WEST ORANGE, NJ – The nationally-ranked Seton Hall Prep varsity soccer team opened the season with a wild week, going 2-1 and playing two overtime matches. On Tuesday, Sept. 4 at Tevlin Memorial Field the Pirates came from behind to defeat Nutley, 4-3, in overtime. SHP opened the scoring just 1:38 into the first half when Lucas Ross scored on an assist by Skyler Storms. Garret Groeling connected on a penalty kick at 19:12 and another goal with 12:12 left to give Nutley a 2-1 lead.
SHP tied up the match at 10:01 when Aidan Dunphy scored on assists by Jon Ned and Brian Zimmermann. For Nutley, Groeling scored his third goal of the match to make it 3-2 at 9:35 and that was the score at the half. Dunphy tied the match at 3-3 just 8:35 into the second half on assists by Storms and Ned. That was the score when the final whistle sounded as the teams headed into overtime.
With just :31 remaining in the first overtime period Ross scored off assists by Christopher Angermund and Storms for the victory.
On Friday, Sept. 7, the Pirates hosted Montclair after the original game was postponed the day before because of excessive heat. It was an outstanding match as Montclair won 2-1 in double overtime. SHP opened the scoring with 20:22 left in the second half when Dunphy took a through ball from Ross and scored inside the right post. Montclair tied the match with 12:34 left and that was the way the score remained until Montclair scored with 1:57 left in the second overtime period off of a corner kick.
The next night SHP traveled to Westfield and defeated them, 4-3, coming from behind twice. Trailing 2-0, Rafael de la Torre connected on an assist by Ross with 3:20 left in the first half. Ross tied the score with 1:50 left on a penalty kick. Westfield retook the lead before Ross tied the score at 3-3 on an assist by Storms with 21:09 remaining in the match. Ross gave SHP its first lead of the night with 15:10 left on an assist by Dunphy.
POLLS: SHP is currently ranked # 11 in the country, #3 in the East Region, and #3 in New Jersey in the TopDrawerSoccer.Com polls. In the USA Today/United Soccer Coaches polls, SHP is ranked #5 in Region III and also received votes in the Super 25/National poll. In the NJ.Com polls, SHP is ranked #2 in New Jersey, #2 in the Non-Public Schools Group and #1 in the Super Essex Conference.
Photos by Rich Morris/courtesy of SHP: Pirates vs. Nutley.