By Garrett Rasko-Martinis | The Jersey Journal
It’s a given that every team wants to be playing its best brand of soccer when the state tournament rolls around.
So first-year head coach Christopher Garcia was happy to see what he described as his team’s strongest performance of the season when seventh-seeded Secaucus sped past No. 10 American History, 6-1, yesterday at Shetik Field in Secaucus in the opening round of the NJSIAA North 2, Group 1 tournament.
“We played well — I think this was our best game of the season,” he said. “They moved the ball around, touched it around — I can’t complain.”
The Patriots will host another tournament game after No. 15 Belvidere upset second-seeded Dayton 2-1 yesterday. The quarterfinal match will be held Thursday at 2 p.m.
In yesterday’s game, Secaucus (10-8-1) dominated in all facets. The Patriots displayed excellent teamwork and unselfishness in delivering crisp passes to keep the offense churning and the Bald Eagles off-balance.
“We worked on that a lot in practice yesterday,” Garcia said.
American History’s (8-8) only goal came off a perfectly-placed service kick near midfield by Kyree Owens that sailed just over the reach of Secaucus goalie Eric Quitiquit.
But the Patriots responded soon after when midfielder Sean O’Boyle put back in a rebound right in front of the net to give his team a 2-1 edge and the lead for good.
Secaucus forward Denis Duri scored twice, while Anthony Gomez, David Perez and Colin Walshe all added a goal apiece.
After playing so well in the tournament opener, Garcia wants to be sure his team doesn’t get cocky and keeps playing with the same intensity.
“Just stay focused, don’t get too confident,” he said. “If you get too confident, that’s when the other team makes you pay.”