Sports

Boys Soccer: Bridgewater-Raritan Advances in States, Defeats Scotch Plains-Fanwood, 2-0

cf721c64e3438628841c_IMG_4632.jpg
Mason Christopher makes a pass. Credits: Matt Kipp
b3e9cc0e876094f1e4e0_IMG_4644.jpg
Oliver Trujillo, right, celebrates his goal with Brandon Jimenez. Credits: Matt Kipp
8461cb865809eec702cf_IMG_4668.jpg
The Panthers celebrate Nathan Han's goal. Credits: Matt Kipp
081a2374c2ff3931b7e2_IMG_4701.jpg
Calum Erlenborn makes a save. He posted his ninth shutout of the season Friday. Credits: Matt Kipp
d2b9d1476fa00906f3fa_IMG_4664.jpg
Dom Demcak makes a pass ahead of Scotch Plains' Alex Ferrara. Credits: Matt Kipp
5176e9adaee0f635096e_IMG_4687.jpg
Brandon Jimenez sends a header. Credits: Matt Kipp
c85bbdd08733b60d411a_IMG_4693.jpg
Brady Feuer dribbles through Scotch Plains' midfield. Credits: Matt Kipp
155ee903ed64c7b43bf3_IMG_4653.jpg
Sean Masur breaks free of Scotch Plains' defense. Credits: Matt Kipp
662c7dc499934da6bbab_IMG_4648.jpg
Bridgewater-Raritan battles Scotch Plains-Fanwood in state tournament action Friday. Credits: Matt Kipp
cf721c64e3438628841c_IMG_4632.jpg

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — Bridgewater-Raritan boys’ soccer remained undefeated, advanced in the state tournament and gained some revenge in the process. A year after Scotch Plains-Fanwood ousted the Panthers from the state sectional tournament, the Panthers returned the favor and defeated their North 2, Group 4 counterparts, 2-0, in the sectional quarterfinals Friday.

Bridgewater-Raritan (16-0-2) flexed its offensive force and scored twice to come away victorious. Oliver Trujillo put one between the posts in the 22nd minute on an assist from Nathan Han, then Han added a score of his own in minute number 47 to account for both of the Panthers’ scores.

“Our team’s been doing so well,” said senior captain Dom Demcak. “When we played against Hunterdon Central, we realized it was our last regular season game and they’re really tough, so we just implemented that game into this game, and came out and it worked.”

Sign Up for E-News

Whatever the Panthers implemented paid dividends very early. In the opening half, Oliver Trujillo’s score gave the Panthers a lead they’d hold onto for the remaining 67 minutes. His goal was the fruit of a beautiful set of ball movements on the outside perimeter of the six-box. From the right corner, Sean Masur passed up center to Han, who then booted the ball to Trujillo, standing alone on the left corner of the box. Trujillo buried his strike, aiming it above Scotch Plains keeper Aaron Schack.

“We practice a lot of passing everyday, there’s an hour of passing drills at every practice before we go do other things,” head coach Rick Szeles said about his team’s display of ball movement on the goal. “Very happy with the team’s positioning and the movement with the ball and without the ball.”

The Panthers received their second goal from the man they’d been waiting on. After being vocally encouraged by his bench to “shoot!” all afternoon long, Han finished a pass sent from Brandon Jimenez to put Bridgewater-Raritan up, 2-0. The goal was Han’s first of the season, and his assist was also a first.

“We’ve been telling him to shoot the ball all season,” Szeles said with a smile. “[These are] the first shots he’s taken all year. We’re happy with him.”

Bridgewater-Raritan did an exceptional job applying offensive pressure on Scotch Plains-Fanwood the entire afternoon. The Panthers were constantly creating havoc on the Raiders’ goal, firing off seven total shots-on-goal and also booting five corner kicks.

Defensively, the Panthers shut out a Raiders offense that had come into the match red-hot. The Raiders had scored 12 goals in their previous five matches leading up to Friday, but Bridgewater-Raritan squandered most scoring chances and held Scotch Plains to just four shots on target.

“We just had to stay behind their midfield three, which we knew was their strongest point on the field,” Demcak said. “We did that well with our midfield three, and we shut them down.”

The Raiders actually did find the back of the net once, but the goal was negated. In the 47th minute, Brogan Quigley sent a cross to Zidan Abdella, who one-timed a strike between the posts. Celebration was short-lived, however, as it was called off on an “over the line” call, and the Raiders were not too happy about it.

“Brogan had the ball, the ball was not completed over the line, he served a ball in, we scored the goal and they called the ball over the line,” said Scotch Plains-Fanwood head coach Tom Breznitsky. “They [Scotch Plains-Fanwood players] gave each and everything that they possibly could’ve given in the match."

Both sides became perturbed by the officiating over the course of the match. On three occasions, Scotch Plains was issued yellow cards — including two to Owen Murphy — and the Panthers’ also received one.

Goalkeeper Calum Erlenborn needed just two saves to complete his ninth shutout of the season. Scotch Plains keeper Schack made three stops.

With the win, Bridgewater-Raritan advances to the sectional semifinals, where they’ll meet perennial powerhouse Elizabeth. The match will be played next Tuesday in Bridgewater, with time to be determined.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Bridgewater/Raritan

Upcoming Events

Thu, April 19

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Les Photos de Bernie at the Wayrick ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Thu, April 19, 7:00 PM

Bridgewater Township Library, Bridgewater

Bash the Trash presents Library Bash

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, April 20

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Les Photos de Bernie at the Wayrick ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

New Jersey Association of School Librarians Urges BRRSD to Keep All Librarians

April 18, 2018

To the Editor:

The following letter was sent to the Bridgewater-Raritan school superintendent as well as members of the school board from the New Jersey Association of School Librarians (NJASL).  

As the statewide organization for school library media specialists, the organization advocates for strong school library programs for all students.  NJASL is disheartened to learn that a ...

Bridgewater Police Arrest Two for $600 Theft at Lord & Taylor

April 14, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Two were arrested March 31 for a theft of over $600 worth of merchandise from Lord & Taylor, in the Bridgewater Commons Mall, according to a report from Bridgewater Township Police.

Mariam Erkomaishvili, 35, of West Orange, and Mikheil Jalali, 38, of Brooklyn, were arrested for shoplifting after they were allegedly found with $624 worth of ...

Hidden in Plain Sight Program to Provide Tips on Recognizing Drug Use in Teens

April 18, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater-Raritan High School, on Garretson Road, will be hosting "Hidden in Plain Sight," a program to help parents recognize the signs a child might be using drugs or alcohol.

The program will be held April 24 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. There will be a light dinner at 6:30 p.m.

DEA Agent Tim McMahon will speak to parents and students about the signs to look ...

Hillsborough Rotary Fair: Fun Place to Do Business

April 17, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The Rotary Club of Hillsborough will provide local businesses multiple opportunities to showcase their services and connect directly with customers at its 11th annual Rotary Fair, scheduled this year for Aug. 14–19.

More than 15,000 people from Hillsborough and surrounding communities are expected to visit the weeklong family event held at the Hillsborough Promenade, ...

Bateman Bill to Require Training, Licensing for Pet Groomers

April 15, 2018

TRENTON, NJ - Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-16) will introduce legislation to increase protections for family pets by requiring pet groomers to be properly trained and licensed following the deaths of three dogs in five months at different New Jersey pet salons.

“It is sadly far too common for us to read of dog grooming deaths in the news,” said Bateman.