Despite the absence of star senior forward Aaron Freeman on Monday, the Piscataway High School boys soccer team still had to play on as they faced Bishop Ahr in a Greater Middlesex Conference intra-divisional game.
Behind a first half goal from senior George Nesler and a second half goal from senior Dylan Tsague, the Chiefs were able to fend off the Trojans for a 2-1 victory even without Freeman.
“The guys rely a lot on (Freeman), sometimes he picks us up,” Piscataway coach Dave Hilgert said. “He’s able to create a lot of space for other players, so it makes it much easier in the midfield for us and it creates space on offense. He’s dangerous all over the field.”
Without Freeman, who will be back for Piscataway’s next game on Wednesday against Old Bridge, Nesler and Tsague were two of several Chiefs who stepped up.
Nesler scored the first Piscataway (2-3) goal in the 22nd minute into an empty net after Bishop Ahr keeper Scott Licari came out of the goal to try to stop a shot.
Tsague built on to the Chiefs’ lead in the 56th minute after he put home a shot off a feed from his twin brother, Yvans, that deflected off the hands of Licari and rattled in off the left post.
“(The goal) was pretty lucky, I think, because it bounced off and then (Licari) tipped it,” Dylan said. “A goal’s a goal so I’ll take it.”
Dylan and Yvans were two Piscataway players out of position, as they played up top a lot at forward on Monday after normally playing mainly in the midfield.
“It was a little tough because I had to get acquainted to the spot,” Dylan said. “The runs caught me offsides a little bit.”
Tsague’s goal ended up being the difference though as Bishop Ahr (1-4-1) cut its deficit to 2-1 in the 62nd minute as Ryan Ruzicki scored on a penalty kick.
The Trojans came close to tying the game in the final minutes, but had two shots sail over the crossbar. Licari and Piscataway goalie Zack Tuttle each finished with eight saves.
The win, Hilgert hopes, will give his team some momentum as they head back into a string of games within the always tough Red Division.
“Every game (in the Red Division) is a battle, so I was hoping going into today someone can step up and build some confidence heading back into Red Division games,” Hilgert said.
In Girls Games
PLAINFIELD 3, ROSELLE PARK 2: Aylin Linares, Aslin Cabrera, and Yeni Trujillo all scored goals for Plainfield (3-2). Cabrera also added three assists.
MANVILLE 7, SOUTH AMBOY 2: Nataly Brito tallied two goals for Manville as the Mustangs had six players score goals. Stephanie Gay and Kerenn Irias accounted for the South Amboy goals.