MADISON, NJ – Junior Forward Matt Jackson’s game-ending overtime goal gave the Dodgers a 2-1 boys' soccer victory over Whippany Park on Wednesday.
“Our intention is to defend the halfway line, pin teams back, and go to goal quickly,” Madison head coach Eric Studnicky said. “That’s the modern game right now. Quick transition, get it in the air, and try to create chaos.”
With 11 minutes left to play in the first half, Whippany Park got on the board first after Mike Symecko sliced through two defenders to put one into the back of the net.
“You want to blame people, but you can’t because you have a whole game ahead of you,” senior defender Brenden Winsper said. “We just have to keep our head high.”
Trailing by one, Madison erupted in the second half, consistently applying pressure and attacking the Wildcats' defense, which led to a late cross from senior defender Zach Green to Winsper, who passed to senior captain Cole Crescas that lead to a Madison goal, sending the game into overtime.
“It was just a good cross,” Crescas said. “My friend Brenden [Winsper] trapped it and it fell to me, and I was lucky enough to finish it.”
Even though Crescas’s goal sent the game into overtime, it was Jackson who stood on top, when he scored the game-winning goal, celebrating by taking his shirt off as the entire team jumped off the bench, and ran to him.
“It was a real team effort from the clear to the pass to the finish really,” Jackson said. “We have been working so hard all year and it was the perfect ball than I just had a prefect opportunity. It was just a lucky strike I think.
Despite the victory, Studnicky admits that the team has to work on speaking more and seeing eye-to-eye.
“The whole year we are trying to improve communication as the season goes on,” Studnicky said. “Communication I say is inauguration. We have to constantly talk; we have to know where players are. It’s getting better, we just need to keep it constant.”
The Dodgers have 17 seniors on the team, which it believes that a lot of the experience they have should help carry them throughout the season.
“The seniors are really going to have to provide the leadership,” Studnicky said. “They have to get better. There is a lot of pressure on them to perform. I say that every game and every training session. The most important thing for these boys is that they have to believe they can win games.”
The Dodgers will host Dover at home on September 24 at Madison at 4 p.m.