After 12 long days without power in many parts of Holmdel and 2 weeks out of school, life returned to normal for most in Holmdel Township this week. On Tuesday, the #2 seeded Holmdel Boys Varsity soccer team beat the 7th seed, North Plainfield, 4-0 to advance to the Central Jersey Group II State semi finals on Friday 4 pm. at Roggy Field.
The score does not reflect the true nature of the game. It was a tight, physical competition. Holmdel led 1-0 on a beautiful first half goal by Jack Flanagan. North Plainfield came on strong in the second half and took many quality shots on goal. Goalkeeper Mitch Walier had an outstanding day. Besides recording a win for his team, he earned a record too. Walier picked up his 14th shutout of the year. This breaks the Holmdel single season shutout record of 13 held by Dan Marino (HHS 2011).
Holmdel broke the game open late in the second half. Zach Bond scored, Flanagan scored again and Bond sealed it up with his second goal of the night. Credit EJ Carannante with 2 assists.
There are many that felt that the State tournaments should not be held this year in light of the devastation suffered by many in our communities. Indeed, the games have been delayed almost 2 weeks from Sandy and then the snow. Yet, talking to the kids, many of whom did community volunteer work in local towns over the break, returning to school and sports are important steps towards returning to normalcy.
Holmdel will now play #13 seeded Johnson on Friday. Johnson beat Delran, the 3 seed, earlier today.
This past Saturday the first round of the State tournament took place. Boys Varsity defeated Raritan 3-0 to advance to today's game while Girls Varsity fell to Manasquan, 2-1.
It was a disappointing end for the Girls to their season. Leading 1-0 for most of the second half, Manasquan tied it up with just seconds left in the game. Manasquan scored again on the buzzer at the end of the first overtime to win and advance on in the championship. The Girls finished the year 10-9-1.
Many of the Girls Varsity team will be joining me on Friday at 4 pm to cheer the boys on in their game against Johnson. See you there.