OP Soccer Rolls on in the Union County Tournament

Jacob Cordeiro, Staff Writer

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After defeating Johnson 3-0, the Rams set themselves up for a Union County Tournament 2nd round clash away with the 5th seed, Union. Having previously lost to Union twice before in very close games, the boys were fired up to seek revenge. The winner of the match would take on 4th seeded Scotch Plains-Fanwood in the quarterfinals. 

 

Both teams started with high energy and defended pretty compactly, making it hard for the opposition to break them down. Very few chances came for either side throughout the game as much of the play took place in the midfield. The game was a stalemate at halftime and the team talk pumped the Rams up even more. On several occasions, OP drew fouls close to the 18-yard box but failed to convert. Crosses were flying left and right but nothing was seen as extremely threatening. The second half came to an end and the game was headed to overtime. Overtime in the UCT consists of two 10 minute periods and the first team to score would win the game. If neither team would be able to do so, penalties would be the last resort. The first period of overtime finished 0-0, and during the second with a few minutes remaining, Nick Carnavale came closest to finding the back of the net with a volley just missing the target. To penalties it went, and Union kicked first. The Farmers missed their first spot-kick and so did OP. Both teams made their second penalty as Marcelo Freire banged home his. Soon enough, Nick Jardim calmly slotted home the ball before Owen Lines placed his kick perfectly into the bottom left corner. As the shootout entered its fifth round, the teams were tied at 3. Then, Jack Coyne heroically saved Union’s fifth penalty and an Oratory goal on the next kick meant an Oratory win. Jacob Cordeiro stepped up and smashed home the penalty, sending the Rams into the quarterfinals of the UCT.

 

OP pulled off a big win against another top-ranked Union County team. The defense along with goalie Jack Coyne once again held its own and earned its third straight clean sheet. The Rams are on an ultimate high right now and are confident due to their current win streak. The next county game is Saturday, the 12th of October, at Scotch Plains-Fanwood, and the boys need all Rowdies in attendance.

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