HomeTri TownTri Town SportsPenalty kicks send Howell to SCT quarterfinals in win over Manasquan

Penalty kicks send Howell to SCT quarterfinals in win over Manasquan

HOWELL — Penalty kicks decided the match between the Howell High School and Manasquan High School boys soccer teams in the second round of the 2022 Shore Conference Tournament on Oct. 14 in Howell.

The No. 2 seed Rebels and the No. 15 seed Warriors battled to a 0-0 tie after 80 minutes of regulation time and two 10-minute overtime periods. The match moved to penalty kicks, with a spot in the tournament quarterfinals on the line.

The Rebels avoided an upset by outscoring the Warriors 4-2 on penalty kicks to stay alive in the tournament. Howell scored on all four of its attempts.

“It feels great,” senior Nick Spisak said. “Our team always fights and never gives up. We are all about hard work.”

Senior goalkeeper Charlie Scanlon kept the Rebels in the match as he made 13 saves in 100 minutes of game action while his teammates could not find the back of the Manasquan net.

“I was on my game,” Scanlon said. “I knew as soon as overtime started that I needed to get mentally prepared to not let up any goals and to force (the match to go to) penalty kicks since we weren’t scoring any goals. I knew if I did my job my boys would have my back and score” on their penalty kicks.

The Rebels had confidence as they entered the penalty kick session. The players had been practicing penalty kicks ahead of tournament play.

“When you get to this stage (in the season), you need to practice (penalty kicks),” Coach Rich Yuro said. “We have been telling the kids all week to be confident in themselves. They have a plan when they go up there. They just need to take a deep breath, relax and hit it.”

The Rebels and the Warriors each made their first penalty kick, with J.P. Candela scoring for Howell.

After Scanlon made a great diving save to knock away Manasquan’s second penalty kick, sophomore John Fiorillo gave the Rebels a 2-1 advantage by finding the back of the net.

Manasquan’s Cristian Gonzalez sent his penalty kick over the net and Spisak, who leads the team with 12 goals, stepped up with a chance to give the Rebels a two-goal advantage. Spisak converted his kick to give Howell a 3-1 lead.

“I just knew I had to put the ball in the back of the net,” Spisak said. “It felt amazing.”

Manasquan senior Drew Perkins then sent his kick into the net to make it 3-2.

That set the stage for junior Nicholas Turturro, who had a chance to send the Rebels into the tournament quarterfinals if he could score.

Turturro settled his nerves, remained composed and blasted a shot over the Manasquan goalkeeper’s head and into the top left corner of the net to give Howell the victory, 4-2, after penalty kicks.

“Every player dreams of scoring a goal in a tournament like this. It felt amazing. I have never felt anything like that,” Turturro said.

Howell (10-2-1) will face No. 7 seed Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School in the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals on Oct. 17.

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