MIDDLETOWN - For about 50 minutes of its home opener against Don Bosco Prep Saturday, the Christian Brothers Academy soccer squad played like a team that thought one goal was enough to win the game.

When the Ironmen proved it was not, the Colts played like a team that knows how to score a goal when they need one.

Senior Matt Thorsheim scored the winning goal with 1:55 remaining in regulation and CBA  - the No. 1 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 - pulled out a win over a pesky Don Bosco side for its fourth straight win to open the season.

CBA senior Matt Thorsheim scored a late goal to give his team a 2-1 win over Don Bosco. (Photo by Matt Manley)

"In the second half, we played to the scoreboard," first-year CBA coach Tom Mulligan said. "When (Don Bosco) scored, I had to be proud of the way the team responded. We started playing the ball on the ground, playing the CBA way and we got countless opportunities. Finally, we were able to put one away."

The winning sequence began with a win of a clearance near midfield by senior center back Scott Misson, who played the ball up the left side to senior Matt Mawson. Mawson beat a defender along the endline and struck a cross that Don Bosco goalkeeper Kyle McLoughin batted away from the goal.

The ball ended up at the feet of Thorsheim 12 yards away and the senior took advantage of an exposed right side of the net by sticking a shot into the right corner for the tie-breaking score.

"Mawson made a great move to beat his defender," Thorsheim said. "That's what we do - cut the ball in and get it across. I knew if I positioned myself around the goal, I would have a good chance to end up with the ball and a shot and it ended up bouncing right to me."

Thorsheim's winner appeared as though it would not be necessary for the first 15 minutes of the game, during which CBA dominated possession, put McLoughin under heavy pressure and, ultimately, scored its first goal. The Colts opened the scoring in the 10th minute, when Thorsheim turned the corner on the right side and hit a streaking Mawson, who one-timed a point-blank shot in for the game's first goal.

Senior Tom Judge ripped a shot off the crossbar off a set piece shortly after Mawson's goal and McLoughlin saved a clean chance by sophomore Joe Lozowski on the right side of the 18-yard box later in the half.

"The result is something we really wanted, but there were also parts of this game that we know we need to clean up," Thorsheim said. "Bosco didn't make it easy for us. They were pressuring us all game."

Don Bosco responded to the early heat by closing down the space in the midfield and consistently challenging the ball. Eventually, the Ironmen created a scoring chance and junior Alan Tambi took advantage with a slicing shot off the outside of his right foot that found the back right corner of the net in the 65th minute.

"They're playing to the scoreboard too much," Mulligan said of his team. "I thought that the first 15-to-20 minutes, we dictated the pace of the game. We got the goal and after about a minute or so, we relaxed and allowed this to become a game.

"I'm proud of the way we responded, but we have to learn how to turn 35, 45 minutes of soccer into 75 or 80 minutes. It's September, so experiences like this are designed to for us to learn and get better when November rolls around."


Box Score

CBA 2, Don Bosco 1

Don Bosco (2-2)011
CBA (4-0)112

Goals (Assists): (DB) Alan Tambi 65'; (CBA) Matt Mawson (Matt Thorsheim) 10', Matt Thorsheim (Matt Mawson) 79'
Shots: CBA, 11-4
Saves: (DB) Kyle McLoughin 6; (CBA) Aeden Boriotti 2