BLOOMFIELD, NJ- With less than 2-minutes to spare in regulation, the Bloomfield Bengals Boys Varsity Soccer team broke a 1-1 tie to beat Columbia High School 2-1 in a non-conference match on Tuesday afternoon, October 2, at Watsessing Park in Bloomfield.
It was an unseasonably warm and muggy 80-degrees at the start of the game between the two evenly-matched squads. Early in the opening half, Bloomfield got on the board first when sophomore Nick Rizzi scored his first goal of the season with an assist from senior co-captain Jason Ricca.
The reminder of the half saw back and forth action, mostly played at midfield as neither team mounted many sustained scoring attacks. The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Bengals at halftime.
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At the exact midpoint of the second half, Columbia knotted the game at 1-1 when a loose ball was put home after a scramble in front of the Bengals net at the 20-minute mark.
The Bengals missed out on three prime scoring opportunities late in the second half due to offsides violations against their over-exuberant offense anxious to break the tie.
With 1:45 remaining in regulation, senior David Quinatoa scored on a long distance shot into an open net after the Columbia goalkeeper Sam Maidenberg got caught in no-man’s land wandering too far away from the crease to attempt to play a loose ball as the Bengals went ahead for good to earn a 2-1 victory.
Bloomfield senior goalie Matthew Vitella made 4 saves off 5 shots on goal.
With the win, Bloomfield improves to 4-4 overall and remains at 3-2 in the Super Essex Conference, Liberty Division. Bloomfield, West Essex, Glen Ridge and Montclair Kimberley all have 3 wins atop of the conference standings.
Bloomfield, winners of 3 of their last 4 games, have two important conference games on the horizon. The Bengals travel to Science Park in Newark this Friday, October 5 at 4 p.m., then visit Newark Central on Monday, October 8 at 4:30 p.m. Science Park is 1-4-2 overall and 0-3-2 in the conference, while Newark Central is 4-4-1 overall and 1-2-1 in the conference.
With the loss, Columbia drops to 2-4-2 overall. Their next game is home against Montclair this Friday, October 5, at 4 p.m.