NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ -- The Caldwell boys soccer team scored three unanswered goals in the first half and went on to a 5-1 victory over New Providence on Thursday.

Senior forward Carson Filion played a part in all five goals for the offensive-minded Chiefs, scoring a hat trick and also assisting on the other two goals, both of those by senior midfielder Ethan Layton. One of Filion's goals also was assisted by Layton.

Francesco Crocco made five saves for Caldwell (4-3), which won for the second time this week. The Chiefs had beaten Bloomfield, 2-0, on Tuesday. Filion also had two goals in that game.

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While Caldwell's attack was at the forefront on Thursday, the team continued to show improvement in the back end for coach Alan Branigan. Since giving up seven goals to Verona on opening day, Caldwell has allowed just six goals in six games.

Christian Muller scored in the second half for New Providence (3-4). Despite the loss, the Pioneers still hope to contend for a title before the 2019 season is over.

"Our goal is to defend our sectional title," said New Providence senior Mark Elek. "We know it’s a big ask, but we still are shooting for that as our minimum for the season. Personally, my goal is to get my team back to that sectional final."

"Even though we are young and don't have a lot of experience together," New Providence senior Youssef Ezzeldin said, "we are a very tough and hard-working team, and we'll leave it all on the field every game."

New Providence will look to even its record Saturday when the Pioneers travel to Glen Gardner to play Voorhees.