EAST BRUNSWICK With identical records coming into Thursday night’s game and essentially equal skill sets, it’s no surprise the boys soccer matchup between East Brunswick and Monroe High School ended in a tie.
The Bears and the Falcons ended at 1-1 during a highly contested and very chippy game, and now both teams stand at 10-2-1.
Kevin Senkus scored the dramatic game-tying goal for Monroe with 6:30 left. The sophomore received a cross and headed the ball into the right corner of the net.
“I wanted to score so badly at that point,” Senkus said. “When you have that motivation, you know you have to score. I just put it in the back of the net.”
The goal came after a scoring drought for both teams during the second half. East Brunswick scored its lone goal courtesy of junior Sahil Patel.
“It was a really nice cutback from Keysean (Brant-Sharp),” Patel said. “He found me open, and I had to pluck it away with my right foot into the right corner.”
The game was very physical throughout, with players from both sides falling into heaps after challenges. At one point, the game was delayed, and referees handed out multiple red cards.
While both teams had their respective opportunities in overtime, neither side could score a game-winner. The teams are so equally matched that it seemed only an egregious error would lead to a goal, and no such error occurred.“We are a fairly big, strong team,” East Brunswick coach Terry McKibbin said. “We are physical, so the game suited us well.”
After losing its previous two games, Monroe surely could have used the win. Instead, the Falcons were left with a tie.
“We needed to win, but we played well against a quality team, and hopefully things start breaking our way,” Monroe coach Steven Mackenzie said. “We’ll be fine.”
Like its opponent, East Brunswick wasn’t thrilled with the game’s result, especially after conceding a last-minute goal. This would have been the second win of the season against Monroe, but the Bears simply could not get a game-winner.
“Neither team is happy with a tie,” McKibbin said. “We had enough dangerous balls in front of the net, but we just didn’t get enough shots.”
Patel, seemingly the optimist, thinks a lot of good can come from this game.
“We played well, executed, and we can hold this with us,” Patel said. “We are disappointed, but we have to move on. We have GMCs soon, and I think we can win that.”
Staff Writer Daniel LoGiudice: email@example.com