Florham Park NJ – The U10B Firestorm of Florham Park played host to an undefeated Montville Matrix who are on a 13 game unbeaten streak going back to the Fall 2016. The evenly contested match proved to be a heartbreaker for boys in blue Sunday at Emmett Field as they came off with their first draw of the season Still undefeated with a 3-0-1 the Firestorm sit atop of their flight ahead of Montville only by goal differential with the making of a interesting tail end to the spring campaign.
The game seemed to have favored Florham Park as the road team came down with enough players to field a team without any substitutions.
Skipper Luke Ferrara who has been an outstanding figure in the Firestorm defense was eager to score. A solo effort found him taking the ball down the entire field and easily finding the back of the onion bag leaving The Matrix players stunned in his trail giving the lead to the home side 1 nil.
The visitors got on the score sheet just before halftime with a stellar run up the middle proving to be too fast for The Firestorm defense at that time.
The second half started out great for the home team when leading goal scorer Matty O’Leary notched his 5th goal of the season. His hard work paid off as he managed to free up some space to take a shot on goal only to follow up the rebound past The Matrix’s net minder.
The Matrix started to flex their muscles in their bid to claim top spot with a series of shots and shot attempts on Firestorm. Shots were being blocked and cleared off the line by defenders Ferrara, Jack Garing and Rocco Santillan. Ultimately the lead was lost when yet another goal line scramble lead to The Matrix tying the game at 2’s
“Our (Firestorm) defense had to work had and withstand lots of pressure at different periods of the game.” Coach Sanitillan remarked.
A controversial play late in the second half saw Jack Galante with a clear break away chance that was called back for being in an offside position. Coach Garing discreetly informed the referee that the interpretation of the offside rule was incorrect.
“We had worked on the offside rule on the training ground coming into the game. He (Galante) was in the right position with a chance to be a headline. Those decisions will always come up and we need to get to the point where a whistle does not have an impact to the result”
Despite a last minute surge finding Ferrara pushing up the field with Galante and Chase Sugg firing off shots on the positive end, the whistle sounded at 2-2
Net minders Jack Botwin and Leif Youngren came up with great saves to help their team in their efforts for the day.
The tie game finds The Florham Park Firestorm still sitting in first place on goal differential. Last season after 4 games they had 24 goals scored upon them, this year, they are at 4 goals against showing the importance of a proper defense.
Next weekend the team will find themselves on the road for a Saturday/Sunday double header in Summit then out to Caldwell.