RUTHERFORD – Five games into his senior season with the Rutherford soccer team and Victor Maradiaga had yet to score a single goal. It’s not a statistic that a forward would be proud of.
“I had been practicing hard,” Maradiaga said. “I am glad that I have the confidence of my coach [John Randazzo]. I knew that I had to score.”
With the clock winding down toward a typical Rutherford overtime meeting with rival Glen Rock and neither team having found the net, Maradiaga picked the perfect time to collect his first goal.
Maradiaga took a long crossing pass from freshman Charlie Maslag, carried the ball for about 10 yards, then unleashed a right-footed blast that eluded Glen Rock’s Luke Fisher with 17 minutes remaining in regulation. That gave Rutherford a well-earned 1-0 victory at Tryon Field.
“It’s a huge win for us,” Maradiaga said. “Glen Rock is a great team with a lot of talented players. When Charlie gave me the perfect pass, I thought that here was my chance.”
“It was big,” Randazzo said. “We finally got one to bounce our way.”
The victory improved the Bulldogs’ record to 2-3-1, while the Panthers dropped to 4-2. Incredibly, four of the last six meetings between the two had gone to overtime — but Maradiaga wanted no part of the extra session.
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