PT. PLEASANT BOROUGH - The Christian Brothers Academy soccer team got off to a nearly-perfect start to Monday's Shore Conference Tournament semifinal game against second-seeded Jackson Memorial and still found themselves fighting to extend their pursuit of a record 11th tournament title well passed the 80th minute.

In the end, junior Luke Pascarella - the forward who helped start the scoring on Monday night - made sure CBA finished just like it started.

Pascarella hammered home the golden goal in the 89th minute and the No. 3 Colts battled past the Jaguars, 2-1, to reach the SCT final for the 12th time in program history.

CBA junior Luke Pascarella shields off Jackson Memorial senior Joe Schlageter. (Photo by Paula Lopez)
CBA junior Luke Pascarella shields off Jackson Memorial senior Joe Schlageter. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

"Overall, typical CBA game," CBA coach Tom Mulligan said. "We possess the ball well in the first half and then in the second half, something happens - I don't know what - and the game starts to go 110 miles-an-hour in both directions. It's been the way that this 2018 CBA team has played all year long and tonight was nothing different."

After a throw-in along the right side, senior Dom Bellomo received the ball at the top of the 18-yard box and chipped a pass over the top of the defense toward the right post. Pascarella gathered the ball and fired a low strike past Jackson Memorial goalkeeper Nick Kinzler from five yards out with 1:30 left in the first overtime period, setting off a CBA celebration.

"It's amazing," Pascarella said. "There's no feeling like that, ever. You never know what it's going to feel like. We have 17 seniors on this team and us juniors and Jack Longo, the sophomore, we just look to win for them and get them a championship."

Kinzler kept Jackson in the game with 13 saves on 31 CBA shots, with CBA scoring on its first shot on net as well as its last.

CBA goalkeeper Eric Wnorowski made four saves to keep the Colts in control and Longo covered him on the left post for a save in the fourth minute of overtime.

"Eric has been outstanding for us all year and he stepped up big today against a very dangerous team," senior Jack Gill said. "The back line was great today too, but it's not just them. It takes 11 guys to defend the way we did tonight and that's how we view everything we do - 11 guys working as one."

Jackson Memorial tied the game in the 54th minute when Ronny Bantang drew a foul just inside the 18-yard box on a free kick. Joe Schlageter then stepped up and converted the penalty kick to even the score at 1-1.

"This is a game of ebbs and flows and teams are going to apply pressure, especially teams as good as Jackson is," Gill said. "We have been playing quality opponents all year and we are used to teams scoring against us and responding. We have a lot of respect for Jackson and we knew they were going to give us a battle for 80 minutes and maybe even more than that, which turned out to be the case."

CBA jumped on top in the ninth minute when Gill headed in a corner kick by Pascarella. The goal was part of a dominant first half for CBA in which the Colts outshot the Jaguars, 14-2.

"It was an exciting game for a semifinal," Mulligan said. "Jackson's a quality team and they should do well going forward in the state tournament. I was happy with the way our guys played soccer, for the most part. We stepped up, we were aggressive, we moved the ball on the ground."

CBA will aim for its 11th overall Shore Conference Tournament championship and 10th outright when the Colts take on No. 4 Ocean on Wednesday night in Point Pleasant Boro. The game will be a rematch of a game CBA won, 3-2, on Sept. 29 as well as a rematch of the 2015 SCT final, won by CBA, 2-0.

"At this time of the year, every team you play is going to be a very good team and we expect Wednesday to be a similar game to the one we played tonight," Gill said. "We are going to try to play the way we always play - possess the ball, win 50-50 balls and try get on the scoreboard early. That's always been the formula at CBA and we're hoping that will help us win a championship."


Box Score

CBA 2, Jackson Memorial 1 (OT)

CBA (15-3)1012
Jackson Memorial (13-2)0101

Goals (Assists): (CBA) Jack Gill (Luke Pascarella) 9', Luke Pascarella (Dom Bellomo) 89'; (JM) Joe Schlageter (PK) 54'
Shots: CBA, 31-8
Saves: (CBA) Eric Wnorowski 4; (JM) Nick Kinzler 13


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