At practice on Thursday afternoon, Morristown head coach Brian Kiernan told senior Michael Crowley he had “three good goals in him” and he was counting on Crowley to deliver game-winners. It didn’t take too long for Crowley to live up to his coach’s high expectations.
Crowley scored in overtime to lift the Colonials to a 3-2 comeback victory over Parsippany Hills on Friday. He also had the second of Morristown’s two comeback goals within a minute midway through the second half. They were his first goals of the season, and the first game-winner of his high school career.
“I knew they’d come, and they did in OT,” Crowley said. “I’ve never been in a tight overtime like this, especially with a team we need to beat.”
Sophomore midfielder Ammer Soliman had given the host Vikings their first lead of the season with his header off the near post 10 minutes into the second half. But Morristown (2-1-1) was able to rebound and tie the score on a deflected own-goal just seven minutes later, taking the lead shortly after that as Justin Sandelli connected with Crowley.
Parsippany Hills juniors Ben Frigeri and Christian Buitrago exploited their long-time partnership to tie the score again with just two minutes to play in regulation. Frigeri took a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box, but Morristown goalkeeper Conor Manning was able to block Buitrago’s running header and a defender cleared the ball out for a corner kick. Frigeri then took that corner, and this time Buitrago’s header landed in the back of the net.
The young Vikings (0-5) have yet to win this fall, but they’re drawing hope and inspiration from Mendham, the No. 16 seed which knocked them off on the way to the NJSIAA Group III semifinal a year ago.
“Maybe we can make a great comeback too, be the Mendham of this year,” Soliman said. “Even though we started with a bad record, we’re getting experience. We will improve.”
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GOALS: (M) Michael Crowley 2, own goal; (PH) Ammer Soliman, Christian Buitrago. ASSISTS: (M) Justin Sandelli, Chris Haralampoudis; (PH) Ben Frigeri 2. SAVES: (M) Conor Manning 4; (PH) Jimmy Gauff 6.