No Foolin': CBA routs rival Freehold Township in pivotal A North showdown
MIDDLETOWN – The calendar may have read April 1, but Christian Brothers Academy was most definitely not fooling around.
The Colts entered the season as a team heavy on youth and light on experience but looked like a squad in midseason form in their third game. Sophomore midfielder Kyle Aldridge and senior attackman Connor Macrae each scored three goals and sophomore Jared Lucich dominated the face-off circle as CBA, ranked No. 3 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, rolled over rival and sixth-ranked Freehold Township, 15-3, in a Shore Conference Class A North game on Monday afternooon.
“(Freehold Township) is a well-coached squad and they’re always well-prepared for us,” said CBA head coach Dave Santos. “This was really a game until the fourth quarter when we went on a bit of a run, but it was only 9-3 and we know how the can explode; they’ve done it against us in the past. It was a good win for a young team.”
“It’s good momentum for the rest of the season,” Macrae said. “We started off a little slow but we’re getting our chemistry now, so I think that was a good win for us.”
The game was already in hand when the exclamation point fittingly came off the stick of Lucich, which elicited a roar from his teammates both on the field and on the bench when he scored his first career goal with 5:48 to play. The 5-foot-5 fire hydrant of a FOGO won 18 of 21 face-offs, including going 8-for-8 in the second half, to provide a massive lift for CBA.
“He was unbelievable,” Santos said. “He was able to get us all those possessions and we knew if we were able to get the ball into the offensive end we would find success. He won just about every one for us.”
The Colts lost First Team All-Shore face-off ace Nick Robertson to graduation but may have found another standout in Lucich to step right in.
“He’s a true master at his craft,” Santos said. “He came in last year and clearly was focused on improving every day in practice. We knew he was young and smaller, but he had a lot of potential. I didn’t think he’d mature as quickly as he has and it will be a game-changer for us if he continues to succeed like he did today.”
“He’s a huge part of our team and probably the hardest worker on our team,” Macrae said.
Also highly-noticeable was the play of Aldridge, who is now running the Colts’ offense as a sophomore. He had a very good freshman season with 36 goals and 13 assists but had the luxury of blending in on a roster with 19 seniors. Now, the spotlight shines bright on him.
“He was sort of a complimentary middie last year and now he’s our go-to guy and also needs to lead on the field,” Santos said. “He is a very mature kid, well beyond his years. He doesn’t play or act like a sophomore and you saw that today.”
The Colts (2-1, 2-0) never trailed in the game and continuously built their lead. They were keyed by a pair of runs, one in the second quarter and another in the fourth, to put away their division rival and remain tied for first place.
Macrae gave CBA a quick 1-0 lead when he scored off a pass from Aldridge 41 seconds into the game, but Freehold Township (2-1, 1-1) was able to net the equalizer at 6:16 when junior attackman Brendan Doel scored off a pass from Nick Elimanco. The Colts pulled ahead for good when sophomore attackman Dan Martin converted a feed from Chris Romano at 4:42 and Aldridge added an unassisted goal with 49 seconds to go in the first quarter for a 3-1 advantage.
CBA began to pull away in the second quarter when it scored the first four goals to open up a 7-1 lead. Aldridge and Macrae scored in the first two minutes to stretch the lead to 5-1 and Patrick Gotterup and Ryan Howard found paydirt in the next 1:49. Freehold Township was able to break the Colts’ run when Elimanco scored off a pass from Kyle Von Nessen w ith 1:44 to go in the first half, but CBA got the momentum right back when junior defenseman Dillon Quinn picked up a ground ball off the ensuing face-off, raced to the goal and scored nine seconds later. Aldridge then tallied with 48 seconds left for a 9-2 halftime edge.
Von Nessen had the only goal of the third quarter to make it 9-3, but CBA scored all six goals in the fourth quarter. Howard and Matt Downey scored just over two minutes apart for an 11-3 lead and one minute later freshman Aidan Guinnessey connected for his first varsity goal. Macrae then scored his third before Cooper Graham scored off a pass from Quinn to make it 14-3 with 5:56 left.
No. 3 Christian Brothers Academy 15, No. 6 Freehold Township 3
|Freehold Township (2-1, 1-1)
|CBA (2-1, 2-0)
GOALS – FT: Brendan Doel, Nick Elimanco, Kyle Von Nessen; CBA: Connor Macrae 3, Kyle Aldridge 3, Ryan Howard 2, Dan Martin, Cooper Graham, Aidan Guinnessey, Jared Lucich, Patrick Gotterup, Matt Downey, Dillon Quinn.
ASSISTS – FT: Brendan Doel, Nick Elimanco, Kyle Von Nessen; CBA: Ryan Howard 2, Kyle Aldridge, Chris Romano, Dan Martin, Dillon Quinn.
SAVES – FT: Aidan Purcell 12; CBA: Noah D’Andrea 4, C.J. Cummings 1.
SHOTS: CBA, 31-15.
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.