Boys Soccer – Own Goal Helps Long Branch Tie No. 8 Wall
WALL TWP. - The Wall boys soccer team - ranked No. 8 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 - had not allowed a goal over the first three games of its 2015 season, and after Friday's game against Long Branch, an opposing player still has not scored against the Crimson Knights. It took a self-inflicted wound to allow Long Branch to score the first goal of the season against Wall's defense.
Long Branch scored the first goal against Wall this season on a game-tying own goal in the 38th minute and the Green Wave and Crimson Knights played to a draw.
Senior Diego Galiz played a long ball into the 18-yard box and a Wall defender headed the ball over goalkeeper Nolan Cloney and into his own net tie the game at 1.
"It feels like every bounce has gone against us so far this year, so it was nice to see one finally go our way," Long Branch coach Adrian Castro said. "The guys played hard, so they deserved to have a break go our way."
"We wanted to keep everything in front and let them take long shots and send the ball into the box," Wall coach Garry Linstra said. "Our defense did a pretty good job today and sometimes it comes down to just one mistake."
Wall took the lead in the eighth minute on a goal by senior Reilly Barcas. Senior Zach Ferry played a set piece into the box and Barcas toe-poked it out of the air and past Long Branch keeper Kevin Solano.
Solano made a point-blank save in the middle of the second overtime on a shot by junior Dakota Dobrovich-Fago, the best chance either team had during the 20 minutes of extra time.
Long Branch outshot Wall 9-8 and both Cloney and Solano saved four shots apiece.
The rivalry between Wall and Long Branch increased in intensity last season, when the two teams played one another four times - twice during the regular season, once in the Shore Conference Tournament and again in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III playoffs. After losing to Wall in a shootout in the SCT round of 16, the Green Wave finally topped its rival in the opening round of the state tournament.