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Montville gets the 'golden goal' that downs Pequannock

Saturday, November 10, 2001

By Dan Kedem Correspondent

MONTVILLE - Emotions ran high in the North 2 Group 2 boys soccer sectional final between Pequannock and Montville in r on Friday afternoon. Coaches yelled at referees, referees yelled at coaches, and players from both teams were constantly cautioned or penalized throughout the game.

Like clockwork, the referees blew their whistles every few seconds before either team had the opportunity to make its way down the field. But it was Montville that emerged victorious after Philippe Cardona delivered the "golden goal" five minutes into the second overtime for the 2-1 win.

"That was intense. Pequannock beat us twice in double overtime so we knew what we were up against," said Cardona. "As teams I think we are identical. This game boiled down to who wanted it more - and toward the end of the game, it looked like we did. "

Throughout the first half, Pequannock appeared to have an edge over Montville. The Panthers consistently out-hustled their opponent to the ball and got off more shots on goal. At 21:00 into the game, mid-fielder Bjorn Wespestad volleyed an overhead pass to Kevin Holmes, who eluded an oncoming defender and chipped one past the keeper to give Pequannock a 1-0 lead.

Less than two minutes later, a tripping call awarded Montville a free penalty kick. From 26 yards out, Eric Fishman curved the ball around the defensive wall and out of the keeper's reach to tie the game 1-1.

"I just hit the ball as hard as I could and luckily it went in the net," said Fishman. "We knew Pequannock was going to come out hard, they're a great team. This was a crazy game but we were not going to lose; we knew that much."

Pequannock had its defense focused on opposing striker Phil Motano. Similarly Montville often double and triple-teamed Tim Kitchell. Fluid in passing and leading the Panthers in goals this season, Kitchell's presence on the field is a threat to all opponents. And to Montville's credit, they did a good job putting Kitchell off his game.

Midway through the second half, Kitchell received his second yellow card and was ejected from the game. Kitchell's ejection was the turning point for Montville as it took command of midfield possession and began to swarm the Panther net.

"I lost my head out on the field and I hurt my team that way," said Kitchell. "I should have been out there longer but we have a great team who can play without me. We played without two of our three captains for the last 25 minutes of the game and we still played tough. The ball didn't take a lucky bounce for us like it did for them - so be it."

"This has been going back and forth. We have played Pequannock four times and it has been a one-goal game every time," said Montville coach Peter Miller. "We are two evenly matched teams. It came down to who was going to make a mistake and who was going to put more effort into it. In the first half, Pequannock dominated the ball.

"We stayed alive mentally by quickly tying up the game," continued Miller. "And after Kitchell got ejected, our boys felt they had an edge. We picked up the pace and carried that momentum into overtime."

Montville will take on Harrison in the state Group 2 semifinals. The Blue Tide topped Ramsey in the North 1, Group 2 final on Friday.




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