To call the Crusaders season on the pitch a rollercoaster this season would be an understatement - the struggling team now sits with a 4-6-1 record after their disappointing 5-2 loss to neighboring Paramus Catholic. This was the second time that Bergen has fallen to the Paladins.
"We did not play well today at all," BC coach Rui Dos Santos said.
In 11 games to date, the Crusaders have netted 26 goals, gone to overtime four times including a heavily fought no-score draw with Don Bosco and competed against three out of state high schools. In the same amount of time, Bergen has given up 20 goals, nine of which have been to Paramus Catholic.
The Crusaders had several chances in the first half on behalf of Erick Alonso, but the young sophomore watched his shots go wide of the net each time. Under the two minute mark, he posted a goal from behind the 30-yard line although the Paladins were leading, 4-1 at the half.
On the Paladins side, Adam Najem came out strong for his team with a trio of assists as he continued to feed the ball to the likes of George Pepo, Brendan Wishard, and Jose Mezza. Zach Reed booted the ball to Santi Montefore to finish the half.
"We moved the ball around well with a lot of one touch, two touch passes," Paladins coach Len Lewandowski said. "We had some mental lapses and became a little complacement, but the key was to not concede an early goal in the second half which we accomplished."
Jamel Visson tacked on the final goal for the Paladins with 18 minutes remaining, but Jared Dublin of Bergen added one of his own to bring the final score to 5-2 a few minutes later.
The Crusaders will have a long weekend of rest before heading up to Ramsey on Tuesday to take on the Ironmen of Don Bosco at 7pm. The Paladins (5-3-1) will host Northern Highlands on Tuesday, 4pm.