WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Seton Hall Prep boy’s soccer team survived overtime dramatics, as the Pirates beat Millburn, 1-0, on Friday.
The game saw its only goal come six minutes into the first overtime when junior Mike Hall sent a cross into the box where Abby Elsayed launched the game-winning goal off of the crossbar and into the net.
“In a game like this I always tell my players that they need to play really hard, play their best and create more chances than them,” Pirates head coach Marty Berman said. “I think we created more chances than they did, and finally one of them went in.”
Both teams played tough defense throughout the contest which contributed to the 0-0 draw at the end of regulation. However, in the final 10 minutes of regulation, and continuing into overtime, the Millers seemed to show signs of fatigue with many players coming off the field with apparent cramps.
The Pirates were able to capitalize on the situation and use their speed to wear down the Millburn defense. Berman said that the goal demonstrated just how fast, strong and skilled their team is to be able to execute such a play late in the game.
Seton Hall Prep protected their status of No. 1 in the state, according to The Star Ledger, although the Millers proved that they can compete with the best teams in the state.
Berman said that he’s not too concerned with the rankings at this point of the season.
“At the end of the season if we can win a state title because of games like this, then we'll be number one when it counts,” Berman said.
Millers’ head coach Jason Robinson is optimistic about his team and said that he can use this game as a barometer to see where they are as a team.
“It’s definitely a tough loss,” Robinson said. “But it’s definitely something that we can build on, confidence and preparation wise. It’s good for the younger guys.”
Millburn lost 12 seniors from last season, six of which were starters, but Robinson is confident in his program’s depth.
“We’re trying to be a team that has a lot of good players,” Robinson said. “We kept a lot of players down on JV that could have played on Varsity but wouldn’t have played as much because of how good our seniors were last season.”
Millburn’s senior captain and goalkeeper Marc Langendorff had a busy night with seven saves, including a game-saving stop towards the end of regulation.
The Pirates improved to a perfect 7-0 on the season, while the defending state champion Millers fell to 2-2.