By Sean Simmons
MIDDLETOWN – Playing without Scott Thomsen and Nick Villani, the top-seeded Christian Brothers Academy Colts got all they could handle from the 16th-seeded Rumson-Fair Haven Bulldogs in a Shore Conference Tournament Round of 16 matchup on Saturday afternoon.
Dan Pizzimenti scored a golden goal just 1:24 into overtime to lead the reigning SCT champion Colts to a thrilling 2-1 come from behind victory against the Bulldogs (11-5).
“We knew that we needed to keep up the pressure and we would eventually get a goal,” Pizzimenti said. “Rumson-Fair Haven is a physical team and we have been playing really well ever since we beat Delbarton in our season opener.”
CBA fell behind for just the second time this season when Rumson-Fair Haven’s Pete Martin scored off a feed from Ben Alderoty after a long throw in from Chris Lorenz 20 minutes into the match to give the Bulldogs an early 1-0 lead.
“I thought that Rumson-Fair Haven played very well and I told our kids to stay positive,” CBA head coach Dan Keane said.
The Colts, who outshot Rumson-Fair Haven 16-7, tied the game at 1-1 on a header by Matt Jelinsky early in the second half. Chris Thorsheim picked up the assist.
CBA had an excellent scoring chance midway through the second half when Robert Cartas drilled a shot, but Rumson-Fair Haven goalie Chris Tierney made a huge save.
“Chris is a CBA transfer and he wanted to go out and show what he could do against his old team,” Rumson-Fair Haven head coach Jon Reynolds said. “He did a great job for us and made some key saves to keep us in the game.”
During overtime, Pizzimenti headed the ball past Tierney off a set-up from Alex Lazzaro to seal the win for the Colts.
“CBA came into the game ranked fifth in the country and now we realize that we can play with the better teams,” Reynolds said. “It was a tremendous game and this gives us a lot of confidence heading into the State Tournament.”
On Tuesday, the unbeaten Colts (15-0) defeated the 24th-seeded Point Boro Panthers, 6-2 in a SCT quarterfinal matchup and were led by a Robert Cartas hat trick. CBA is set to face Toms River North in the SCT semifinals on Thursday at Summerfield School in Neptune in a rematch of last year’s SCT final, a 3-0 Colts win.