop the North Atlantic Conference Division. Now the team will concern itself of securing the top seed so it can enjoy home-field advantage in the division playoffs.
The North Atlantic semifinals are set for Wednesday, July 11, followed by the divisional final on Saturday, July 14. The top four teams qualify for divisional playoffs. If Cosmos B finishes as top seed, it would host the semifinal and if it won that, the final. The winner will play the Keystone Conference Division winner in the next round of the postseason.
Elm City (8) fell to 2-3-2.
Kevin Tenjo recorded his first shutout as a Cosmos B goalkeeper.
Cosmos B controlled possession for long periods of time as it secured a 2-0 halftime lead.
Wojcik lifted the host side into the lead in the 12th minute. Espinal made it 2-0 in the 21st minute, connecting from distance on the right side.
Szetela got on the scoresheet in the 65th minute, converting a penalty kick after Jalen Brown was fouled in the area.
Only six minutes later, Cosmos B was celebrating yet again as Bardic picked up a loose ball in the box and slotted it home for a 4-0 margin.
Berterame added his first goal as a member of Cosmos B in the 90th minute.