Boys Soccer – The One the Got Away: CBA Avenges Lone 2022 Loss With Late Goal at Marlboro
MARLBORO -- After the celebration of a 2022 NJSIAA Non-Public A championship and No. 1 ranking in New Jersey subsided, Christian Brothers Academy senior Dylan Millevoi and his teammates again began burning over the one loss the Colts suffered last season and the opportunity to pay back the team that spoiled their chance at an undefeated season.
One might think the 19 straight wins, and state championship that followed would be all the retribution necessary for the returning CBA players after their opening-day, overtime loss to Marlboro last season, but that assumption would not be entirely correct.
Millevoi effectively ended a hard-fought game Thursday with the game-winning goal in the 79th minute as CBA -- ranked No. 1 in the preseason Shore Sports Network Shore 16 -- dealt No. 3 Marlboro a taste of its own medicine with a 1-0, opening-day defeat on a late score.
One year ago, Marlboro traveled to CBA and spoiled the first game played at Dan Keane Field by beating the Colts, 1-0, in the season-opener on an overtime goal by current Mustangs senior Cade Jacobs. That was the only game CBA failed to win the entire season.
After the loss to Marlboro, CBA rattled off 19 straight wins, encompassing the Shore Conference Tournament championship and the program's third NJSAA Non-Public A championship in seven years. The Colts might not have liked losing to the Mustangs, but they sure liked the version of themselves that developed as a result of that early loss.
"Ever since the state championship, the returning seniors, we all knew that this game is the one we were looking forward to the most," Millevoi said. "When we were getting ready for this game, there were no words said, because we all knew we wanted it as bad as we did because we lost that game last year."
Boasting a roster loaded with experience and proven talent, Marlboro was up to the task of challenging the Shore's No. 1 team on opening day and the Mustangs again gave themselves a chance to hang an upset on the Colts. The halftime shot count was 3-2 in favor of CBA, but both of Marlboro's shots were on target vs. none by CBA and the Mustangs owned a 3-1 edge on corner kicks.
As the game progressed, however, CBA asserted itself more and more with each passing minute. Both coaches -- Tom Mulligan for CBA and Ryan Morris for Marlboro -- were compelled to use their depth due to both the 90-plus-degree heat and short preseason that can leave some teams behind in fitness during the early part of the season.
Both teams held up well in the heat, but CBA was the livelier side in the final 10 minutes. Just 1:30 before Millevoi's winner, senior defender Christian DeOliveira elevated for a clean header that sailed just over the crossbar.
Marlboro won a corner kick on the other end and after CBA successfully defended it, senior outside back Lawrence Mancino won the ball, took off down the field and initiated the winning sequence. Mancino slid the ball 20 yards to Millevoi from one side of midfield to the other and Millevoi took it from there.
The senior striker, who tied for the team lead with 11 goals a season ago, dribbled through a scrambling Marlboro back line, pulled up from a spot a few steps inside the top of the 18-yard box on the left side and hammered a low show to the lower left of the goal with 1:40 showing on the game clock.
Marlboro earned one more corner kick in the final minute, but CBA shut down another bid by the Mustangs and closed out the opening-day shutout for senior goalkeeper Miles Gallagher and the defense.
Mancino and DeOliveira are both returning Shore Sports Network All-Shore defenders and leading up to his run and assist in the final two minutes, Mancino dominated his side of the field as both a stopper and in working the ball up the left flank.
CBA's clean sheet continues a trend it set last season, when the Colts allowed seven goals all season long with 14 shutouts -- all with Gallagher in goal. CBA will try to extend its strong start Saturday in a showdown with LaSalle in Pennsylvania.