Florham Park, NJ – Springfield Dragons came to Florham Park on Sunday and out muscled the Firestorm in 90 degree heat. The Dragons came out on top 4-3 in which the Firestorm showed lots of grit and team spirit by keeping themselves connected to the game.
The contest between the 2 undefeated competitors was played under difficult conditions with the heat peaking into the low 90s at Emmett Field. Springfield came to town packing some physical players and offensive weapons.
However scoring opened up quick when Jack Galante, one of the days stalwarts, poked one past the goal keeper in the 4th minute from a long cross into the mixer by Jack Garing
“The kid (Galante) is a true poacher. Hovering around the goal mouth looking to clean up” Coach Garing said when leaving the pitch on Sunday. “One of his (Galante) best games ever.”
Springfield had a lot of weapons of their own that proved to be trouble at times for the Firestorm defense. Tall and fast forward with great shots kept Garing, Rocco Santillan and Matty O’Leary busy at times in the first half on the negative end of the pitch. Net minder Leif Youngren had an outstanding game coming up with some huge save in the first half. However, the visitors were able to get on the score sheet with the games next 3 goals which included a penalty kick going into the half.
With the home team down 3-1 Colin Heinold broke free with an unassisted goal in the 39th minute keeping the contest close.
The boys kept the pressure up as the game was mostly played on the positive side of the pitch. Many scrambles and chances left on the field with The Dragons being kept on their toes.
An unlucky break down saw the visiting team go up 4-2 late in the second half.
With their heads held up and a firestorm in their hearts, the boys kept pressing the game as O’Leary moved up from his stopper role into pressing center midfield. This aggressive style of play led to a free kick about 25 yards out in the center of the pitch. Winger Bryce Cicchino stepped up and knocked the dead ball into the corner in the 59th minute energizing the home team down the stretch. It was a great overall performance by Cicchino after a days work.
But it was the ref whistle a minute later ending the days contest between the 2 first place teams.
Outstanding efforts in the midfield and defense by veteran Teddy Petro and newcomer Reid Baldwin. Chase Sugg also put in a solid effort once again up front as a lone striker.
Jack Botwin added a lethal component to the net minding position with his great ability to launch the ball from one end of the pitch to the other.
Assistant Coach VIc Santillan was mentioned “We (Firestorm) feel short today but displayed tremendous grit in unseasonably hot day”
Firestorm head up to face a familiar foe next Sunday at Pomlakes/Riverdale where they got their first win ever in the Spring 2017 campaign