Boys Lacrosse: Red Bank Catholic Wins a Double-Overtime Thriller Over Rival Red Bank
By Ella Brockway - Shore Sports Network contributor
RED BANK - For first-year Red Bank Catholic boys lacrosse coach Dave Erdman, the key word this season has been “finish."
Finish they did on Friday night, as the Caseys pulled out a 10-9 double-overtime thriller over crosstown rival Red Bank in a Class B North game.
“(Going into the second overtime) I told my guys what we’ve been saying all year - finish,” Erdman said. “The same kid who made the mistake in the regular time was able to come back and win it for us, and we were able to seal the deal in overtime.”
That “same kid” was senior attackman Tim Barile, who got off to a rocky start in the first half, but led the Caseys' comeback in the second.
Barile’s game-winning goal came just 10 seconds into the second overtime for the Caseys (5-2, 2-0), who are ranked No. 6 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10. Julian Esposito led the Caseys with four goals, Barile added three goals and an assist, and Brett Habich added a pair of goals and two assists. Goalie Matt Benjamin had 16 saves.
Despite the fact that Red Bank (3-7, 1-2) led for the majority of the game, Barile helped make sure that his teammates and coach never gave up hope of a comeback. The halftime score of 6-3 in the Bucs’ favor and the limited amount of shots on goal (only 28 for the Caseys in the whole game), made things difficult for RBC heading into the third quarter.
“I think going into the second half, we were definitely down, and I needed to have confidence to lift my team,” said Barile, who is committed to play at Virginia Military Institute this fall. “I felt like we could definitely push through, and we did.”
Erdman believed that all that was needed to inspire his team at all the decisive moments - headed into the second half, the last two minutes of regulation, the first overtime and the second overtime - was a good pep talk.
“I told my goalie that he needed to step up, and he did a hell of a job shutting them down in the third quarter, and my guys kind of rallied around that,” said Erdman. “We were able to shut it down on defense, and the offense was finally able to work things out for us.”
The Bucs didn’t go down without a fight, though. Juniors Cole
Smolokoff, Brian Fagan and Ryan Gilmartin all contributed to lead the offense. Smolokoff finished with four goals, Fagan had two, and Gilmartin shined with two quick goals to open the game before the RBC defense picked up on him. The game was Gilmartin’s first official game in the maroon and white after sitting out because of NJSIAA transfer rules after coming over from Christian Brothers Academy.
Red Bank goalie Jon Pierce played a large part in keeping Red Bank right in the game. The junior, whose .630 save percentage last season put him on the list of the Shore’s top returning goalies this year, was sensational with 27 saves on Friday night.
Other than being another instant classic chapter in the history books of the RBR-RBC rivalry, it was also a separation game in Class B North with everyone chasing division favorite Rumson-Fair Haven, which RBC plays on April 29. Next up for Red Bank is Middletown North at home on Monday, while the Caseys face off against Holmdel at home on Wednesday.