ORADELL— Don Bosco and Bergen Catholic played 110 minutes of hard fought, physical soccer, with both teams pressuring and creating chances—but neither side was able to find the back of the net.
“I thought we had the better opportunities,” said BC’s second year head coach Rui DosSantos. “We just need to be a little more composed in the goal and finish.”
Both teams rifled numerous shots at the opposing goal—at times, seemingly back and forth—some on target, others going off the mark.
Several chances for both squads were spoiled due to players being caught offside.
Both keepers—Jack Power (DB) and Trevor Nicol (BC)—were superb in front of the net, and came up with some big stops throughout.
When asked if a tie is better than a loss, especially against a highly regarded rival, DosSantos replied, “I treat this as we didn’t walk out with a win.
“They’re good,” he said of the competition, before noting that his own side is also “one of the best in Bergen County” as well.
The game, however, was marred by the countless fouls that occurred. While physicality is always expected between the two sides when playing, four players—three Crusaders and one Ironman—were booked.
Ari Kilgore, one of Bosco’s top defenders, had to be taken away by ambulance after suffering a broken wrist during an aggressive challenge for possession with sophomore Eric Alonso.
Both players went up for a header, but Kilgore was undercut, and fell hard to the turf, where he remained for several minutes, before heading to the sideline holding his wrist.
The Ironmen (2-0-1), who have not allowed a goal so far this season, also lost defender Danny Albarran, who limped off the field with an apparent leg injury in the 34th minute. He did not return.
Outside of his player receiving a yellow card, DosSantos was impressed by Alonso’s ability to get forward and take shots. “He’s clearly able to play at this level,” the coach said. “He just needs more experience and opportunities.”
In the 96th minute, with the golden goal in effect, Alonso nearly brought the game to an end with a shot that beat Power, but also beat the post.
BC (2-1-1) would take three more shots in the closing minutes, and had a chance spoiled as the flag went up for junior Travis Nitti, who had Power 1-on-1.
Bergen will travel to Philadelphia on Saturday to take on Roman Catholic High School.