With the exciting Boys Soccer Morris County Tournament underway, teams will look to do anything to bring the title home. The Randolph boys soccer team played well enough early in the season to earn themselves a No. 3 seed and a first round bye, and they hope to ride that wave of success into the tournament.
“I expect us to go very deep in the tournament and give every team we face a hard fought battle,” stated Randolph senior captain Ryan Ruhalter. “We are thrilled to have the third seed and know what it takes to win this tournament and will do everything in our power to make that happen.”
The first round of games were played this weekend, and they did not disappoint.
On one side of the bracket, Morris Tech (18) got the upset win over Roxbury (15) 2-1. Tech now has to face a tough undefeated team in Montillve who got the bye first round. Mount Olive (11) came out with a strong win against Morris Catholic (22) and will battle it out with a confident Jefferson team in the next round.
Parsippany Hills (20) got the upset against West Morris Central (10) in a thriller. They will now take on Dover (7) in the second round. Morris Hills (14) managed to come out with a hard-earned win against Whippany Park (19) in penalties. Hills will now travel to a very motivated Randolph (3) and try to advance into the quarterfinals.
The Rams have had a strong history in the Morris County tournament. After losing in the MCT Finals and Semi’s in 2014 and 2015 to the eventual champions Delbarton, they got over the hump the following year. The 2016 Rams took the title in a double OT, Penalty Kick thriller, over a nationally ranked Delbarton team.
The following year was not what the Rams had in mind. Losing in the first round to Madison as the sixth seed put a moral dent into the following games. 2018 gave the Rams a chance to prove that they belong, beating a good Morris Catholic team in the first round. However, the second round brought a tough opponent in Chatham. After a hard fought game, the rams took a 1-0 loss in a very close game.
On the other side of the bracket, Pequannock (13) squeezed out a 1-0 win against Mountain Lakes (20). They will play a well-rounded Morristown (4) team in the second round. Morris Knolls (12) got the hard fought 1-0 win against a fundamental Kinnelon team. Booton (5) will be expecting them in the second round after receiving a bye in the first round.
Mendham (16) got an overtime win against a solid Madison team (17). They will take on the top-seeded Delbarton next week at Ryan field. Chatham (8) got the easy win against Hanover Park (25). In the same fashion, Morristown Beard (9) lifted a lot of heads with the 7-1 win against Parsippany (24). The two will face off in a highly anticipated second round game next week.
The tournament is only getting started and is already one of the most exciting yet. With the second round right around the corner, the games will only get harder and more intense. Teams will have to battle every second of every game to get the results needed to advance.
The Rams strong start to season could be a sign of what's to come. Winning some very tough games gave the team confidence that they will try to carry over to the tournament.
“Myself and the team are definitely looking forward to the challenges that the future holds,” said senior starting goalie Andre Schiavone. “We are ready to face any opponent that comes our way in the tournament and in conference games as well.”
The Rams will play their first tournament game on Sunday September 29.