WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - Seydou Camara's 20th goal of the season was a big one, as Wood-Ridge defeated Park Ridge 2-1 in the opening round of the North 1, Group 1 boys soccer tournament in Wood-Ridge on Tuesday afternoon in Wood-Ridge. Camara became the first boy is the program's six year history to reach the 20-goal mark in a single season.
The game also marked a rematch against Park Ridge, who the Blue Devils lost to last year in the second round of the NJSIAA playoffs in Park Ridge.
"Today was another hard fought game and I truly believe our NJIC Tournament run has allowed our boys to be playoff tested," said head coach Alberico De Pierro. "I thought our team played extremely well towards the end of the first half into midway through the second half where we finally were to exploit what we saw when scouting Park Ridge."
"This game held extra meaning for us because we were embarrassed by them last year so we wanted to redeem ourselves so winning today is wonderful because it means that our season goes on just a bit longer. It was very crucial for us to not rest on our laurels for winning the NJIC Tournament 72 hours ago and to make sure we got another State tournament win," said De Pierro.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first on a goal by Boubou Camara with about a minute remaining in the first half. He later assisted on Seydou (they are cousins) Camara's goal to give the Blue Devils a 2-0 lead in the second half.
Wood-Ridge goalie Phil Iacovelli held off the Park Ridge second half rally attempt, finishing with eight saves, to pick up the win.
The Blue Devils, who improved to 16-6 on the season, will now face top-seeded Wallington, in Wallington on Friday. Game time is pending.
"Now we move on to Wallington Friday which is a daunting task but at this point we are playing with house money and the pressure is all on them," said De Pierro. "We know we have to go into Wallington and have the game of our lives and then see where the chips fall."
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