Knights’ solid season comes to abrupt end

Goals were hard to come by for the Old Bridge High School boys soccer team this fall, but fortunately for the Knights, they didn’t give up too many goals against.

The result was a solid 7-8-1 campaign that ended on Tuesday with a loss to defending sectional champion Rancocas Valley, 5-0, in their Central Jersey Group IV opener.

Prior to Tues-day’s loss, Old Bridge had held its opponents scoreless on four occasions and in nine other contests permitted just one goal, including a 1-0 loss on Thursday to East Brunswick in the quarterfinals of the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Tournament.

“The entire team looked at it as their responsibility to play defense,” coach Rich Mould said. “We certainly made it tough for our opponents and that’s a good thing because we had difficulty scoring ourselves.”

Senior goaltender Rani Sbaeh was solid (spectacular at times) throughout the campaign. Sweeper Chris Gahagan and stopper Drew Donoghue, both juniors, combined with fullbacks Paul Racioppi and Ryan Lancelot, a sophomore, to keep the opposition at bay. Dan Rubino, Ken Giordano and sophomore Vin Lovallo were valuable reserves.

In the middle, Dan Galletta, B.J. Kiss, Chris Piassek and Dave DeLucia played well in controlling the tempo of the game. DeLucia helped the offense with his four goals and three assists. Juniors Sean Davila, Ryan Habe and Sheriff Showonmi came off the bench.

Up front, Greg Reardon led the team with six goals and three assists, while Raye Reyes had four goals and four assists. Rafael Vasco and freshman Mike Jolibois rounded out the forward corps.

“Our offense had been working hard, but we needed to get more shots,” Mould said. “All of our games (were) close and that’s a credit to the entire team’s work ethic.”

— Warren Rappleyea