Boys Soccer – Rejuvenated Jackson Dominates Round 1, Earns Showdown with No. 1 CBA
JACKSON TWP. -- It took the Jackson Memorial boys soccer team until its seventh game to score more than one goal in a single match and when the Jaguars finally did, it came in a 6-2 loss to Lawrence on a rainy September Saturday.
That is how things were going for Jackson Memorial during its 1-5-1 start to the season, but ever since the Jaguars finally cracked the two-goal threshold in the blowout loss to Lawrence, the goals have been flowing and Jackson Memorial has been showing it can indeed play with just about any team in the Shore Conference.
It took just 34 seconds for the Jaguars -- the No. 16 seed in the Shore Conference Tournament -- to open the scoring Monday against No. 17 Wall in the SCT opening-round game and they followed with a dominant second-half performance to beat the Crimson Knights, 3-1.
Jackson Memorial advances through to the round of 16 on Wednesday, when the Jaguars will travel north to play top-seeded Christian Brothers Academy.
At one point during its rocky start to the season, Jackson Memorial endured a five-game stretch in which it scored just one goal. That goal came in a 1-0 win over three-win Jackson Liberty and was followed up by 350 straight scoreless minutes leading up to the two second-half goals at Lawrence.
It is hard to believe the Jackson Memorial team that could not muster a goal in nearly four-and-a-half games-worth of minutes is the same team that stormed out of the opening gate on Monday.
Junior Rob Calamia slipped a ball through to senior Peyton Collimore on the right side of the field. Collimore raced by a pair of Wall defenders and struck a low shot to the lower left corner of the goal with 39:26 showing on the clock. Just 34 seconds into the game, Jackson Memorial had a 1-0 lead.
Wall fought back by the 25th minute, when a Jackson Memorial handball a yard outside the 18-yard box on the left side set up a free kick. Senior Bo Pepe lined up a shot and struck the ball on a low line into the far right corner of the netting.
An evenly-played first half gave way to a dominant second-half showing for Jackson Memorial, which jumped back in front shortly after the first whistle of the second half. John Penswater earned the ball on the left side of the field and -- like Calamia on the opposite side of the field in the first half -- found an open goal-scorer.
Senior Shaan Moon collected the pass, attacked his way into the 18-yard box and buried a shot from just inside the top of the box 3:41 into the second half. The goal was the seventh for Moon in Jackson Memorial's last six games and his scoring awakening has coincided with Jackson Memorial's attack coming to life.
Just 2:41 after Moon's goal, Jackson Memorial added to its lead. Senior defender Bryson Petrina blasted a long pass down the middle of the field and classmate Tyler Korinchak ran it down. Korinchack beat Wall goalkeeper Charles Schirmer, but before he could finish into the exposed net, Schirmer tripped him up and was whistled for the foul inside the box.
Korinchak took the ensuing penalty kick and buried it what proved to be a commanding 3-1 lead.
Jackson Memorial owned a slight, 6-4, shooting edge over Wall in the first half but overwhelmed the Crimson Knights, 10-2, after halftime.
On Wednesday, Jackson Memorial will try to continue its resurgence by becoming third team seeded No. 16 or worse to beat a No. 1 seed in the last nine years of the Shore Conference Tournament. CBA has been the No. 1 seed four times during that stretch and the highest seed to eliminate the Colts was No. 15 Manasquan in the 2019 semifinals. CBA has not been eliminated in the round of 16 since 2014, when the Colts were a No. 6 seed.
CBA eliminated Jackson Memorial in back-to-back Shore Conference Tournaments -- in the 2018 semifinals and the 2019 quarterfinals in Jackson.
While Jackson Memorial enters Wednesday having won its last five games vs. Shore Conference competition (the Jaguars lost to East Brunswick in overtime on Saturday), CBA lost its last game vs. a Shore opponent and the circumstances were noteworthy. CBA's 2-1 loss to Middletown South on Thursday was CBA's first loss to a team from New Jersey in 27 matches -- all of them wins.