High School Soccer:
Friday, November 13, 1998
By Forrest Robleto
Cherry Hill East and Rancocas Valley played 100 minutes of scoreless soccer before being decided by penalty kicks, five to three in favorite of Cherry Hill East. The Cougar fans who have complained about the lack of coverage for their team hoped that this would give them some respect. One father joked that the headline would probably be "Rancocas Valley makes finals." The Cougars outshot Rancocas Valley 12-4 and keeper Dan DiBruno never looked really tested. He often challenged forwards far from the net and made the work look easy. Both teams paid plenty of attention to negating the other teams scorers.
Several Cougars including Brett Berman and Scott Lermack kept Byron Charmichael in check while Marc Lewis wore Randon Hall like a tight suit the entire game. Rancocas often doubled the coverage on Lewis. Keeper Spencer Spurlock faced the tougher shots during the game and came up perfect.
There was a chilly drizzle through most of the day but it didn't seem to affect the game very much. At 19-3-2, Rancocas knew they would have their hands full with 15-0-2 Cherry Hill East. Especially knowing that the Cougars had only let in four goals all year. They were extremely cautious in their own end and that didn't give them much offense. They were outshot six to two in the first half. In the second half both teams played very well and there were few opportunities for either team to score. The shots were fairly even at three to two for Cherry Hill.
In the overtime, it was easy to see why Cherry Hill had so many shutouts, as their excellent keeper Dan DiBruno didn't see the ball even once. Cherry Hill led in shots three to zero in the overtime.
In the penalty kicks, Cherry Hill's Marc Lewis scored first for a 1-0 Cougar lead. Dan DiBruno stopped Randon Hall, but the official ruled that DiBruno moved too soon and gave Hall a second shot which he made, to tie the score at one. Randy Shapiro (Wiggins) put the Cougars up two to one and Felix Plesse tied it for Rancocas Valley at two. Jay Joyce put Cherry Hill ahead three to two and then Matt Pliskin came up for Rancocas Valley. Pliskin was stopped by DiBruno, but again the official ruled that he had moved to soon and allowed Pliskin to try again. It was the only stop that DiBruno would have to make. The score remained three to two.
John Mazillo put Cherry Hill ahead four to two, although Byron Charmichael got Rancocas Valley to within one at four to three. Scott Lermack made it five to three to win it for Cherry Hill. It was DiBruno's seventeenth shutout on the year. Cherry Hill meets the winner of the Central Jersey final on Tuesday. The winner of that game goes on to meet the North winner for the State Championship.
Photos by Forrest Robleto
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