FREEHOLD TWP. - Christian Brothers Academy junior Ryan Nigro was a difference-maker off the bench in his team's win over Freehold Township earlier in the season, so much so that he has not seen much of the bench since.

On the field from the opening whistle all the way through in Tuesday's rematch with the Patriots, Nigro again made the difference, this time as a starter.

The junior defensive center midfielder converted a penalty kick in the final seconds of the first half for the game's lone goal, a bonus contribution to go with his standout work in the midfield during No. 1 CBA's 1-0 win over the No. 3 Patriots.

"Whether it's 10 minutes, 20 minutes or the whole game, you've got to come in and you've got to make a difference," Nigro said. "You've got to be the best you can be and I just happened to come on against good teams, got a little bit of time and I guess they need me now. There are 10 other guys on the field so you just have to be as strong as you can be to help out everybody else."

The Colts capped a defensive first half for both teams with the game's only goal. Junior Matt Thorsheim attacked the left side of the 18-yard box on the dribble and drew a trip on Patriots senior Chris Hoskins with just 22 seconds left in the first half.

Thorsheim is normally CBA's first choice on penalty kicks, but the Colts tabbed Nigro to take the penalty kick and the junior buried the shot to the lower left of the goal. In a 3-2 CBA win over Freehold Township on Sept. 17, Thorsheim buried a penalty kick and a shot off an indirect kick that was from penalty kick distance.

"Matty took all the (kicks) before: he's taken one against (Freehold Township goalkeeper Mike) Christina, he's taken one against Freehold and I've never taken one here, so he just looked at me and said, 'Take it.'"

Juniors Adrian Barajas and Kyle Trainor each had a chance to tie the game during a four-minute stretch between the 52nd and 56th minutes, during which Freehold Township began to put pressure on CBA goalkeeper Aedan Boriotti. Barajas one-timed a line drive from 20 yards just over the crossbar in the 53rd and Trainor turned and fired a shot just wide of the far right post in the 57th.

Freehold Township's second-half push forward helped the Patriots outshoot the Colts, 10-8, but Boriotti saved four shots to lock down his seventh shutout of the season.

CBA's lone Shore Conference loss was a 1-0 decision at Manalapan on Sept. 25, a loss that served as a lesson for the Colts on Tuesday.

"You have to win every single ball," Nigro said. "If you switch it off for one minute or one play and they are in, they score and the whole game is different."


Box Score

CBA 1, Freehold Twp. 0

1 2 F
CBA (9-2, 8-1) 1 0 1
Freehold Twp. (5-2-2, 5-2-1) 0 0 0

Goals (Assists): (CBA) Ryan Nigro (PK) 40’
Shots: Freehold Twp., 10-8
Saves: (CBA) Aedan Boriotti 4; (FT) Mike Christina 2