STONE HARBOR – The Wildwood Catholic High School boys soccer team passed a couple of early-season tests this week.
Two days after grinding out a 1-0 victory at Buena, the Crusaders dominated Pleasantville in the second half to post a 4-0 victory over Pleasantville Wednesday afternoon.
The win over the Greyhounds moved Wildwood Catholic (4-2 overall, 4-0 CAL United) in sole possession of first place in the Cape-Atlantic United Conference. Pleasantville (5-2-1, 4-1) suffered its first conference defeat.
The Crusaders are the defending conference champion.
“The kids are aware of the importance of these games,” Wildwood Catholic coach Mike Saioni said. “The United Conference is a little more competitive this year. Buena and Pleasantville are tough teams and we know we can’t have any slip-ups. Every game is incredibly important.”
After a scoreless first half, Wildwood Catholic took advantage of having a strong breeze at its back in the second half and eventually sliced open the Pleasantville defense numerous times.
Taylor Ohntrup’s blast from 20 yards snuck inside the left post to open the scoring 15 minutes into the second half. Beck Lindsay later scored twice in the span of five minutes to put the game away, both times finishing after receiving long passes while getting behind the Greyhound back line. Jared Wallace finished the scoring as time expired.
“I thought we played at a very good level,” Saioni said. “We’re progressing nicely. We’re finally getting a little better at finishing but we’re creating opportunities. If you have a lot of opportunities to create chances, that’s only going to give you more opportunities to finish them.”
Senior Mike Sharkey, in his first season as the Crusaders’ starting goalkeeper, posted shutouts in both games.
— Brian Cunniff