Boys Soccer Senior Night

Brett Caminiti, Staff Writer

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On a night where eleven members of the boys’ soccer team were honored for their hard work and dedication throughout their years within the program, it was a junior who notched the decisive goal to give the Pioneers a huge 1-0 victory over their bitter rival from Berkeley Heights.

Lorik Berisha, a junior striker, was able to poke home a shot past the Highlander goalie with less than a minute to go in the first half to give New Providence their one and only goal.

However, the story of the game was the contributions all eleven seniors who started the match, especially those who don’t get normal playing time, gave the team throughout on both offense and defense.

“They’ve been great supporting the team and helping out all season long and they deserved to start tonight,” said New Providence head coach Jon Panella.  “Without them going out there and playing the first twenty minutes the way they did, I don’t know we win this game.”

James Marriot, a senior co-captain, was an essential part of the teams’ defense not only in tonight’s game but throughout the season, and he could not emphasize enough how much his senior teammates meant to the team in the game and over the course of his four year high school career.

“We are a really close team. Whether it’s the kids who normally sit in the bench or not, they always come to play and that showed on the field tonight and that’s why we won.””

— James Marriott

That stout defense limited Governor Livingston’s opportunities over the course of the game, and when they were able to penetrate through the back line, senior back-up goalie Sebastian Camacho, who started the first half, came up with a number of huge saves to keep the Highlanders of the board.

“I thought Matt Mondelli, James (Marriot), Conor (Vinaixa), and Yosef (Shamovsky) were really solid as a back four tonight,” said Panella.  “We had some good senior leadership out there and I’m very proud of the way they withstood the pressure, especially in the second half.”
Starting freshman net minder Dillon Konzelmann came into the game to replace Camacho, and he was able to secure the shutout with three second half saves to give the Pioneers the victory.

With the win, New Providence picked up their 6th triumph of the season heading into their regular season finale against Oratory in Summit on Thursday, and then the state playoffs.

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Boys Soccer Senior Night