On Thursday evening, the Christian Brothers Academy lacrosse team came back to the scene of their first loss of the season when the No. 5 seed Colts visited No. 4 seed Holmdel in a Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinal game.
Back on April 6, it was Holmdel that came away with a one-goal victory but the Colts reversed their fortune this time with a dramatic 9-8 victory over Holmdel.
The Colts rallied from a one-goal deficit with 4:32 left as they scored two goals in the final 3:55 capped by Matt McGuiness’ game-winning goal with 2:56 left.
The victory vaulted the Colts into Saturday’s 11 a.m. SCT semifinal game against top-seeded Southern at the Summerfield School in Neptune.
“It was a back-and-forth game with both teams fighting toward the finish,” CBA coach Dave Santos said. “You saw them not give up and they got the ball in their end with four seconds left and they got off a good shot.”
CBA (12-3) led 6-5 after three quarters and Holmdel’s Justin Russo scored with 10:46 left to tie it. CBA’s Thomas Deiner gave his team the lead again with his goal with 8:26 left. Holmdel’s Mike Mattera scored the next two goals with 7:13 and 4:32 left to give the Hornets (9-5) an 8-7 lead.
“Mattera is a great player. He’s just a big, strong, athletic kid and he’s probably going to have a great college career,” Holmdel coach Sal Guastella said. “He’s a second midfielder and we use him sometimes on the first midfield when we load up on midfielders. He does everything for us. He’s a really good defender and he’s a really good offensive player.”
After Mattera forced a lead change, the Colts took the lead back once and for all. First, Deiner ran around the back of the net to the front left side to score on an underhanded, scoop shot to tie the game with 3:55 remaining. Then, McGuiness did the exact same thing as Deiner from the exact same spot for the game-clinching score with 2:56 left.
“We wanted this victory really bad. Revenge was on our mind the whole time and we got that on Thursday,” Deiner said. “We hadn’t played this well the whole season and I think it was good that we started now because our next game is going to be a tough game against No. 1 seed Southern.”
Holmdel never gave up and had several chances in the final two minutes that kept fans from both teams on the edge of their seats.
“We needed that one defensive stand with 20 seconds left and our defensive midfielders and our defense led by captain Ryan Logan and goalie Jack Wilson, both in a key spot, got us a stop,” Santos said. “That’s what we needed, it came down to that one stop.”
CBA’s Deiner finished with four goals and two assists. McGuiness added three goals and one assist and Dan Cammarata had two goals and one assist.
Holmdel’s Russo finished with a three goals, Joe Tages added two goals and two assists and Mattera had those two goals.
“It was a close game the last time we played them and we knew it would be on Thursday,” Guastella said.