BY TRISTAN PANDAY AND SEAMUS TIERNEY
The boys soccer team has won the regular season Red Division championship for the 2nd year running. “It feels amazing,” said junior goalkeeper Stephen Deak. “Being able to look up at our banner next year and see that I was able to be a part of this two of the three years, makes it feel so much better. Now, we must look past that and focus on the GMC tournament which Old Bridge has never won before.”
The most challenging opponent they played was St. Benedict’s, the number one ranked team in the country. “Although we took a rough loss, it was a great experience for the boys to play against the #1 ranked team in the nation,” stated senior midfielder Vincent Tribianni.
The team grew throughout the season by learning to work better together. “I feel we improved the most on being one large family,” said co-captain Deak, who racked up 73 saves in the goal so far this season. “If a player makes a mistake, the team is right there beside him.”
After losing the top two assist men and three of the top four scorers from last year’s team, the team found a way to thrive despite the turnover. “Underclassmen have stepped up to fill the senior spots from last year, which has also helped the team bond together.”
In a season where they managed to steer clear of defeat in all but one game in the GMC, the players experienced numerous highlights. “The highlight of the season so far was senior night beating East Brunswick 3-0,” said senior Deandre Lewis, who leads the team with eight goals. “[It was] nice to see everyone come out to show support.”
Now, the players have turned their attention to achieving their additional goals. They’ve managed to do great in the regular season, but they believe they’re far from done. “We just want to win some silverware. Last year, we had a great regular season but got knocked out early in the playoffs. We want to go all the way,” stated co-captain Tribianni, who leads the team in assists with seven and has contributed seven goals.
After a 3-1 victory against JP Stevens in the first round and a quarterfinal penalty shootout against South Brunswick, which they won 5-4, the number one seeded Knights will face fourth seeded St. Joseph in the semifinals at Geick Park at noon on Saturday.
Posted on 10/20/22
Photos by Tristan Panday