NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Matchups between rivals have a way of being tough, physical outings, sometimes even when the game’s outcome is never even in question. Today’s game at North Plainfield High School was most certainly an example of that.

The North Plainfield boys soccer team took their home field today in search of another Skyland-Mountain win, this time against Belvidere High School. Even though the Canucks’ skill superiority made sure the scoreline was never close, the game was as physical and chippy as any conference game. Despite taking a beating along the way, North Plainfield dominated where it mattered, and took home a 5-0 victory. 

“We got knocked around, that’s for sure,” Canucks head coach Chuck Henriques said after the game. “(Belvidere) were physical. It’s just a good matchup for us, and we’re just the better team. They came to play, and it took us a while to get going, but we finished it out.”

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It didn’t take long for the Canucks offense to get in front of the match. The speed and dribbling of North Plainfield forward Ronaldo Garcia gave Belvidere fits from the beginning of the match. The first goal though, ended up coming from midfielder Anthony Alvarez. At the 28-minute mark of the first half, a shot from Kevin Forrester deflected off Belvidere goalkeeper Darren Siegmeister, and landed right towards Alvarez, who put away the go-ahead goal.

About 14 minutes later, Garcia got a goal of his own, via a 15-yard long shot. The leading scorer of the day though, was Daniel Spontak. Coming off the bench, the junior forward got his first goal when he took advantage of an open goal on a fastbreak.

“It was just a good buildup play,” Spontak said after the game. “I saw the opportunity, everyone was pushing towards the goal, and the ball popped up right to me and I was able to put it away.”

Spontak got a second goal off a penalty shot with three minutes left in the game. Steven Bernal also knocked in a goal.

Although the scoreline helps the Canucks, especially with county seedings being tomorrow, the match’s physical play could hinder them somewhat. Things got heated between the two teams numerous times, and various North Plainfield players ended up leaving the field with possible injuries.

Although it’s too early to speak on the extent of any of the injuries suffered today, any sort of time out for any player would be a blow for the Canucks, considering they just lost forward David Wilson for a few weeks due to a knee fracture he suffered in Saturday’s loss to St. Peter’s Prep.

“I’m happy with the result, but not real happy with the damages we took to get the result,” Henriques said. “(We have) a lot of people hurting right now. Hopefully it’s not long lasting.”

On the positive side for the Canucks, both the coach and his players agreed that they looked better than ever today when it came to finishing offensive chances and getting into the attacking third.

“We held the ball better than we usually do, and we were able to finish today, which has been a problem this year,” Spontak said after the match.

“Now we’re 6-1 and first in the division, so we’re looking at a good spot in the counties.”

Box Score

Team

1

2

Final

North Plainfield (6-1)

2

3

5

Belvidere (2-3)

0

0

0

North Plainfield Team Stats

Shots

15

North Plainfield Player Stats

Player

Goals

Assists

Saves

Daniel Spontak

2

0

0

Anthony Alvarez

1

1

0

Ronaldo Garcia

1

1

0

Steven Bernal

1

0

0

Kevin Forrester

0

1

0

Kevin Tabares

0

1

0

Edgar Castenada (Goalie)

0

0

2

Danny Gonzalez (Goalie)

0

0

6

Belvidere Team Stats

Shots

8

Belvidere Player Stats

Player

Goals

Assists

Saves

Darren Siegmeister (Goalie)

0

0

10