LIVINGSTON, NJ — Tommy Falus, finally finding an opportunity to make a run, sprinted down the right side as several Millburn defenders chased him from behind. Right before he reached the end line, Falus dumped the ball off Daniel Cho.
Millburn quickly swarmed Cho, forcing him to take a bad shot into the waiting hands of the Millburn keeper. The shot came with six minutes left in the first half. It was Livingston’s first real chance at a goal in the game.
A slow start doomed the No. 16-ranked Lancers (7-3-1), who fell to Millburn (7-2-1) 1-0 on Thursday.
“I thought the last 60 minutes, we had a much better game,” Livingston coach Roger Rubinetti said. “When you come out flat in the first 20 and a team gets one goal, sometimes that’s all you need when you can’t get the equalizer.”
Millburn only needed a couple minutes to score the lone goal of the game, which came from a perfect throw-in. The Millers placed a ball in the box, took one extra touch and sent the ball in the air toward Spencer Schneider.
The senior midfielder one-timed the ball past the outstretched arms of Josh Sampson. Rubinetti said he was disappointed that Millburn scored so early in the game, stating that the Lancers were just a split second late defending the pass.
The Lancers had several chances in the second half searching for the equalizer. Rubinetti woke Livingston up at halftime but in his words, the damage was already done. The Lancers’ closest shot hit the crossbar with just 12 minutes left.
Falus, Livingston’s lead goal scorer, struggled to get anything going for much of the game. The forward was swarmed every chance he received the ball.
“Tommy is up there on his own a lot of times, struggling to do things with four or five guys on him,” Rubinetti said. “It’s great sometimes, but others he has to get rid of the ball a tiny bit sooner. You either have to go and when you run out of options, bang it across. You just got to bang it across and hope someone gets there.”
Livingston’s next game comes against West Orange on Saturday. Rubinetti is looking for a complete team effort for 80 minutes. If the Lancers can correct a couple of mistakes and play with a renewed intensity, Rubinetti is confident the game will be a better showing.