EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Vivianna's Pizza, representing the Hasbrouck Heights Soccer Association, defeated East Rutherford, Tuesday, November 21, 3-2, to capture the South Bergen Soccer League championship in the U12 Boys Division. They advanced to the final by beating a previously undefeated Wallington team, 3-1, on November 19.
Darien Baez scored the game-winner in the championship match, with less two minutes remaining. Following a free kick, Jack Bruton made a lead pass to Ryan Daves, who brought the ball to the right corner of the East Rutherford defensive zone. After dribbling around the defense, he sent a goal crossing pass that Baez buried in the back of the net for a 3-2 Heights lead.
East Rutherford opened the scoring, scoring on a corner kick for a 1-0 halftime lead. But an early goal from Gabriel Thomas tied the game at 1-1. Once again, East Rutherford took a 2-1 lead, but Heights aggressive play allowed Daves to tie the game at 2-2, with Jacob Hernandez picking up the assist halfway through the second, setting up the Baez' game-winner.
East Rutherford made one last push at the goal, but Nicholas Tsigaras disrupted the play as time ran out.
"It was a total team effort, " Coach Brian Bruton stated afterwards. "Everyone contributed to our win."
Bruton also thanked a raucous Heights cheering section, which he stated "drove' the team.
The Champions roster:
Goalkeeper - Kyle Wenckus
Defenders - Adam Vidal, Sonny Nagle, Nicholas Tsigaras
Stoppers: Joseph Finnerty, Graham Reynolds, Dekian Birth, Christopher Ronayne
Forwards: Gabriel Thomas, Darien Baez, Rodrigo Giron
Coaches: Brian Bruton, Gus Tsigaras
(Brian Bruton contributed to this story.)