Boys Soccer Season Ends With Loss in Group Semifinals
Johnson fell to North Plainfield, 3-0, but coach recognizes 'great season.'
The Records: The Johnson Crusaders (15-3-3) took on the North Plainfield Canucks (12-6-2) on Monday at 3 p.m. at home.
The Final Score: North Plainfield set the tone early with a controversial goal scored just four minutes into the game. The goal came off a North Plainfield corner kick. Johnson goalie Robbie Haddad jumped up to make the save, catching the ball mid-air, only to have it knocked loose by a North Plainfield forward and then kicked into the back of the net. The officials allowed the goal, saying Haddad never had complete possession of the ball. The early goal seemed to take the wind out of Johnson, who came out flat in the first half and never quite recovered. Also, halfway through the first half the Canucks added another goal off a rebound, making the score 2-0. Then, with a minute left in the first half, North Plainfield scored on a chip shot over the goalie to make the score 3-0 going into halftime.
The Crusaders came out determined in the second half and were able to keep North Plainfield off the board for the rest of the game. Unfortunately, the Crusaders weren't able to put up any points on offense either. The first half deficit was too much to overcome and the game—and the season—would end with a final score of 3-0.
The Injury: In the second half, Johnson senior right fullback, Pat Murphy, went down with a head injury after a hard collision with a North Plainfield player and did not return to the game.
The Hero: Senior Carmelo Andino, sweeper, played a great game and was solid all season.
The Quote: "That goal in the first four minutes left us battling back," said coach Dan House. "And North Plainfield moved the ball well, with a go-to player. It's a tough loss."
The Season: "We had a phenomenal season," said House. "We made it to the semifinals in the county tournament. We had 13 shutouts. The kids worked hard all season, and the coaches are proud of everybody."