By: Brad Banaszynski
The Caldwell Boys Soccer team has really proved themselves as a program in the past couple years. Last year, they were able to fight their way through multiple rounds of the Essex County tournament, and put on an outstanding battle up against Seton Hall Prep, currently ranked the number nine team in the country according to the Fall FAB 50, where they faced a hard fought defeat. Later in last year’s season, the boys advanced themselves into the State Tournament semi-finals against Harrison.
After a difficult 90 minutes, the whistle blew and the boys faced a devastating 1-0 loss which marked the end of the season. However, last year’s hard work and dedication did not go unanswered. This year, the boy’s were bumped up into the American division of the Super Essex Conference because of their impressive fourteen win season from last year. The American Division includes power-house schools ranked among the top fifteen in the state such as Montclair, Seton Hall Prep, and Livingston. Being bumped into a higher division, there is always expected to be some rough patches, but the boys have managed to cope very well with challenges this season. With an eight win and seven loss record, the boys are nearing the end of the season. They faced a tough loss against rival West Essex High School on Wednesday, October 22nd by one goal. It’s hard to say that the score reflected the play of the game.
After Caldwell dominated possession and ended with more shots on goal, opponent West Essex was able to sneak away with the win off of a penalty kick from a handball in the box, also known as the eighteen yard line that backs into the goal. Since the Essex County tournament is now out of the picture the boys have two more regular season games left before the State tournament: Newark Tech and West Orange. The boys are really hoping to make a run in the State tournament this year. When asked about the tournament senior, Captain Kenny Barone added, “As a team we feel as if we have not reached our full potential yet, so we’re hoping that we can peak at the right time and make a run at a state title.” After contending with the top teams in the state all season a sectional title is not out of the question.
The top competition in Caldwell’s sectional bracket will be Madison and Garfield who are known to vigorous fight. The huge turnout of student supporters was greatly welcomed at the West Essex game in the Essex County tournament and would be highly appreciated in the State Tournament. Also, on behalf of the Caldron we would like to congratulate senior Stefano Russillo on his commitment to play Division I Soccer at UMass-Amherst and wish the rest of the Boy’s Soccer team the best of luck for the rest of the season.