Oct 28, 2012
Spartans shut out Hornets for title
NEPTUNE — Ocean Township’s Tyler Nowak has always been confident when it comes to taking set pieces.
It showed at the 2012 Shore Conference Tournament finals on Saturday night. He finished two of them at the best possible time for the Spartans, leading them to a 2-0 win over Holmdel, and the SCT title.
His first one came in the second half during the 47th minute from just outside the 18 beating Holmdel keeper Mitch Walier near post.
“It found a hole in the wall, and went into the back of the net,” Nowak said.
His second one came from about 30 yards out, and locked up the game for the Spartans in the 71st minute.
There were some nerves for Nowak and his team heading into the final after watching Holmdel explode for three goals in the second half of their SCT semifinal match.
“They have been playing very well lately, we were a little intimidated coming into the game,” Nowak said.
“We had faith in our team though, and we knew if we stayed together as one we would be fine.”
Ocean head coach Tom Reilly watched his team play an all-around solid game for 80 minutes.
“I thought we played magnificent today,” Reilly said.
Along with Nowak’s two set pieces, it was the Spartans’ defense that was the story on Saturday night.
Chris Seager had a solid day in goal for the Spartans, and also got help from the woodwork in both halves. Holmdel’s Jason Kyriacou hit the post in the first half, and striker Zach Bond also hit the cross bar with six minutes left in regulation.
“We didn‘t expect to shut them out,” Reilly said.
“I think we did a good job of limiting their chances for a team of that caliber.”
According to Reilly, Nowak has scored several crucial goals for the Spartans through out the regular season, and the two during this game came as no surprise to the Spartan head coach.
“He is confident, and when he steps up he knows he can get in on frame,” Reilly said.
“That‘s a really good keeper he was able to beat tonight, hats off to Tyler he carried us.”
Holmdel head coach John Nacarlo watched his team come up just short of the SCT title for the second year in a row.
“We got a little unlucky today,” Nacarlo said.
“They (Ocean) were a great team, they played well, and had a great defensive strategy heading into the game.”
Nacarlo said he believed the key to the game was the battle of the midfield.
“I thought that’s where they really hurt us,” Nacarlo said.
“This one is definitely hard to swallow but we have to keep our heads up.”
With the SCT out of the way both teams will focus on the NJSIAA Tournament which was scheduled for Monday, but has been postponed due to the weather.
“We have to make sure we get it done in the state tournament, because for me that’s what its all about.” Nacarlo said.
Chris Parker: email@example.com