Most onlookers wouldn’t accuse the Millville High School boys’ soccer team of playing the prettiest brand of the game, but the group continues to get the job done.
The Thunberbolts fended off visiting Buena on Thursday, 2-0, in a Cape-Atlantic League crossover game.
Forward Sirweah Quioh scored a first-half goal for Millville, while midfielder Dylan Mills added an insurance marker in the second half. The Bolts’ defense and goalkeeper Sean Matias also deserve credit. The unit combined to keep the Chiefs, which boast the area’s top-two scorers in Miguel Hernanez and AJ Gazzara, off the board.
“We knew coming out here that most of their talent was on the front line with guys like AJ (10 goals) and Miguel (11 goals),” Millville defender Rico Rivera said. “Our goal was just to shut them down the best we could and we figured that would take the rest of the team out of the game.”
Millville (6-1-1) had the better of the play in the first half and finally cashed in when Quioh carried the ball down the right side, hit the brakes and found a streaking Scot Price heading for the penalty area. Price was able to draw Buena (6-2) goalkeeper Jake Bleyhl out of position before finding Quioh with a return feed for an easy tap-in goal in the 31st minute.
It was Quioh’s fourth goal of the season and first since Sept. 10 in a 1-1 tie against Ocean City.
“Yeah, it’s been a little bit,” Quioh joked of his scoring drought. “I don’t know, if I missed that one I’d just have to go disappear.”
Buena had chances in the contest, but weren’t nearly as opportunistic as the Bolts.
Millville would make the Chiefs pay on a set piece midway through the second half.
Rivera sent a perfect ball to the back post from 35 yards out that Mills tracked down and headed by Bleyhl in the 57th minute for the two-goal advantage.
“I noticed my man wasn’t marking me too tight and I just took advantage of the space,” Mills said.
Buena, which suffered just its second loss of the season, was looking forward to the challenge of opposing Millville, which plays in the American Conference.
The Bolts were definitely a step up from the competition Buena has seen this season.
“They were just a good team that played real aggressive and they were able to sneak two through,” said Bleyhl, who made seven saves. “This was going to be a hard game. We knew that coming into it.”
The Chiefs could have closed the gap in the 67th minute, but midfielder Josue Guadarrama was stopped point-black by Matias in a one-on-one situation. Buena saw several other potential opportunities miss the target.
“We played hard, it was just one of those days,” Guadarrama said. “Our passes were a little off and we just couldn’t put things together.”
Both teams will be tested again today.
Millville travels to Absegami (5-1-1), while Buena hosts Woodstown (6-3), a favorite to win Group II South. Both games are 4 p.m.