BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Gov. Livingston boys soccer dropped its season opening game in a double overtime thriller to Elizabeth, Friday afternoon at home.
Gov. Livingston is playing in a higher conference level this season. "We know what we are up against," said Head Boys Soccer Coach Bruno Somma. "We can stay competitive with these teams -- it will make us better come tournament time in this level of play."
Both teams kept a quick pace and remained physically intense throughout the game. The Highlanders had early offensive chances in the first half with shots by junior Ryan Clark; Kona Maramoto firing a cross shot; and senior Mike McKenna with a shot barely missing the goal.
It was Elizabeth who was first to score getting past GL's tight defense on a shot that deflected off senior defender Chris Marzo into the goal.
In an attempt to stop a breakway, a penalty was called on Maramoto in the box. A. Rios fired the penalty shot for Elizabeth past goalie Jake Topor in the right corner giving them the 2-0 lead going into halftime.
The Highlanders opened up the second half cutting their deficit with a goal by Marzo who connected to a rebound when Elizabeth failed to clear a shot by McKenna.
The home crowd spirit and excitement escalated when Jimmy O'Brien launched an outside shot to the back of the net to tie the game.
The pressure intensified with more cards handed out and Elizabeth playing a man down with a red card and ejection of their coach.
The defense and goalkeeping were key as Jake Topor made huge saves throughout the game for GL.
The Highlanders had their chances with junior Mike Coimbra making offensive runs, setting up several late in the game plays to sophomore Tomas Abusada.
In the end, it was Steven Arroyave who netted the game winner in the 6th minute of the second sudden death overtime to take home the win for Elizabeth
With a relatively young team, Coach Somma feels it's a good sign that his team was able to come back from being down 2-0. "I feel like we out played them." said Somma. "We had more opportunities -- they made the most of their opportunities and we didn't. These things balance out."
"They felt good about themselves even though they lost -- no one likes to lose, it's a heartbreaker. We have to move on and hope that we can move forward with this," said Somma.
The Highlanders will travel to Voorhees for their next game on Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 4 p.m.