HARRISON, NJ — The Seton Hall Prep soccer team opened the 2023 season going 1-0-1 last week.
On Friday night, Sept. 8, the Pirates traveled to Red Bull Arena in Harrison to take on Delbarton. The two Non-Public “A” North powers battled to a 3-3 double-overtime draw.
The Pirates opened the scoring when Delbarton was whistled for a hand ball in the box just 3:59 into the match and senior Edward Krupski scored on the penalty kick. Delbarton tied the score at 1-1 with 17:31 left in the first half on a penalty kick.
In the second half, the Pirates took a 2-1 lead when senior Wil Bauer sent a free kick to junior Lucas Mendes, who chipped it into the box and junior Benjamin Mills ran onto the ball and finished it with 29:43 left in the second half. Delbarton tied the score at 2-2 with 16:15 left.
With 4:42 left, the Green Wave took a 3-2 lead. With 2:03 left, Delbarton was whistled for a foul in the box and junior Daniel Dashkevich drilled home the tying penalty kick to tie the score at 3-3.
Both teams were scoreless in the two overtime periods, but Delbarton had an excellent shot which was stopped as senior goalie Ray Bonanno (10 saves) dove to his right in the final seconds of the first overtime period.
Following the game, Bonanno said about the save, “It was instinctive and I felt it as I dove to my right to make the save.” When asked about the penalty kick, Dashkevich said, “This was pretty nice to tie the game. There was a great atmosphere here at Red Bull Arena. I was never nervous. I knew what I had to do and drilled it home.”
Defender Will Bauer added, “For most of the night, I thought we did a really good job. Especially not just us as defenders, but the guys in the midfield and the forwards as well.”
SHP head coach Marty Berman, starting his 38th season, said, “I am very proud of the kids. They showed a lot of heart and how much depth we have. I was really happy about coming back, but we have a lot of room for improvement. Delbarton is really quick and moves the ball really well. We have got to get better, but this is a whole lot better than losing.”
The Pirates opened the season the previous day, defeating West Essex 4-1 at Brendan P. Tevlin Memorial Field in West Orange. Krupski scored two goals, Mendes scored one goal and had an assist and senior Miller Nelson scored the other goal. Other assists were by Mills, junior Jeremy Munoz and seniors Roan Sullivan and Nicholas Lapczynski.
Notes: Before the Delbarton match, both choirs from each school sang the national anthem and received a rousing applause from the crowd. Earlier in the afternoon, the Benedictines from Delbarton traveled to Seton Hall Prep and rehearsed with the C-Tonians. Dave Blazier, the Delbarton choir director, said, “Both choirs wanted to do this to show school spirit and camaraderie.” Michael Neglia, the Seton Hall Prep choir director, added, “This was a fantastic opportunity for the kids to perform in a venue like this and to show camaraderie between the schools.” After the match, both schools posed for a combined team picture.
In the Star-Ledger preseason poll, the Pirates were ranked No. 2 in New Jersey.
Photos Courtesy of Seton Hall Prep Athletics