FREEHOLD TWP. - Most of the starters on the Christian Brothers Academy soccer team have only been varsity players for a little more than two weeks, but when the game is close in the final minutes of regulation, the Colts players look like they have been doing this their whole lives.

Rival Freehold Township was the latest victim to new-look CBA and its flair for the exciting finish. The Colts - the No. 2 team in the latest Shore Sports Network Top 10 - scored the winning goal with 2:25 left Monday on junior Dominic Bellomo's second goal of the game and held on for a 2-1 win over the Patriots to continue their strong start.

“Freehold Township’s always been a big rivalry,” Bellomo said. “I remember when I was a freshman, watching the games and thinking, ‘I want to play in this game.’ To play in it and score is great.”

PHOTO GALLERY: CBA at Freehold Twp. by Paula Lopez

CBA held a 1-0 lead for the majority of the second half and after the Colts missed on a few chances to add to its lead, Freehold Township made its move. The Patriots turned up the pressure and finally broke through in the 68th minute when senior Kevin Finn battled for position inside the 18-yard box and struck a bouncing ball to the upper right side of the goal to pull his team even with CBA.

After 10 minutes, overtime was becoming more and more of a likelihood, but when the Patriots gave CBA one last opening, Bellomo cashed in. The winning sequence started with junior Jack Hempstead carrying the ball forward up the right side and pushing it up to junior Charlie Daly, who scored two goals in a loss to St. Benedict's on Saturday and entered the game with a team-high five goals.

Daly slipped the ball toward the middle of the field to Bellomo, who split two defenders and cut it toward the near right post, where he found a clearing. He drew Freehold Township keeper Evan Nastarowicz out and slipped a shot to the far side netting with 2:25 remaining on the clock.

"It was tough (to lose the lead)," Bellomo said. "For a couple of minutes the ball was just in the air, but when we put it down and played our game - we just played how we know how - we created."

Freehold Township threatened one last time and nearly tied the game off a throw-in. Colts keeper Shane Keenan left his line in an attempt to punch the ball away but could not get a clean shot at it. The ball bounced right to the feet of senior Jon Finocchiaro who struck a shot on goal that appeared poised to tie the game. CBA junior Joe Lozowski, however, had the goal covered and cleared the shot off the line with 1:30 to go.

On the ensuing corner kick, Keenan again elevated to break up the play, this time catching it out of the air to end the Patriots' last threat.

Bellomo's first goal also came with time winding down, only in the first half. Senior John Askin played a long ball to the right corner and junior Jack Gill won it and knocked it back to Hempstead. After beating a defender, Hempstead hit a pass that deflected off a Freehold Township defender and bounced out to Bellomo. The junior took one touch and bent a 25-yard shot to the upper left corner of the goal with 1:17 left on the first-half clock.

Monday's win over Freehold Township was the fourth game decided by one goal that CBA has played, which does not include Saturday's 4-2 loss to St. Benedict's that was tied 2-2 in the final minute of regulation. The Colts have won all four games and three of them have been tied in the final three minutes of regulation or later. Daly scored the golden goal in overtime in a 3-2 win over Peddie and Askin scored on a header with 37 seconds left in regulation to beat Colts Neck.

“We’re all really good friends. I love my teammates,” junior Dom Bellomo said. “I love playing for them, it feels great to score for them. We help each other out and we pull through for each other. We might be young, but we have heart and we’re skilled. That’s a good combo.”

 

Box Score

CBA 2,  Freehold Twp. 1

1 2 F
CBA (6-1, 5-0) 1 1 2
Freehold Twp. (3-3, 2-2) 0 1 1

Goals (Assists): (CBA) Dominic Bellomo (Jack Hempstead) 39', Dominic Bellomo (Charlie Daly) 78'; (FT) Kevin Finn 68'
Shots: CBA, 10-6
Saves: (CBA) Shane Keenan 4; (FT) Evan Nastarowicz 3