CLARK, NJ - The Plainfield High School Cardinals added an early goal in the first half, and two more insurance goals to defeat the Arthur L. Johnson Crusaders on the road Tuesday afternoon in Clark. The final score was 3-0. They came to town looking to put a win in place through a balanced effort on both sides of the ball.
Plainfield senior Jean Paul Lima got the scoring going early in the game, beating Johnson sophomore goaltender Andrew Kehrle to put the Cardinals ahead 1-0, which would hold at the half.
“It was good. I got to put the team on my shoulders and keep going forward in the season,” Lema said.
The Cardinals controlled the game for most of the second half, but only had the one goal to show following the first 40 minutes of action.
Plainfield had more opportunities to add goals, but Johnson sophomore goaltender Andrew Kehrle kept the Crusaders in the game.
The Cardinals would turn the tables once the second half started.
They added two more goals in the second half, courtesy of senior Emerson Abarca and sophomore Narvis Bent. he goals helped to put away the game, securing the road victory for the Cardinals.
“It’s important because I put that second goal in to get a win for my team. I’m so happy,” Abarca said.
Plainfield sophomore goaltender Milton Moreno recorded a shutout, stopping all six Crusaders shots on net that came his way.
The first goal stood out for Plainfield head coach Ronald Umana, who feels it helped his team keep the pressure up on Johnson so they would have a lead to work with once the second half started.
“The early goal [Lema’s goal] was important because this is a small field, so we’re not really used to a field like this, so sometimes, teams tend to park the bus,” Umana said. “So, it becomes harder, you know, when you go into the second half in a 0-0 game, you can have problems.”
“One goal really does give you a little bit of a cushion,” he added. “In the second half, we were able to score a second goal and after that, we kind of took control of the game.”
For Plainfield, junior Fernando Aguilar, senior Antonio Chach and junior Ogechi Ehiobuche each recorded an assist in the win.
The Johnson Crusaders struggled throughout the game trying to get scoring chances, as the defense of the Plainfield Cardinals kept the game rolling for the road team.
The Johnson Crusaders had a few scoring chances, but they were saved by Moreno and a few of them went wide of the net.
Kehrle made 11 saves on 14 shots in the loss for the Crusaders.
The Johnson Crusaders (3-11-1) will face off against Union High School Thursday afternoon in a home game at 4:00 p.m.
The Plainfield Cardinals (5-7-1) face off against Westfield High School Thursday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.