Area teams chase state soccer titles

first_imgBY DOUG McKENZIE Correspondent This is the time of year when the very best high school soccer teams in the state begin to distinguish themselves. For a select handful of local teams that qualified for the NJSIAA state tournaments, last week’s play represented a start to what they hoped would be the road to a championship. For some, the state tournament came at the perfect time, as they entered the postseason playing some of their best soccer. For others, it was a chance to start anew. The Christian Brothers Academy boys soccer team entered the Non-Public South A tournament as the sixth seed. But as a team that is a perennial contender for the sectional crown, the Colts were hoping to take some teams by surprise en route to winning a title. They opened play with a game on Nov. 6 against a third-seeded Notre Dame team, which had championship aspirations of its own. Fortunately for CBA, the Colts offense was in high gear, as they scored two goals in the first half and three more in the second to upend Notre Dame, 5-3, and advance to Monday’s semifinal round. Scott Thomsen, Pat Rafferty and Jim Delnero each scored in a 13-minute span of the second half as CBA took a 5-2 advantage. Mark Pratico also had a goal and an assist while Tim Brennan notched two other goals for the Colts. CBA was clearly the better team in this one, outshooting Notre Dame, 16-8. CBA goalie Chris Vullo made five saves to preserve the win, as the Colts improved to 10-7- 1 on the year. CBA was hoping to have similar success on Monday when they took on St. Joseph of Metuchen in the semifinals. CBA entered this game with heavy hearts, as they sported black armbands to honor the memory of Brother Andrew O’Gara, president of CBA since 1991 and principal from 1979 to 1991, who passed away at age 80 on Saturday. However, the Colts persevered and scored a 2-1 overtime win, leaving them just two wins away from claiming their first Non-Public A. On Thursday, the Colts will play topseeded St. Augustine for the sectional title at Holmdel High School. The Raritan Rockets were the only other local boys team in action last week, as the Rockets took on Delaware Valley in the CJ Group II tournament. The top-seeded Rockets got a Pat Langan goal in the 53rd minute after Jim Armenti was taken down in the box. Once in front, the Raritan defense took it from there, preserving a 1-0 win over the eighth-seeded Terriers. With the win, Raritan advanced to Monday’s second round, where they took on Delran. Unfortunately, the Rockets’ dream of a sectional title ended there, when Vinnie Carollo broke a scoreless tie with a goal in the 64th minute and the No. 4 Bears knocked off the top-seeded Rockets. The St. John Vianney girls soccer team got the fourth seed in the Non-Public South A tournament, and made that seeding stand up with a 2-0 win over fifth-seeded Bishop Ahr on Nov. 7. Jen Mulvey scored two goals (her team leading 15th and 16th tallies of the year) as St. John Vianney dominated every aspect of the game to defeat the Trojans. After SJV failed to score in the first half, Mulvey finally put her team ahead 1:47 into the second half. Her second goal came in the 79th minute when she was open in the 18 and one-timed a shot from Fare to the lower left. Meanwhile, the Lancer defense, led by defenders Kirsten Danna and Freeman, held the Trojans without a shot on goal by winning nearly every 50-50 ball. With the win, SJV advanced to Tuesday’s second round, where they were to face eighth-seeded Pope Paul VI. With a win on Tuesday, the Lancers would have earned a spot in the sectional final, set for tonight at Holmdel H.S. The Holmdel High School girls also advanced out of the first round of the CJ Group III tournament with a 2-1 win over Ocean Township on Nov. 4. The 10th-seeded Hornets got the go-ahead goal from freshman Lauren Reidy at the 58:23 mark to break a 1- 1 tie. Reidy also had her hand in the Hornets’ first goal, setting up Angela Pento. With the win, Holmdel earned a shot at second-seeded Wall Township on Nov.7, where they saw their season come to an end with a 3-1 defeat. Holmdel finished the year at 10-10. The Raritan girls earned their spot in the CJ Group II tournament, but lost their opener 1-0 to No. 7 Delran, despite a strong game from keeper Samantha Lindo (10 saves).last_img read more