Boys soccer caps off 2019 with state title

Connor Goodman, Sports Editor

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“Fantastic! It never gets old. To see Bernards High School student body and the Bernardsville community coming together and cheering and supporting the team was very inspiring for the boys. Our victories over Del Val (1-0), who beat us twice last year, to win the Conference Championship and Bridgewater (4-0), a group 4 school, to advance to the County Tournament, [were vital to the season],”  said soccer head coach Joe Laspada.

Boys Soccer, ranked 19th on NJ.com’s top 20 soccer teams in the state, topped off their 19-2-1 season with a State Championship.

On their State Championship run, they beat North Star Academy 3-2 in the first round of Sectionals, Madison 2-0 in the Quarterfinals, Caldwell 2-0 in the Sectional Semifinals, and topped off Harrison to advance to Group 2 State Semifinal. Bernards defeated Jefferson in the Semifinals to advance to the State Championship at Kean University.

Harrison was the toughest opponent for the team in the playoff run. In the freezing cold weather, it was a dog fight for Bernards.

Gilberto Ferriera scored the lone goal for Bernards and after a late goal for Harrison, it was tied 1-1 and went to extra time. No goals were scored during extra time, so it went to penalty kicks which saw Elliot Dietrich make two crucial saves to help advance Bernards to the State Tournament.

In the semifinals of the State Tournament, the team was considered to be the underdog, and NJ.com projected Jefferson to beat the boys 2-1.

Gilberto Ferriera and Hernan Goodoy-Vera both scored in the first half to give Bernards the early lead.

Nico Botti and Gilberto Ferriera assisted the goals to help lead Bernards to their first State Title appearance since 2016. Bernards defeated Jefferson 2-1.

At Kean University for the State Championship, the Mountaineers defeated Delran with a score of 2-0, with both goals being scored in the second half by Gregory Ferriera and Nico Botti.

With 9:37 left in the game, Gregory Ferriera scored on a 50-yard free-kick. The defense held their ground, as Delran struggled to put pressure on the defense.

Elliot Dietrich had seven saves on the day, which lead to his fourteenth clean sheet of the season. Captain Will Luik had a clutch header on defense that ended a heavy attack from Delran.

Will Luik said, “I am overzealous with joy, I honestly feel we are the best team in the world.”

Mac Myrtetus said, “It was an incredible feeling when the final whistle blew.” Seniors Mac Myrtetus and Nelson Ferreira are the lone Seniors leaving the team leaving vacancies for next years rosters.

After a very successful season for Bernards Boys Soccer, Gilberto Ferriera was the leading goal scorer with eighteen goals and contributed fifteen assists to help lead the offense.

The lone senior starter, Nelson Ferriera, contributed eleven goals and two assists. Keeper Elliott Dietrich held his own in the net with an outstanding 170 saves and fourteen clean sheets. The team finished with a 19-2-1 record and will try to go for back to back titles in 2020.