CBA soccer beats St. Augustine to win fourth straight sectional title
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP – When Christian Brothers Academy lost in double overtime in the Shore Conference Tournament final it was a tough blow for a senior-laden group set on righting its wrongs from a season ago. The Colts’ attention immediately turned toward winning another state championship, and after a superb showing on Thursday night they’ll get the chance to do exactly that.
Senior midfielder Joe Lozowski scored a pair of goals and CBA’s possession game mostly nullified an aggressive St. Augustine squad as the Colts earned a 4-1 victory in the NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public A sectional final at Washington Township High School. Senior forward Jack Gill had a goal and an assist and senior defender Liam Mulvey also scored to give CBA its fourth straight sectional championship.
CBA (18-4) will play Delbarton for the overall Non-Public A state title at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday at Kean University.
“We’ve been looking for (redemption) from the Shore Conference this year and the state final from last year,” Lozowski said. “We didn’t win it last year and it’s a lot of the same kids. We just want to win really bad.”
“I’m really proud of our seniors,” said CBA head coach Tom Mulligan. “It’s a special time of year when you can play for a championship. It kind of proves everything you’ve been saying all year long: if you continue to play for each other and follow our system we hope to get to the final game of every tournament. We’re fortunate to get there again this year.”
At the end of a back-and-forth first half, Gill gave the Colts a 1-0 lead when he found the loose ball off a corner kick and blasted it home in the 37th minute.
“The first half was a lot of 50/50 chances and when Jack Gill scored it really calmed us down and let us play our own game,” Lozowski said. “In the second half we kept the ball and moved it around and broke them down.”
“I thought we played very well in the first half, kept the ball like we do at CBA,” Mulligan said. “The possession was very good against a high-pressure team and in the second half we were able to maintain that possession even as the intensity of the game upped a little bit.”
Less than two minutes into the second half, CBA extended its lead to 2-0 when Gill threaded an exceptional pass to Lozowski for a one-touch goal into a yawning net.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better pass,” Lozowski said. “Jack Gill’s been great all season.”
St. Augustine began to apply more pressure and nearly got on the board in the 48th minute when James Oliva had a shot go off the post. The Hermits (17-5-3) were able to cut their deficit in half when Antonio Matos won a 50/50 ball deep in CBA territory and scored in the 54th minute.
It was a game now, but the brief momentum swing was short-lived. Just two minutes later, senior defender Liam Mulvey scored to give CBA a 3-1 lead and restore the Colts’ two-goal advantage.
“You could feel the momentum start to change and the crowd started to get rowdy so when Liam scored it was clutch,” Lozowski said. “We knew it was our game.”
“You have to give them credit for finishing but it was somewhat of a blunder on our part in the defensive end and they capitalized on it,” Mulligan said. “Other than that I really didn’t feel like they threatened us too much. Our defensive stood strong the entire game. The fact we answered back quickly gave us the confidence to keep our style going.”
CBA’s possession game only got stronger from that point on as the Colts continued to generate scoring chances even with St. Augustine challenging every touch. Lozowski put the finishing touches on the sectional championship victory when he followed a shot by Charlie Daly and deposited the rebound for a 4-1 lead in the 77th minute.
Now it’s onto the Non-Public A state championship game against a familiar foe. Delbarton, the No. 1 ranked team in New Jersey, defeated Seton Hall Prep on penalty kicks in the North Jersey Non-Public A sectional final.
“We’re used to playing the best teams in the state and the best teams in the region,” Mulligan said. “That’s why kids come to CBA, to play the best competition available and challenge ourselves, and because of that I think it puts is in a great position at the end.”
CBA 4, St. Augustine 1
St. Augustine (17-5-3) 0 1 – 1
CBA (18-4) 1 3 – 4
GOALS – CBA: Jack Gill 37’, Joe Lozowski (Jack Gill) 42’, Liam Mulvey 56’, Joe Lozowski 77’; SA: Antonio Matos 54’.
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.