(Central Jersey) Real Central NJ Soccer’s USL League Two team won their second match in a row, topping Lehigh Valley United at Rider University’s Ben Cohen Field on Friday, June 2nd. The 4-1 home victory comes after an away win at Lehigh on Memorial Day weekend.
After a 90-minute lightning delay, RCNJ came out strongly, scoring in the second minute. Midfielder, Daniel Tittelmayer of Delran, pressed, won the ball about 35 yards from goal, and put a splitting through-ball into space for Canadian winger, Nico Theberge to run onto. The Mid-America Nazarene University player made a run toward the endline and hit a hard low cross toward Louisville University attacker, Sammy Murphy, to slot into the lower right corner.
Just four minutes later, Lafayette attacker Hale Lombard nearly scored off a cross from Rider University defender, Martin Chladek, but it went just wide. Lehigh Valley penetrated into the final third several times over the next fifteen minutes but the RCNJ back line, including Syracuse University’s Gavin Wigg and Princeton University’s Stephen Duncan, forced only shots from outside the box. Goalkeeper, Eric Wnorowski of Mantoloking, had six saves but was really only tested once.
“It was great to get another three points tonight that was very crucial for our season,” said Player of the Match Wigg. “The attack did their job and bagged three in the first half, which put the game to bed early and made the job for [team Captain] Stephen [Duncan] and I much easier.”
Real Central NJ’s second goal and eventual game-winner came in the 26th minute. A Lehigh attack was broken up in the defensive third by Murphy, who played short to Noah Levy of Scotch Plains. Levy hit a direct ball over the Lehigh back line into space for third-year RCNJ player, Justin Brunow of Hamilton, to collect. Brunow, a LaSalle University senior, found his way into the box but was covered by two defenders. He was able to fake left, then shift right to hit a right-footed bullet into the far side netting.
Chladek put RCNJ up 3-0 in the 35th minute off a well-hit corner from Theberge, and Yardley’s Randy Dickersbach, who attends Rochester Institute of Technology, put away a left-footed strike from 18-yards out off a flick-on from Princeton University’s Danny Ittycheria of Rumson. Lehigh’s Colin Griffith scored a consolation goal in the 77th minute. While pushing forward, Griffith earned a penalty, which he subsequently put wide off the right post for a goal kick.
“It was a complete performance by the guys,” said head men’s coach Brian Woods. “We’ve been working hard and had some close matches to start the season without being able to put the ball in the back of the net. I think this game will give the guys a lot of confidence going into the heart of the season.”
The next Real Central NJ Soccer men’s match is Wednesday, June 7th at 7 pm at Rider University’s Ben Cohen Field. The club’s women’s team returns home on Monday, June 12th, also at 7 pm. All matches feature Rider’s Bronc Bite’s food truck and adult beverages are available for purchase from Blend Bar & Bistro.
This year marks the club’s third May-July season and follows on the heels of the club announcing that it is working with the United Soccer League (USL) to explore the potential of bringing professional soccer to Central Jersey. The current team rosters primarily consist of collegiate players, many with the talent to become professional players.
Photos: By Ben Rowe
Photo 1: RCNJ Starting Lineup in the 4-1 win against Lehigh Valley United on Friday, June 2.
Photo 2: Real Central NJ Attacker Hale Lombard Leaps for a Header early in the first half.
These programs are independently owned and operated by Real Central NJ Soccer. Real Central NJ Soccer’s USL2 and WPSL programs are not affiliated with Rider University.