NJSIAA Tournament

Group Semifinals

Group III

At Toms River North

Wall 1, Triton 0 (OT)

Junior Nico DellaPietro slammed in the golden goal in the seventh minute of overtime and the Crimson Knights beat the Mustangs to advance to the Group III final for the first time in 15 years.

Senior Tagg Ancrum started the winning sequence by serving a corner kick to the front of the goal, where Triton junior goalkeeper Joe Bilgic swatted it away. The ball bounced right to DellaPietro at the corner of the six-yard box and the junior hit a one-time volley over Bilgic and in for the game-winner.

Wall will play Millburn Sunday at 10 a.m. in the Group III championship at Kean University. Millburn lost to Ocean in last year's Group III title game and will try to bounce back this season against a Wall side looking for its sixth state title and first since 2004.

 

Group IV

At Washington Twp.

Hunterdon Central 2, Toms River North 1

Junior Ali Baish ignited Toms River North by scoring in the seventh minute but the Red Devils rallied with goals in the 25th and 52nd minutes to end a memorable postseason run by the Mariners.

Baish ran down a long pass over the top of the defense, battled through a defender and slipped the ball past goalkeeper Peter Primiani for the game's first goal within the first seven minutes.

Hunterdon Central turned up the pressure over the final 20 minutes of the first half and broke through in the 24th when Brady Mullins fired a shot toward the far left post. The ball had a chance to find the goal off Mullins foot and sliding attempt at a clearance by a Toms River North defender punched it in for sure.

The Red Devils kept Toms River North on its heels for the first 20 minutes of the second half as well, which included the game-winning goal in the 53rd. Ralph Russo blasted a free kick into the box and on the carom, Marc Costa drilled a shot to the near corner of the goal for a 2-1 Hunterdon Central lead.

Toms River North sophomore goalkeeper Dawson Kaniuk made a crucial double-save in the 57th minute to keep the score 2-1 and later saved a breakaway in the 66th to do the same.

Hunterdon Central limited Toms River North - the first No. 16 seed to win a sectional title since 2012 and the first Mariners team to reach the Group IV semifinal since 2009 - to two second-half shots to close out the win. The Red Devils will take on Clifton - the No. 1 team in the state, according to NJ.com - in the Group IV championship on Sunday at Kean.

 

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