The Rumson-Fair Haven boys soccer team won just one game last season and many of their matches were excruciating losses that could have gone the other way.

Saturday's tilt against defending NJSIAA Group III champion Ocean appeared as though it might fall into that category. Instead, the Bulldogs pulled out a memorable win and already exceeded last year's win total.

Sophomore Luke Pentikis scored the golden goal on a free kick in the final minute of the first overtime and the Bulldogs survived a thrilling comeback by the Spartans to win, 3-2, in extra time.

Ocean senior Eli Brandimarte scored with two seconds remaining in regulation to send the match to overtime, giving Ocean a chance to extend its winning streak to four games. The streak started when the Spartans rallied from a two-goal halftime deficit to beat Manasquan.

Junior Joe Stypa gave Rumson a 1-0 lead in the first half and senior Andrew Singleton made it 2-0, Rumson, in the second before Ocean began its rally with a goal by sophomore Aidan Tisony in the final two minutes of regulation.

First-year Rumson-Fair Haven head coach Jeff Soares was an assistant coach at Ocean under both current head coach John Terlecsky and his predecessor - longtime coach Tom Reilly.

Rumson (2-4) and Ocean (3-4) were on opposite ends of the spectrum last season but have had very similar starts to 2019. Both started the season 0-3 and won their first match of the season by beating Manasquan in overtime. Both teams lost their season-openers in overtime - Ocean to Freehold Boro and Rumson to Lacey - and both lost a tight game to Middletown North.

Rumson also gave defending Group II champion Holmdel a scare before ultimately losing, 2-1, to the still-unbeaten Hornets.


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