Anytime the Bernards and North Plainfield High School boys soccer teams get together, the final outcome is usually tight. And Thursday afternoon’s tilt wasn’t any different.
Josh Neptune hit Danny Torres with a beautifully placed through ball and Torres put it home 33 seconds in the second overtime and Bernards got past North Plainfield, 2-1, at Krausche Field.
“I think (Bernards) played very well. I knew they would,” said Bernards coach Joe Laspada. “They always play us well. The games are always close, and I knew we were going to have a handful with them.”
The Canucks controlled the game’s tempo for most of the game, especially in the first half when they outshot the Mountaineers 15-5.
Christian’s Medina used his wealth of speed and beat a pair of Bernards’ defenders on the way to blasting home a goal with 8:58 last in the first half for a 1-0 lead.
“We didn’t take advantage of what we needed to do early on and they did,” Laspada said.
The lead would remain until the 18:30 mark of the second half.
Zach Smith fired home a goal to level the score 1-1.
“We took advantage in the second half by making a few adjustments,” Laspada said.
That’s when the tide of the game turned, as the visitors began to take back some of the momentum.
“They did a better job of possessing the ball than we did (in the first half),” said “Laspada. “We put an extra guy in the midfield and slowed them down. We had to do that.”
“I think we didn’t do the things well we did do well in the first part of the game,” North Plainfield coach Chuck Henriques said.
The Canucks dropped to 4-5, with four of their losses coming in overtime. Including Thursday’s loss, they’ve fallen to Rutgers Prep, Gill St Bernard’s and Montgomery in an extra frame.
“We were winning in three of those games,” said Henriques. “Right now, this is a young team and we’re learning how to win games.”
The win upped Bernards’ ledger to 5-0-1, having gotten through the first part of its schedule unbeaten against both North and Gill.