Hornets knock off top-seeded Jaguars

Hornets knock off top-seeded Jaguars

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Hornets knock off top-seeded Jaguars

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NEPTUNE

The Holmdel boys soccer team earned another shot at the Shore Conference Tournament title after its semifinal win on Thursday night. The fourth-seeded Hornets upset top-seeded Jackson Memorial 3-1, handing them their first loss of the season.

Senior striker Zach Bond started the scoring for the Hornets, and finished it, ending the day with two goals for the Hornets. His first came in the 52nd minute off a PK after a handball was called in the box on the Jaguars.

For Bond, who already put away several PK’s for the Hornets (16-1) this year, nerves were not a factor as he stepped up to the line.

“I practice them all the time, and it’s more of a routine thing for me,” Bond said.

“I know I’m a goal scorer, so I want that feeling of taking that shot.”

Even if there was no pressure for Bond, the goal proved to be huge for the Hornets, who fell behind early in the 4th minute.

Anthony Mandola struck first for the Jaguars (20-1) off a cross from Matthew Fryc. The Jaguars secured that lead for the entire first half, until Bond equalized with the PK.

Holmdel head coach John Nacarlo saw his team play with more intensity in the second half.

“We got caught in the back early and fell down, but I couldn’t be more proud of the way the played after that goal,” Nacarlo said. “We didn’t get away from our style of play, possessing the ball in the back and just knocking it around.”

Nacarlo credits his team’s senior leadership, which stepped up at halftime when the Hornets trailed 1-0. Seniors Eric Bulvid, Bond, and keeper Mitch Walier were all vocal during halftime.

“That’s what you need to win games like this,” Nacarlo said. “They really showed leadership today, I’m proud of the entire team.”

It was extra special for Bulvid, who went down with an injury in the SCT semifinals last year, and now gets a shot at the title on Saturday night when the Hornets take on third-seeded Ocean.

After falling to CBA last year 4-0 in the SCT final, Nacarlo and his squad will look for a different outcome this year.

“It’s big to have our leader able to play for us in the finals,” Nacarlo said. “Hopefully we will be able to get it done against a tough opponent.”

Jason Kyriacou scored the second goal for the Hornets with an assist from Gino D’Agostino in the 62nd minute. Bond then put the game away in the 71st minute making a few players miss and tucking the ball into the left corner.

“I took the ball and just cut inside of a few guys,” Bond said. “I was able to get a lane and just shot the ball far corner for the goal.”

Bond and his teammates will be expecting a tough game from the Spartans, who share a similar style of play with the Hornets.

“They can knock the ball around a little bit, and we like to do the same thing,” Bond said. “It’s going to come down to who works harder on Saturday, and if we come out and play the way we did today, its going to be a good game.”

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