The seniors on the Christian Brothers Academy boys soccer team had some big shoes to fill when the class two years ahead of them graduated in 2017. When many of them took over as starters in 2017, the bar had been raised by the previous group: two Shore Conference Tournament championships, two trips to the NJSIAA Non-Public A final and one 24-1 season that included a Non-Public A championship and a No. 1 finish in N.J.

After enduring heartbreak after heartbreak in tournament game after tournament game, this Colts group finally seized its moment and raised the bar at CBA in its own way.

Thanks to two goals by senior Jack Hempstead and Luke Pascarella that were equal parts spectacular and dramatic, CBA upset nationally-ranked Delbarton in the Non-Public A championship game on Sunday for its second overall state championship in three years. In ending the Green Wave's 57-game unbeaten streak - which dated back to September of 2016, the Colts claimed the Week 7 Circle Chevy Team of the Week Award.

Trailing Delbarton 1-0 late in the first half, Hempstead was the first to step up as a hero for the Colts. The senior outside back lined up a bouncing ball 23 yards out on the right side of the field and unloaded on a near-post laser that tucked perfectly inside the top right corner of the goal for the equalizer in the 75th minute. It was the first varsity goal of Hempstead's career.

CBA had been playing with a man advantage since a Delbarton double-yellow in the 49th minute so the Green Wave were especially interested in pushing the Non-Public A championship into a round of penalty kicks - a new stipulation this season after the NJSIAA had declared co-champions in the event of championship-game ties in previous years.

It appeared as though CBA and Delbarton were destined to be the first two teams to decide a title on penalties until senior Joe Lozowski drew a foul 33 yards away from the Delbarton goal in the final minute of the second overtime.

Pascarella stepped over the ball patiently waited for Delbarton to set up is wall and its defense and, with 19 seconds remaining, ripped a sinking shot that short-hopped Green Wave keeper Kyle Swift, hit the left post and bounced into the back of the net for the championship-winning goal.

The goal was Pascarella's team-leading 13th goal and his first since scoring the golden goal in CBA's 2-1, overtime win over Jackson Memorial in the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals on Oct. 22.

Prior to breaking through on Sunday, CBA had come up short in each of the last two Shore Conference Tournaments as well as in last year's Non-Public A final to Delbarton. The Colts lost in the 2017 SCT quarterfinals to Toms River South on penalties and lost this year's SCT final to Ocean, 1-0, on a golden goal in the 94th minute. After jumping out to a 1-0 lead on Delbarton last year, CBA gave up four straight goal and went a man down in losing to the Green Wave, 4-1.

The state championship is the seventh in CBA's history and it is the first time Delbarton has lost in a state final since CBA defeated them in the 2011 final, also on a golden goal in the 82nd minute by Scott Thomsen.

 

2018 Team of the Week Winners

Week 1: Long Branch

Week 2: Manasquan

Week 3: Middletown South

Week 4: Southern

Week 5: Colts Neck

Week 6: Ocean (Boys)/Toms River North (Girls)

 

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