LIVINGSTON, NJ – Two goals from Brian Kelly and the first goal of the season from Franco Burga, all scored in the second half, led the Livingston boys soccer team to a 3-2 victory over Caldwell on Monday—evening the Lancers’ record back to 5-5-1.
Kelly scored his first goal off a penalty kick, and his second broke the tie to give Livingston the 3-2 lead. Kelly also assisted on Burga's goal for the Lancers, and Burga added one assist of his own. Elijah Elster made six saves in goal for Livingston.
“The goals don’t come easy for our program and we work extremely hard for the ones we get,” said Livingston head coach Roger Rubinetti. “Offensively, [Kelly and Burga] did well, and in the back for our defense, Ryan Melnick has been playing extremely well all season. He’s been very steady and had another excellent game, and Abe Ramitzki in the back did a good job as well.”
To Caldwell’s credit, Rubinetti added that the Chiefs “kept coming back” and pushing the ball down the Lancers’ end of the field. Carson Filion and Jaden Pezzolla scored goals for Caldwell (2-8-1), which led, 1-0, at the half.
“The teams that we look at on paper and think they’re an even matchup, we’ve been able to beat those teams, which is important,” said Rubinetti. “There are games where you go into it and you are obviously not the favorite, and there are games where you are the favorite or it’s an even matchup, and then in those games where we’re the favorite, we’ve been able to do our job and come away with the victories in those games.
“Now it’s just a matter of putting it all together for 80 minutes and being able to maybe knock off some of these elite teams and help us get over the next hump. When we play up to our capabilities and mistake-free, I think we have a chance in any game that we step on the field to play.”
Rubinetti added that he hopes Burga’s first goal of the season will be encouraging for the senior moving forward. He came back from injury on Monday ready to improve his offensive game, and he did not disappoint.
The Lancers play at home again on Wednesday against Science Park. Caldwell will take on Lyndhurst in another away game on Oct. 18.