Boys Soccer – Colbert’s Last-Minute Goals Sends Freehold Township to Shore Conference Semifinals
The Freehold Township boys soccer team is in the midst of a special season, but it certainly has not been an easy one.
While injuries have thinned out the roster over the course of the last month-plus -- including knocking two senior leaders out for the remainder of the season -- senior Herman Colbert has been elevating his game with each challenge and in the most critical moments of the Patriots season.
In the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals Saturday, with his team laboring to get by 10th-seeded Holmdel, Colbert delivered his biggest moment of the season.
With the game clock showing under a minute to go, Colbert scored the game-winning goal and No. 2 Freehold Township pulled out a Saturday-morning thriller against the Hornets, 2-1, to continue its title defense from 2019 and reach the SCT semifinals for the third time in five years.
The goal was the 10th of the season for Colbert, who already entered Saturday with 12 assists. Since Freehold Township's last loss on Oct. 2 at Elizabeth, Colbert has five goals and four assists during what is now a 7-0-1 stretch for the Patriots.
That unbeaten streak was in jeopardy Saturday as the clocked ticked inside of a minute with Holmdel gaining confidence on the road in a 1-1 game against the No. 2 seed in the Tournament.
The deciding play started with senior Sean Keegan booming the ball up field to senior and brother, Ryan Keegan. Ryan Keegan looked for Colbert and played him free for the game-clinching goal with 31 seconds showing on the clock.
While Freehold Township waited until the last minute to find it's game-winner, Holmdel wasted little time in the second half notching the equalizer. The Hornets needed only 18 seconds after the second-half whistle to tie it up, with senior Brendan Worobel blasting a shot from beyond the 18-yard box.
Just as Colbert added to his standout season for Freehold Township on Saturday, so too did Worobel for Holmdel. The goal was the senior striker's 17th of the season and it extends his streak to six straight games with at least one goal. Worobel has seven goals in the six-game stretch and prior to starting the current run, he opened the season by scoring nine of Holmdel's 10 goals over the first five games, then went three straight matches without a goal.
After Worobel's goal, Holmdel put the pressure on the Patriots and even hit a post in the 55th minute in its pursuit for the go-ahead score.
Freehold Township jumped on top, 1-0, late in the first half when senior Josh Hocheiser -- another rare senior with starting experience in 2020 on the Patriots roster -- converted a penalty kick after a foul inside the 18-yard box.
Hocheiser also scored the winning goal on a second-half penalty kick in Wednesday's round-of-16, 2-1 win over Howell, with the senior cashing in during the 66th minute.
With Saturday's victory, Freehold Township earns a rematch with third-seeded Toms River North Tuesday night in Barnegat in the second game of the SCT semifinal double-header. On Oct. 12, the two teams played to a scoreless draw in Toms River.