In what seemed like a prized heavy-weight boxing match, Pompton Lakes and Eastern Christian reigned blows on one another, counterpunch after counterpunch, until only Eastern Christian was left standing, emerging victorious 4-3 in overtime, leaving the Cardinals to face what would feel like a long bus ride home.
Despite several quality chances in the early going of the first overtime for the Cardinals, it was Eastern Christian who scored the winning goal when junior Adam Dykstra pounced on a loose ball in the box, sending the home crowd into a frenzy on Tuesday evening.
Following the game, Pompton Lakes head coach Rob Edgar acknowledged that the team wasn’t able to take advantage of opportunities and his team needs to be better mentally.
“We need to have a sharper mentality,” he said. “More consistently we are good for the majority of a game with the exception of a few plays and that was the difference in the game. I thought we had a good effort for many of the players and we just weren’t able to find the net at times or make the right play.”
The Cardinals opened the scoring when they combined quality possession and technical passing, eventually unlocking Eastern Christian’s defense and finding the back of the net off the foot of senior Amer Jarri. Running onto a chipped ball behind Eastern Christian’s backline and looking at a one-on-one with Eastern Christian senior goalie Jeff Versnell, Jarri calmly beat Versnell and slotted it into the back of the net.
Edgar said the game plan going into the match was the same as it has been all year.