Soccer – Toms River South Tops TR North to Cap Boys-Girls Double-Header Sweep
TOMS RIVER - In its two losses this season, early goals have been an ominous harbinger for the Toms River South boys soccer team but the Indians did not let an early setback stop them Tuesday against Class A South crosstown rival Toms River North.
Senior Mike Tapp answered with the equalizer a little more than two minutes after Toms River North opened the scoring and senior Cameron Geerinck scored the winner in the 49th minute to help lift the Indians to a win over the Mariners.
After Tom Butz gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead by bending in a 40-yard free kick in the 16th minute, the Indians answered by the tail-end of the 18th on Tapp's goal. A long throw-in by Chris Kluxten ended up at the back post and Dylan Parks drilled a shot off the crossbar. The ball bounced right to Tapp on the opposite side of the 18-yard box and he finished from just outside the six-yard box.
"The ball bounced off the crossbar and I saw it coming in my direction and I just knew I had to find any way I could to get it in the net," Tapp said.
The Indians took the lead 8:30 into the second half on a counter-attack following a Toms River North direct kick. Tyler Egnatuk beat two Mariners to a short clearance and sent a long pass forward to Geerinck, who outran the back line of Toms River North and beat Mariners goalkeeper Tommy Lynch inside the near post.
"The counter-attack was open all day," Tapp said. "With the way they pushed numbers up and with Cameron up top, we knew there were going to be chances for us on the counter."
Toms River South allowed early goals in both of its losses this season - a 3-0 loss to Holmdel and a 3-1 loss to Lacey. Toms River North executed that part of the formula, but the Indians never lost their grip on the game.
"We weren't worried about (the first goal) because it was kind of a fluky goal and we felt like we were in control of the game up to that point," Tapp said. "I think tying the game as quick as we did just gave us even more confidence."
The Indians were coming off a loss to Lacey on Friday in which Geerinck missed most of the game due to a thigh bruise and second-leading scorer Francesco LoScrudato also missed the game due to injury, according to Indians assistant Ed Leibe. Both seniors were back in the lineup on Tuesday.
Toms River South's win was part of a girls-boys double-header sweep for the Indians. Toms River South girls defeated the Mariners 2-1 on a 62nd minute score by Katie Hammack.
Toms River South jumped on top in the 24th minute on a goal by Charly Slavick before Toms River North equalized in the final seconds of the first half on tally by Krystal Hund.
Both Toms River South girls and boys teams are in a first-place tie in the Class A South division. The boys are tied with Lacey, while the girls are in a three-way tie with Toms River North and Toms River East.