BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Bridgewater-Raritan boys soccer team, employing the airtight defense that has carried it through much of the season, has won the Section 2, Group 4 championship.
The top-seeded Panthers defeated No. 8 seed Newark East Side, 1-0, on a blustery, cold day at home on Friday. Senior midfielder Sean Masur's goal on a penalty kick in the first accounted for the only goal.
Once again, the defenders for Bridgewater-Raritan (17-0-3) made the goal stand up, with Kavan Shah, Steven Alaimo, Brady Regan and Ryan Regan anchoring the back, with Calum Erlenborn (five saves) and Alex Aquino (one save) in goal. The Panthers have shut out eight of their last nine opponents, with shutouts of Scotch Plains-Fanwood, Elizabeth (a double-overtime PK victory) and East Side over the last three state tournament outings.
East Side appeared to have scored a game-tying goal in the final minutes Friday, but the goal was waved off because of an off-sides call.
Bridgewater-Raritan moves on to the NJSIAA Group 4 semifinals Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Franklin High School, where the Panthers will oppose either Kearny or Montclair.