Florence’s Eddie Smith, left, leaps to head the ball against Bordentown during a BCSL boys soccer game on Friday afternoon in Florence. (Kyle Franko/ Trentonian Photo)
COLUMBUS — With a chance to climb to .500 for the third time this season, the Northern Burlington High varsity boys’ soccer team figured to have a decent chance against local rival Florence on the Greyhounds’ Senior Night Wednesday.
The Flashes had other intentions.
After dropping its first six games this year, head coach Kyle Ballay’s Florence squad has become one of the hottest around.
Behind two goals and two assists from junior midfielder Eddie Smith last night, the Flashes upped their unbeaten streak to five games by defeating Northern, 5-2, to improve to 4-6-1. The Greyhounds fell to 6-8.
“We had a rough start to the season,” Smith said. “But then we hyped each other up, and, since then, we’ve come out with guns blazing.”
Smith got the visitors on track in the third minute of the game when he took a pass from his classmate David Gonzalez and scored. A short while later, junior forward Derek Tindall doubled the lead when he converted a pass from sophomore Jordan Borota.
“They say the first 10 minutes determine the game,” Smith said. “Well, we got two in that time, and I think it took a lot out of them.”
Florence wasn’t done as Tindall scored another goal, off an assist from Smith, with five minutes left in the first half to take a 3-0 halftime edge.
That tandem teamed up again 10 minutes into the second half when Smith again set up Tindall, who completed his third hat trick of the season with his 14th goal.
Five minutes later, they traded places as Tindall led Smith for his second goal, giving the visitors a 5-0 jump.
“We didn’t come out with enough energy,” Northern Burlington junior midfielder Tarun Aravind said. “But when we came back with two goals of our own in the second half, it felt like we had a chance.”
In the middle of the second 40 minutes, head coach Justin Faust’s Greyhounds made a game of it.
First, freshman Gino Santise came off a free kick to blast a shot off a defender’s foot into the net at the midway mark for his initial varsity goal.
Two minutes later, Aravind turned a pass from junior forward Nolan Bondoc into his team-leading 11th goal, which gave the home team some hope.
“To help us get back to .500, we need to keep working hard in practice,” Aravind said. “Overall, we just need to keep working hard.”
Aravind did that and almost added a third goal for the Greyhounds. But his five-yard try with just under two minutes remaining went inches over the top of the net.
RIVERSIDE — Everett Barrett knocked in a pass from Anthony Crisostomo in the first half, then Jason Yunga scored for the Rams in the second half before both teams settled for a tie in this Burlington County Scholastic League non-division matchup.
Because of a conflict with the Somerset County Tournament, Rutgers Prep and Lawrenceville had to push their NJISAA Prep Tournament game back until 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Big Red’s Howard Turf Field.