Seniors Lead the Way as Rumson Beats Wall to Reach 14th Straight SCT Semifinals
RUMSON – Wall made it clear early it wasn’t going to simply fade away when Rumson-Fair Haven threatened to widen its lead, but every time the visiting Crimson Knights looked like they were about to pull even the Bulldogs had an answer.
Senior midfielder Wyatt Feinberg scored a game-high four goals while senior midfielder Peter Lucas had two goals and one assist as fourth-seeded Rumson held off fifth-seeded Wall, 10-9, in the semifinals of the Shore Conference Tournament on Tuesday night. Wall pulled itself within one goal several times but Rumson kept the Knights at bay throughout the game to advance to the SCT semifinals yet again. Lucas’s goal off a one-man clear with 6:16 to play gave the Bulldogs a 10-8 lead and stood up as the game-winning goal.
Wall’s Mike McIntyre scored with 1:16 left and the Crimson Knights were able to regain possession with under a minute left, but Rumson’s defense forced a turnover in the final seconds to clinch the win. Sophomore midfielder Kiel Forlenza added two goals for the Bulldogs while junior Drew Shaw and freshman Patrick Jamin each scored once and Sean Bunnell made seven saves.
Rumson standout senior defenseman Stephen Edler had an outstanding game in holding McIntyre, who entered Tuesday’s game with 61 goals and 91 points, to only one goal.
“I just think he played great body position on Mike,” said Wall head coach Chris Knight. “Hats off to that kid. He played a quality attackman very well.”
Rumson will play top-seeded Christian Brothers Academy in the SCT semifinals at 4 p.m. on Thursday at Long Branch High School. Rumson has now advanced to the semifinals in all 14 Shore Conference Tournaments. The Bulldogs have played in nine straight championship games and have played in 11 of the 13 title games all-time.
Rumson head coach Marc Moreau did not allow his players to be interviewed by Shore Sports Network following the game, saying the team was focused on their next game. When asked to comment himself he also declined, referencing a lack of coverage when the team was 1-5 and telling SSN to ‘Go talk to CBA’.
Senior midfielder Will Forte led Wall (12-4) with three goals and two assists while Jack Textor also had three goals. Tim O’Hern, Kyle Peters and McIntyre each scored once and Sean DeMott made six saves. Senior face-off specialist Ryan Kellett went 13-for-23 on face-offs. The Knights were looking to advance to the SCT semifinals for the first time in program history.
“It was the little mistakes that added up and you can’t make those against quality teams,” Knight said. “But I’m very proud of them. It was nice to be in this position and the kids showed a lot of heart. They never gave up. We came in here thinking we were going to win it. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but it was a great, exciting game.”
Rumson is talented, yet inexperienced at several starting positions, and with an exceptionally difficult schedule, it has made for an up and down year for the usually overpowering Bulldogs. Still, Rumson is right where it wants to be in the postseason standing two wins away from a record seventh SCT title. The Bulldogs are also well seasoned having faced the likes of Chatham, Watchung Hills, Westfield, Seton Hall Prep, Moorestown, St. Peter’s Prep and St. Augustine.
While players like Forlenza, Jamin, sophomore Rowan Goldin and sophomore Jack Whitelaw are the stars of the future, it was the leadership of the seniors that made the difference Wednesday. Feinberg, who missed some time early in the season, was at his best in scoring three times in the first half. Lucas’s power and speed proved invaluable on important clears and Edler, who also missed time with an injury, showed why he’s arguably the Shore’s best defenseman. Bunnell is a first-year starter but also a senior, and he made some key stops down the stretch to prevent Wall from tying the game.
Jamin and Feinberg scored unassisted goals to give Rumson (10-8) a 2-0 lead before Forte set up Textor to make it 2-1 at the 3:59 mark. The teams traded goals in the final 2:36 as Forlenza scored unassisted and Forte answered just over a minute later.
The teams alternated goals in the second quarter with Lucas starting the scoring by clearing the ball himself before dishing to Feinberg for a goal at 10:53. Wall answered with Textor scored off a feed from Forte exactly one minute later. Feinberg’s unassisted goal at 7:39 put Rumson up 5-3, but Wall responded yet again when O’Hern took a pass from Connor Prindiville and beat Bunnell. Lucas closed the first half with another clear before firing a shot past Sean DeMott with 2:28 on the clock.
Wall won the third quarter with goals by Textor, Peters and Forte to while Feinberg and Forlenza scored for Rumson to make it an 8-7 game heading to the fourth quarter. Rumson took advantage of a Wall penalty to score an extra-man opportunity goal as Harry Ricker worked it around to Shaw, who blasted a shot from the left side past DeMott for a 9-7 lead. Forte answered 31 seconds later but Lucas’s second goal of the game with 6:16 to play put Rumson up by two once more.
Wall had its chances late after McIntyre finally cracked the scoresheet with 1:16 left in regulation. Rumson won the ensuing face-off but DeMott was able to make the save on a shot by Lucas to give the Knights possession. Wall called timeout, then cleared the ball and got a touch in the offensive zone before calling another timeout to set up a play with 42.7 seconds left. Wall got the ball inside to O’Hern but he had the ball knocked off his stick for a turnover to give Rumson possession with three seconds left.
Rumson-Fair Haven 10, Wall 9
Wall (12-4) 2 2 3 2 – 9
Rumson (10-8) 3 3 2 2 – 10
GOALS – W: Will Forte 3, Jack Textor 3, Tim O’Hern, Kyle Peters, Mike McIntyre; RFH: Wyatt Feinberg 4, Peter Lucas 2, Kiel Forlenza 2, Patrick Jamin, Drew Shaw.
ASSISTS – W: Will Forte 2, Connor Prindiville; RFH: Peter Lucas, Rowan Goldin, Harry Ricker.
SAVES – W: Sean DeMott 6; RFH: Sean Bunnell 7.
SHOTS: Rumson, 25-23.
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.