No. 2 Rumson Holds On To Beat No. 3 CBA on Seckler’s Late Goal
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RUMSON — Another fourth-quarter lead had evaporated for Rumson-Fair Haven, but this time the Bulldogs weren’t going to leave Borden Stadium without a win.
Senior midfielder Lucas Seckler delivered the go-ahead goal with 42.5 seconds left and Rumson, ranked No. 2 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, held off a last-second effort from No. 3 Christian Brothers Academy for an 11-10 Shore Conference nondivisional victory on Monday night.
“Every time we had been on this home field so far we lost in the fourth quarter, so it’s just great to get out here and finish,” Seckler said. “We’re a young team and a lot of the guys haven’t been in those situations. We rallied this time and did it as a team.”
In its season opener Rumson saw a three-goal lead vanish with just 90 seconds left in a 7-6 overtime loss to Caldwell. Ten days ago, Southern stormed back from a three-goal deficit with five unanswered goals in the final five minutes for a 16-14 win. This game was going the same route after CBA scored four straight goals in just over five minutes to forge a 10-all tie. But instead of falling apart, Rumson found away to pull together for a crucial win.
“Coach has been preaching all week to finish, finish, finish,” said senior defenseman Cooper Cuje. “We finally finished.”
Junior attackman Griffin Schultz led the Bulldogs with three goals and junior attackman Robbie Garavente scored a pair of goals to go along with three assists, including setting up Seckler’s game-winning strike. Seckler and sophomore attackman Charlie Curran each scored twice and sophomore goalie Conor Deverin made eight saves to help the Bulldogs continue to climb back to .500. After starting off 0-4 with losses to Caldwell, Summit, Bridgewater-Raritan and Southern, Rumson has won two straight with wins over St. John Vianney and CBA.
“It’s huge because it continues to build confidence,” said Rumson head coach Andy Eastwood. “This is conference play now and every game is big. We drop another one and we might be feeling down on ourselves, but we hung together and got on the right side of a close one.”
Junior midfielder John Salcedo scored a game-high four goals to lead the Colts (4-2), and sophomore attackman Nick Casner had a goal and three assists. Freshman attackman Mike Carroll and junior attackman Shay Walscak each scored twice and senior Evan Bynoe made six saves.
“It’s been our modus operandi to fall behind,” said CBA head coach Dave Santos. “We were down against Manasquan, in Township, down in St. Peter’s - we just fall into these holes and let teams go on runs. The good news is we have found ways to come back. That shows some character and fortitude, but it’s better to not get in these holes to begin with.”
A goal by Garavente with 8:34 left in the fourth quarter gave Rumson (2-4) a 10-6 lead and was part of a 6-2 second-half run by the Bulldogs. The Colts began their comeback when John Spadavecchia set up Salcedo to complete his hat trick at 7:41. Casner then took a pass from Walscak and beat Deverin at 6:58 to cut Rumson’s lead to 10-8.
Casner would set up Salcedo for a blast from the middle of the box that made it 10-9 at 5:22 before Walscak netted the equalizer off a pass from Gazzillo with just 2:14 to play.
Just four seconds after CBA tied the score, Rumson was called for a one-minute penalty, and it looked like history was about to repeat itself. Instead, the Bulldogs killed off the Colts’ extra-man opportunity, calling a timeout with 1:24 left in regulation to set up what would be the game-winning play.
Rumson worked the ball around to Seckler at the top of the box, and he ripped a low-release shot past Bynoe to give the Bulldogs an 11-10 lead. Forty-two seconds later, they could finally exhale.
“I happened to be in the spot at that time, but any of my teammates could’ve done that,” Seckler humbly stated. “We settled it and worked our offense. We didn’t panic.”
Rumson took a 2-0 lead in the first quarter on goals by Schultz and Sillen before Salcedo and Carroll tallied just over a minute apart to tie the score. Curran set up Schultz for a goal with 38.5 seconds left in the first quarter, but Carroll sank his second goal with 8.5 seconds remaining for a 3-3 tie after the first 12 minutes.
Gazzillo scored off a pass from Casner at 9:08 of the second for a 4-3 CBA lead. Rumson tied it back up on Curran’s unassisted goal at 7:35, and the score remained that way through halftime.
Schultz and sophomore Bryan Hess scored within the first two minutes of the third quarter to open a 6-4 lead for Rumson, and Curran scored at 6:47 to put the Bulldogs up by three. Salcedo scored a man-up goal at 4:36 to stop the run, but Garavente got it right back two minutes later for an 8-5 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
Seckler sank his first goal 1:23 into the fourth quarter for a 9-5 lead, but CBA stayed within striking distance when Walscak scored at 9:53. The Colts were able to mount a comeback, but this time the Bulldogs were able to shut the door.
“This was a game of growth,” Seckler said. “We have a lot of young guys in news situations and this just gets them more prepared for next time.”
No. 2 Rumson-Fair Haven 11, No. 3 CBA 10
CBA (4-2) 3 1 1 5 - 10
Rumson (2-4) 3 1 4 3 - 11
GOALS - CBA: John Salcedo 4, Mike Carroll 2, Shay Walscak 2, Nick Gazzillo, Nick Casner; RFH: Griffin Schultz 3, Charlie Curran 2, Robbie Garavente 2, Lucas Seckler 2, Bryan Hess, Henry Sillen.
ASSISTS - CBA: Nick Casner 3, John Spadavecchia 2, Nick Gazzillo, Shaw Walscak; RFH: Robbie Garavente 3, Charlie Curran.
SAVES - CBA: Evan Bynoe 6; RFH: Conor Deverin 8.
SHOTS: CBA 27-20.