Boys Soccer – Toms River South Beats Rumson to Reach Fourth Straight SCT Quarterfinal
TOMS RIVER - Playing against a Rumson-Fair Haven team coming off an emotional comeback win, the Toms River South boys soccer team didn't want to let the Bulldogs hang around in Thursday's round of 16 game like first-round opponent Matawan did on Monday.
The visiting Bulldogs were less than a minute away from reaching halftime facing a one-goal deficit but Toms River South - the No. 8 seed in the Tournament - had time for one more strike that made another potential Rumson comeback too much to ask of the Bulldogs.
Shane Kluxen headed in a free kick from Clem Slavick 20 seconds before halftime to send the Indians to the break with a two-goal lead and Toms River South finished off a 2-0 win over No. 9 Rumson-Fair Haven to reach the SCT quarterfinals for the fourth straight year.
"It gave us extra energy going into the half," Toms River South senior Dustin Urbaczek said of the second Indians goal. "Giving up a second goal can be demoralizing to a team, especially when there isn't much time left in the half, so once we got that, we felt like we had the momentum and the lead to help carry us to the end."
Toms River South scored its only goal of a 1-0 win over Matawan Monday in the fifth minute and again scored first on Thursday, this time in the 18th minute. Slavick took a shot off a cross from Matt Babcock that Rumson goalkeeper Jack Harvey saved. The ball bounced in front of the net and Dustin Urbaczek pounced on it to finish the first goal.
"Clem shot it and I saw it deflected off the (defender's) feet and got there as quickly as I could, bodied him a little bit and put it in," Urbaczek said.
Urbaczek has found himself in the middle of Toms River South's scoring recently, with three goals last week and another in a tournament setting on Thursday. The senior matched Slavick with five goals last year, which led all returning Toms River South players.
"I've been getting opportunities every game and I just have to capitalize on them," Urbaczek said. "Just getting in the right position and working hard to get there - those are some of the biggest keys to scoring goals and I think I'm getting better at those things."
Needing two goals to equalize, Rumson got its best chance to cut the Indians lead in half in the 50th minute. Toms River South goalkeeper Jalen Folsom elevated to grab a Bulldogs throw-in out of the air and made contact with a Rumson player while still in the air. As he hit the ground, the ball came loose and Rumson senior Luke DiStefano knocked it into the goal. The play, however, was whistled dead due to a foul on Rumson against Folsom and the goal wiped out.
From that point on, the Toms River South defensive effort silenced the Bulldogs the rest of the way and rode out the final 30 minutes to cap the win and the shutout for Folsom.
Rumson walked off the field to a standing ovation from its cheering section on the Hooper Ave. side of the complex Thursday. Tuesday's overtime win over Lacey on Tuesday was originally supposed to be played on Monday, but was postponed due to the death of a student on Sunday.
Toms River South, meanwhile, will travel to play top-seeded Christian Brothers Academy on Saturday at 2 p.m. with a spot in the SCT semifinals on the line. The Indians and Colts met in the 2015 SCT semifinals, which CBA won, 2-1.
"We've been preparing to play CBA (since the tournament started)," Urbaczek said. "That was pretty much our goal from the beginning, but we took it one game at a time. It was always the big game for us and now it's coming up and we're hyped for it. We're ready."