Steven Hadley may not remember his first varsity goal. But his Delbarton teammates will likely be talking about it for years.
Hadley, a Green Wave freshman, scored late in the 2-0 victory against Randolph in the Morris County Tournament final on Saturday night. He took a pass from senior Michael Moshier, turned and shot low, giving Delbarton a bit of much-needed breathing room with six minutes to play.
Moshier had scored the Green Waves first goal, finally cracking the Rams’ stalwart back line on a rebound with 13:08 left.
“It happened so fast,” Hadley said. “It’s so special. To score my first goal in the final, it’s amazing. … It was everything. I can’t describe it.”
Randolph head coach George Mousis ruefully called it history repeating, a reference to Delbarton’s 2-0 NJAC-National victory on Oct. 8. Goalkeeper Greg Moserowitz and the Rams’ defenders rose to the challenge once again, with four saves in the MCT final. Sixth-seeded Randolph (10-4-4) took particular pride in overachieving in the MCT after the graduation of 17 seniors, earning its first trip to the final since winning the title in 1996.
But once again, the Rams’ offense couldn’t back up its defense. Randolph had three 1-0 victories in the MCT, against Dover, Mountain Lakes and Mendham — with sophomore Mateo Panizza scoring each time. But Delbarton allowed him few solid opportunities on Saturday night.
“We play as a team. We play hard. We play together,” Mousis said. “We never give up. … They surprised me. They’ve taken it to another level. … We held our own, and represented Randolph with pride.”
Delbarton goalkeeper Scott Forbes made two saves in each half to pick up his fourth straight MCT shutout on Saturday. The top-seeded Green Wave (18-1-1) did not give up a goal in the MCT, outscoring Chatham, Montville, Morristown and now Randolph, 13-0. Forbes now has nine clean sheets in 11 MCT matches dating back to his freshman year.
The Green Wave has 18 shutouts overall — one short of the school record — and 13 in a row.
This is Delbarton’s first MCT title since 2008, though the team had played for three in a row. Several members of last year’s team, which fell in overtime in the MCT final but rebounded to win the NJSIAA Non-Public A crown, reached out with encouragement and advice for the current players during the week.
“The last two years definitely taught us a lesson,” said Green Wave senior defender Kevin Molnar, a Mendham resident who was named the MCT MVP. “We were a bit complacent the past two years, but we had really solid teams. This year, we were able to know what happened… how badly it felt to be so close. They inspired the whole team to work hard and aspire to win this.”
Said Moshier, “It wipes away all the regrets we had. It feels even better this year.”