LIVINGSTON, NJ — Despite maintaining a 0-0 tie until the final ten minutes of a home-turf match against No. 3 Seton Hall Preparatory School, the Livingston High School boys soccer team fell to the Pirates, 2-0, on Thursday—bringing the Lancers to a 4-2 overall record so far this season.
SHP’s Mason Toye, a senior forward heading to Indiana University on a soccer scholarship in 2017, put the Pirates on the scoreboard with a goal late in the second half. Jonathan Santos secured the victory for SHP with less than two minutes to go in the game.
LHS Head Coach Roger Rubinetti said LHS senior Matthew Santola, No. 3, played an impressive defense covering Toye, who Rubinetti said is one of the top three players in the state.
“They have a big collection of talent on [Seton Hall], so it’s always a big challenge to play against those guys,” said Rubinetti, whose game plan was to play a solid game defensively rather than attempt to match SHP’s offensive firepower. “It was basically a game of matchups for us and Matthew got the assignment of staying with [Toye]. Even though Mason got the team-winning goal, Matt played a tremendous game against him.”
Rubinetti said Santola has been one of the Lancers’ most valuable players so far this season, calling him a “bright spot” for the Lancers. Ultimately, according to Rubinetti, Santola beat Toye for 90 percent of Thursday’s game, but Toye found an opportunity.
“He’s really done a fantastic job, as has our whole defense,” he said. “All of the kids that played tonight played extremely well. They’re No. 3 in the state for a reason, so I thought it was a really good job by the guys.”
With a large number of underclassmen and a few injuries this season, the Lancers only played 13 or 14 players on Thursday—but Rubinetti said he was happy with the outcome.
“Josh Liebowitz has been tremendous—he’s a weapon when we throw the ball in, so he set up a few dangerous plays,” said LHS Athletic Director David Cohen, who at the half said the team would have to play defensively and physically for the remainder of the game. “Seton Hall has some tremendous talent, so Eric Silverstein working the left side and some of the guys from the back have done a good job of limiting their touches.”
Other key players in this game included Joshua Sampson, with eight saves in goal; the Neyer brothers, co-captains Jason and Ben; and Tommy Falus, who currently has six goals on the year.
Thursday’s home game followed four consecutive victories over Newark Academy (3,0), Nutley (1,0), Dickinson (4,1) and Montclair (1,0). The loss against SHP added to the Lancers’ season-opener defeat to Newark East Side on Sept. 9.
Livingston will take on Newark Tech next on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 4 p.m. on the LHS turf.