BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Highlanders (11-6-3) played their last regular-season game on Thursday afternoon as they entertained Morristown Beard. After a disappointing 2-0 loss to Jonathan Dayton (10-7-2) on Senior Night, the boys looked to bounce back as they prepare for the State Tournament which kickoff on Tuesday.
Tuesday Night, under tempestuous skies with rain pouring down, the Highlanders took to the field and battled to a 2-0 loss to Dayton. Prior to the game, the following seniors were celebrated along with their families: Connor Bigelow #1, Thomas Candeloro #6, Matt Cisneros #12, Michael Domingues #7, Ben Grimes #10, Jeremy Malave #24, and Zach Zacieracha #8. Click here for photo gallery by John Haddad.
Thursday, GL got off to a fast start against Morristown Beard, the Independence Conference champs, when Ben Grimes threaded a ball to Ethan Proper who beat a defender and slotted home to make it 1-0. The Highlanders doubled their lead minutes later when Grimes drove the ball into the top corner from 25 yards. The Highlanders piled on the pressure and it was Proper who then turned provider, squaring a cross in front of goal for Jeremy Malave to tap in. With less than twenty minutes played it was that same combination that once again caused havoc, Proper crossing, Malave scoring. 4-0 to the Highlanders. At the other end, Connor Bigelow made a fine save to further frustrate Mo-Beard.
The lead gave Coach Bruno Somma the chance to rotate his squad, but still, the Highlanders looked for more in the second half. Kevin Rodrigues added a fifth midway through the period before Mo-Beard pulled back a consolation goal. As the clock ran down it was Rodrigues who again found the net for his second and the Highlander's sixth.
Next up the Highlanders face Vorhees on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Governor Livingston in the first round of the NJ Central Group 2 State Tournament