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Jenna Intersimone, @JIntersimone

EAST BRUNSWICK – The East Brunswick Excessive Faculty boys soccer staff is headed again to the Higher Middlesex Convention Match closing. 

The reigning champions defeated eighth-seeded New Brunswick 2-Zero on Tuesday afternoon to punch their ticket again to the ultimate. The fourth-seeded Bears (13-Four-1) want to repeat after successful their first county title since 2013 final yr. 

“I am very excited,” East Brunswick junior Lewen Trussler mentioned. “It is an enormous sport and we’re able to rise to the extent of this sport and we’re able to go on the market and provides it our all.” 

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Tuesday’s win units up a rematch of final yr’s closing as East Brunswick will face third-seeded South Brunswick at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at Sayreville. Will probably be the Vikings’ fifth-straight county closing look and they are going to be in search of their first title since 2015 once they had been co-champions with South Plainfield. 

East Brunswick entered Tuesday’s semifinal using a three-game win streak, together with a 5-2 win over fifth-seeded Piscataway within the quarterfinals. However New Brunswick was additionally using a wave of momentum, having knocked off top-seeded Monroe Four-Three in penalty kicks after enjoying to a 2-2 draw on Saturday afternoon. 

“We knew they had been going to be good as a result of they received the White Division, they beat Monroe so we knew it wasn’t going to be a stroll within the park,” East Brunswick senior goalie Ryan McSwieney mentioned. “So we sort of knew we needed to come out exhausting, we could not underestimate them like we did later within the season in opposition to St. Joe’s after we thought we had the Pink Division within the bag and we misplaced 1-Zero. I believe that loss really helped us get ready for every sport as a result of now it is do or die and we will not simply let up.”

The primary half was a back-and-forth affair, with neither staff getting very strong seems on internet. Within the second half that modified when East Brunswick was awarded a direct kick from the 20-yard line. The Bears’ Zane Taha took the kick, which New Brunswick goalie Jose Flores stopped, however the ball went again out into visitors the place Lewen Trussler was ready. Trussler corralled the ball and despatched the rebound into the again of the online to place East Brunswick up 1-Zero with 35:33 remaining within the sport. 

“I do know Zane hit a superb ball in, pressured the keeper right into a mistake and I used to be simply there to wash it up. It was a faucet in, however each purpose counts,” Trussler mentioned. “I believe the tempo of our attackers was actually necessary, Srihari Sudhir getting the ball within the midfield, additionally flicking on headers, and simply getting it vast to our gamers and simply enjoying direct straight to the purpose and making an attempt to get possibilities.”  

East Brunswick was then the beneficiary of a New Brunswick personal purpose with simply over two minutes remaining within the sport for the 2-Zero closing. 

“I assumed we had been fairly strong,” McSwieney mentioned of the protection. “We defend as a staff, each time guys are dribbling at us we power them and different gamers and sort of get them within the center, we all the time block pictures, we all the time put our our bodies in entrance of it so there isn’t any very easy possibilities for them.”

Tuesday’s sport was East Brunswick’s 10th shutout of the season. The Bears have solely allowed 14 objectives up to now, and most of them got here at first of the season once they began with a 1-Three-1 file. After a 2-1, extra time loss to Scotch Plains-Fanwood on Sept. 14, the Bears went on an eight-game win streak during which they allowed just one purpose. 

A 1-Zero loss to St. Joseph (Met.) on Oct. 10 snapped the win streak, however East Brunswick bounced again and has received its final 4 video games. 

“I believe that we’re actually resilient as a result of we had a whole lot of new youngsters this yr, we had three or 4 youngsters that performed varsity final yr, we had 17 seniors graduate,” McSwieney mentioned. “No one actually anticipated us to be right here, so we’re sort of the underdogs, we’re beneath the radar and now we’ve got everyone’s respect.” 

Now East Brunswick will look to maintain the win streak alive and win one other county title within the course of when it faces South Brunswick for the third time this season on Thursday. The Vikings received 1-Zero again on Sept. 7, and the Bears took dwelling a 5-Zero victory on Sept. 26. 

“I believe defending as a staff, particularly once you’re enjoying in opposition to a striker like Jake Stump, we actually have to have a whole lot of communication within the again and in addition it is necessary to dominate the midfield and get the ball ahead shortly,” Trussler mentioned. 

“They’ve a superb staff, they beat us 1-Zero early within the season to allow them to undoubtedly play to our degree,” McSwieney added. “It is simply actually going to matter if our attackers are on as a result of we beat them 5-Zero right here so it is actually going to rely upon the day.” 

Workers Author Lauren Knego: lknego@gannettnj.com; on Twitter: @laurenknego