Associated Press: Millburn, New Jersey
The Millburn boys soccer team beat division rival Montclair Kimberley Academy (MKA) 1-0 on Thursday Night to advance to 6-2-1 including an unblemished mark of 6-0 in the Super Essex County Conference Liberty Division. MKA fell to 5-4-2 and a 4-3-1 record in the division.
The win was a key win for the Millers, considering the Cougars were second place in the division before tonight’s game. The loss dropped the Cougars to fourth place in the division. The atmosphere at Nigel Field was more rowdy than usual, since the eight seniors on the team got their special moments on the field before the game with their families. Coach Robinson put a lineup together of all upper classmen as he honored their night, but also knew the significance of the game in terms of winning and losing. Robinson allowed seniors who usually don’t place a ton of minutes to shine under the lights, and then played some underclassmen off the bench.
A few seniors embraced the night and put together some terrific performances, like Drew Cohn for example. He not only scored the only goal, but was everywhere on the field, sacrificing his body to make some great hustle plays. In addition, Cohn managed all the corner kicks and he put them in perfectly. Cohn and Cougar Dylan Ladda were physical all night, Ladda even seeing a yellow card in the game. Another senior who rose to the occasion was Benji Prashker as he recorded the game’s only assist and showed his speed tonight, constantly splitting Cougar defenders with the ball.
The game itself was scoreless for the first half but Millburn dominated time of possession as they played it smart and didn’t try too many risky passes. The ball more often than not, was on MKA’s territory. The Millburn defense was strong, led by Junior Noah Schwab as he always seemed to be near the ball and knowing how to steal it. As the second half started, so did Millburn’s scoring chances. The Millers came very close to scoring on a lot of fast breaks and barely missed a few. Most were terrific crosses that were headed just a bit too high.
Eventually with around twenty minutes to go in regulation, Prashker led a fast break with Cohn on his side, It was a 2 on 1 situation where Prashker let the defender decide whether to attack the ball or prevent the pass to Cohn. The defender decided to attack the ball, setting up a great pass and perfect shot. Senior to senior on their night. It couldn’t be scripted any better for the Millers, who have not lost in their last six contests with a 5-0-1 record in that span.
The Millers travel to neighbor and rival Livingston on Thursday, October 13 at 4:00pm.
Photography by Julia Newman