Photos by Rich Morris/courtesy of SHP. Seton Hall Prep (white uniforms) vs. Millburn, Essex County Tournament final, Oct. 28, in Caldwell.
CALDWELL, NJ – The Seton Hall Prep varsity soccer team captured its fifth Essex County Tournament title, defeating Millburn, 2-1, in double overtime in the championship game Saturday night, Oct. 28, at Bonnel Field at Caldwell High School.
It was the Pirates’ fourth consecutive appearance in the finals and second title during that period. The Pirates improved to a 19-2-1 record.
Sophomore forward Aidan Dunphy passed it to senior defenseman Adam Silva who crossed it to junior midfielder Jon Ned, who buried the golden goal with 4:00 left in the second OT period for the game winner. Millburn, the No. 3 seed, sent the game into overtime when it scored to tie the match at 1-1 with :31 left in the second half.
SHP, the No. 1 seed, opened the scoring when senior midfielder Joe Cubero took a Jon Ned pass and scored into the lower left hand corner for the first goal of the game with 12:56 left in the first half. The Pirates’ defense was great as they held Millburn without a shot on goal until 14:30 left in the second half and Liam Bertrand finished with two saves.
After the game, Ned, who scored his 12th goal of the season, said, “I knew where to be when Adam received the pass from Aidan and I knew he was going to send it to me and he did and I buried it home. This is awesome; now we go onto the States.”
Cubero added, “It feels amazing. We played our best today especially in the overtime period.”
Senior captain Nick Kriak commented, “We did not hang our heads after Millburn tied the score late in the match. We rose to the occasion and proved that we are champions.”
Marty Berman, who has been the SHP head coach for 32 years, said, “I give our kids a ton of credit. After Millburn’s goal to tie the score late, you’re so emotionally devastated, I just tried to get the kids regenerated. It feels great to win the ECT title. I am speechless the way it happened.”
On Wednesday, Oct. 25, they traveled to William “Doc” Ellis Memorial Stadium at Belleville HS to take on fourth-seeded West Orange High School in the ECT semifinals. SHP won, 3-0. Dunphy opened the scoring with 11:50 left in the first half on a rebound of a Adam Silva shot. Dunphy made it 2-0 with 4:32 left from a pass from junior midfielder Brian Zimmermann. They closed out the scoring when Adam Silva blasted a shot from 25 yards out on an assist by senior defenseman Rocco Capozza with 27:31 left in the second half.
The Pirates are ranked in the following polls:: TopDrawerSoccer.Com: New Jersey – #3, East Region – #4, Fab 50 – #23.
USA Today/United Soccer Coaches: Region III – #7
News 12-Varsity: New Jersey – #2, Tri-State – #2.
NJ.Com: Top 20 – #2, Non-Public Schools – #2, Super Essex Conference – #1.
SHP, seeded No. 2, will open NJSIAA North Jersey Non-Public “A” sttte Tournament play on Friday, Nov. 3, at the Brendan P. Tevlin Memorial field against the winner of the 10th-seeded Paramus Catholic and seventh-seeded St. Joseph (Montvale) at 2 p.m.