Boys Soccer – SCT Semifinal Scoreboard
At Memorial Athletic Complex, Neptune
(11) Freehold Twp. 1, (2) Manalapan 0
Senior Kyle Czajkowski headed in a cross from Mike Maltese in the sixth minute and the Patriots defense made the goal hold up as Freehold Township edged the Braves to reach the SCT championship game for the first time since winning the tournament in 2008.
Senior goalkeeper Brian Shushkovsky made two saves, including a one-on-one chance by Manalapan junior Ayush Mittal in the 66th minute to preserve the 1-0 lead. Manalapan also nearly scored in the ninth minute, when senior Rob Pratka drilled the crossbar from 30 yards out.
Freehold Township has not allowed a goal in four Shore Conference Tournament games and also has not scored more than a goal in any of those games. Since a 3-2 loss to Freehold Borough on Oct. 15, the Patriots have not allowed a goal in five games.
The Patriots will meet No. 4 Wall in the championship game Saturday, 8 p.m. at Memorial Athletic Complex at Summerfield Elementary School in Neptune.
(4) Wall 1, (25) St. John Vianney 0 (OT)
Senior Brendan Barcas gathered a rebound off his own miss and fired it past St. John Vianney goalkeeper Andrew Zimms 2:06 into the first overtime period and the Crimson Knights halted a Cinderella run by the Lancers to advance to the SCT final for the first time since 1998.
Joe Tashjy played Barcas through the Vianney defense by head-flicking a long free kick by Matt DeGenova. Zimmes saves Barcas' first shot and the ball bounced past Barcas before the senior ran it back down, split two defenders and fired the winning shot into the net.
Neither team could create many scoring opportunities during the 80 minutes of regulation, although St. John Vianney did get senior forward and leading scorer Alex Politi isolated against a Wall defender on a number of occasions. Wall goalkeeper Jack Wishart earned the shutout with three saves, including a leaping snag in the 14th minute.
Wall will look to win its first ever SCT title by beating No. 11 Freehold Township on Saturday night at Memorial Athletic Complex in Neptune.