NEWARK, NJ - The dream of a second straight New Providence boys soccer sectional championship came to an end on Friday afternoon as the Pioneers suffered a 2-0 loss to third-seeded Technology in the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 tournament in Newark.
The Pioneers, seeded sixth in the section, ended 2019 with an 8-11 mark. Technology (14-4) advanced to the sectional semifinal round against second-seeded Brearley on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Jordan Funez and Andy Allaico each connected for goals for Technology, which received six saves from Kevin Sabadin as the Newark school posted its fifth shutout this season.
"Technology is a very sound team but we still had opportunities and played a pretty good game," said New Providence assistant coach Nick Sommo. "It was 1-0 at halftime and we had a couple of corner kicks in the second half but just couldn't convert."
Miguel Garcia made 10 stops for New Providence, which was held scoreless for just the third time this season.
The Pioneers had advanced to the quarterfinal round by defeating 11th-seeded Weehawken, 3-0, in a first-round contest on Oct. 29.
Christian Muller, Brandon Ng and Mark Elek each had goals for New Providence while Garcia saved the only shot he faced to record his second shutout of the season.
A year ago, New Providence went 15-9 and won its first sectional title in 11 seasons before falling just short of claiming the overall Group 1 championship when it was ousted by Glassboro in penalty kicks. The Pioneers have won three Group 1 crowns with the last coming in 1999.
New Providence, under the guidance of second-year head coach Craig Barclay, graduated 18 players from last year's club.
This season's team was led by seniors Elek (17 goals, seven assists), Youssef Ezzeldin (six, four), Christian Caburis (three, three), Patrick Brett, Connor Gavagan, David Peritore and Joseph Yoo, juniors Dylan Paniagua (three, five), Angel Garcia (two goals), Ng (one, one) and Maddox Gallagher and sophomores Muller (seven, four), Jake Ponte (four, three), Stephen Sinning, Nathan Bandy, Chris Huashuayo (one, two), Ian Landsittel (two, three), Franklin Markel, Aleksandar Radak and Jack Schatzman.
Garcia, a senior, was outstanding in goal and finished with two shutouts this fall.
"Miguel was a huge was cornerstone for us, communicated to his teammates very well and not having him back next year will not be easy," said Sommo.
"Miguel, Elek and the rest of our senior group were unbelievable role models for our underclassmen. The younger guys are much better off moving forward having played with them and learned from them."