Game time 7:00 p.m. In less than 5 minutes, Jackson Memorial scored their first goal and the air was heavy on the Holmdel side of the bleachers. But, Coach Nacarlo settled his team down and they were able to get through the first half with the score 1-0.
The second half was all Holmdel. A hand ball in the box led to a perfect penalty kick by Zach Bond and suddenly the scored was tied at 1. Holmdel never looked back. Jason Kyriacou scored the second goal and Zach Bond added a third, giving Holmdel a 3-1 victory and their second trip to the Shore Conference Finals, in as many years. Jackson Memorial was 20-0 coming into the game, and ranked #1 in the Shore Conference and #6 in the state, in the latest Star Ledger poll.
Despite the fact that it was a school night, many Holmdel students made the trek to Neptune to support the Boys. The stands were filled with the chants of "We believe. We believe that we will win". And believe they do.
Tonight's game was particulary emotional for the players because at this game last year, Eric Bulvid seriously injured his leg. Bulvid was out for the remainder of the season and didn't get to play in the finals, or even attend. Bulvid spent months rehabilitating his injury and rejoined the team this year. Healed and healthy, he will get a chance to lead his team to victory in the finals.
Although this team is filled with many strong players, the play of defender Dylan Chapman stands out, especially tonight. Chapman was there to challenge every ball and to shut down the Jackson offense at every turn. Goal keeper Mitchell Walier had several good saves and a very strong performance to limit Jackson to just one goal.
Holmdel, now ranked 16th in the state and with a record of 16-1, faces Ocean, the #3 seed in the Shore Conference Tournament, in the Finals, Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. in Neptune. Ocean defeated Middletown South, 3-2, earlier tonight, to win their trip to the finals.
Congratulations to Boys Varsity on their exciting win. See you Saturday night!!!