Ryan Campbell had a role in the first four goals of the game, including a stunning steal just 46 seconds into the action and Mike Prosuk contributed two goals and an assist in an impressive reserve appearance as New Jersey Copa FC procured a dominant 5-2 win over Hershey FC on June 3 in a National Premier Soccer League Northeast Conference Keystone Division matchup at Saint John Vianney High School.
Campbell, a Rowan University product and Ohio State’s Prosuk shared Jersey Mike’s Subs New Jersey Copa FC Men of the Match accolades. NJCFC improved to 3-0-1 on the season, winning for the second straight outing. The hosts outshot Hershey (0-3-0), 22-11.
NJCFC had the game in hand, leading 4-0, before Hershey finally broke through in the 66th minute, after Copa had begun going to its bench.
Raphael Araujo, who had the game-winning goal in NJCFC’s 1-0 road win over Clarkstown earlier in the week, put Copa ahead in the opening minute with his third tally of the season. Kevin Veliz and Gerald Cubero chipped in assists in the win.
Campbell, who had a game-high seven shots, including five on goal, stunned Hershey midway through the first minute when he used his speed to take the ball away from the visiting sweeper and burst towards the net on a 2-on-1 break, before slipping a pass across the box to a streaking Araujo. The former Rutgers-Newark All-American buried the feed from six yards.
NJCFC outshot Hershey 13-6 in the first half and led 2-0 at the break thanks to a beautiful follow of a rebound. At the start of the 13th minute Veliz’ shot was saved by diving Hershey keeper Nick Jakobson, but Campbell ran onto the carom and headed it into the open net before it could fall to the pitch.
Already up 2-0, NJCFC put the game away as Campbell and Prosuk teamed to produce two goals in a span of 90 seconds. First, it was Campbell’s turn, seizing a flick from Prosuk before beating the Hershey keeper off the dribble in a 1-on-1 late in the 59th minute.
Campbell returned the favor early in the 61st minute when he slotted a pass across the box to Prosuk who put away his first tally of the season for a 4-0 cushion.
Hershey tried to make a game of it by scoring goals in the 66th and 73rd minutes. Derek Long sent a backheel of a Joel Teston pass into the bottom left corner to break up the shutout and Darvin Ebanks unleashed a shot from 35 yards out off a Marcos Garcia contribution to cut the difference in half, 4-2. Ebanks nearly made it a one-goal game late in the 75th minute when his shot was blocked before Hershey was flagged for being offsides.
Prosuk made sure Hershey would not be able to rally against the NJCFC bench, knocking in a Cubero cross from the left endline in the 79th minute for a 5-2 advantage.
NJCFC keeper Matt Perrella made two saves in 60:19 of shutout action before being relieved by Alex Meny for the final 30 minutes. Jakobson was in net as Hershey made seven saves.
Head Coach Roberto Aguas: “We had a short turnaround with minimal rest after having played Wednesday in a tough 1-0 win vs Clarkstown, so our entire team worked very hard tonight to lead us to a win. We had a very quick start with a beautiful goal within the first minute of the match. This set the tone we intended to have from the start, which was to play more attack-minded. We were very successful in controlling the midfield which resulted in many quality opportunities. Anytime you have two of your players account for four of the five goals scored, it makes the management of the match much easier. The 5-2 outcome was not a reflection of the quality of our opponent, but more a reflection of the high level of play we had tonight. With this win we should be at the top of the table and it’s now up to us to stay ahead of them all.”
In a key Keystone Division matchup, NJCFC hits the road to square off with West Chester United Soccer Club on Saturday, June 10 (7 p.m.) in West Chester, Pa. on Ciccarone Field.