Haddon Twp. stuns Haddonfield in boys' soccer, 3-2

Posted: October 09, 2012

Scott LaPan figured it was a small price to pay.

What's a bloody nose and sprained thumb compared to a victory over an archrival that is ranked third in South Jersey?

"We had the heart," LaPan, a junior goalie, said Monday after leading Haddon Township to a 3-2 victory over Haddonfield in a Colonial Conference boys' soccer game.

LaPan made 11 saves and senior sweeper Pat Burns was a rock on defense as Haddon Township withstood enormous pressure from a bigger, stronger Haddonfield team on the short, narrow pitch at Recchino Field in Westmont.

Freshman Bah Moo scored just 23 seconds into the game, and sophomores Elzo Dunn and Mario Mandescu added goals for Haddon Township (9-3 overall and in Colonial Conference play).

Brendan Werner and Sam Ottenberg scored for Haddonfield (11-2-1, 9-2-1 Colonial), which is ranked No. 3 in South Jersey by The Inquirer.

"Their kids played hard and deserved to win," Haddonfield coach Joe Falana said. "It was a throw-in game and they won the throw-in contest."

Haddonfield's size and strength were big factors in a game played in tight quarters. Haddonfield midfielder Luke Pease was able to reach the front of the goal on throw-ins, creating numerous scoring chances for the Bulldogs.

"We knew it was going to be a game of restarts," Haddon Township coach Jim Bonder said. "They [the Bulldogs] are so good at them. It's like an art for them."

LaPan sprained his right thumb and took a knee to the nose on the same play early in the second half. The game was delayed while a Haddon Township trainer worked to stem the bleeding from the goalie's nose.

"It wasn't too bad," LaPan said. "My thumb was worse. I couldn't really grab the ball after that."

LaPan punched away several of Pease's throw-ins. Burns and other Hawks defenders cleared away trouble time after time.

"Our guys kept finding a way to get it out," Burns said.

Trailing by 2-0, and with leading scorer Alex Johnston on the bench with a leg injury, Haddonfield controlled play in the second half and finally broke through when Werner scored on a header off a Pease throw-in in the 51st minute.

Ottenberg scored off a scramble that began with another Pease throw-in for a 2-2 tie with just 4 minutes, 7 seconds remaining in the second half.

But Haddon Township answered with a goal off a throw-in of its own, as Kyle Wade tossed the ball into the box, Burns got a foot on it, and Mandescu knocked it into the net for the game-winner with just 1:39 to play.

"Nine times out of 10 the team that comes back to tie wins the game," Bonder said. "But our guys really grew up today."

Haddonfield   0 2 - 2

Haddon Township   2 1 - 3

Goals: H-Brendan Werner, Sam Ottenberg; HT-Bah Moo, Elzo Dunn, Mario Mandescu.

Saves: H-Ethan Schultz, 6; HT-Scott LaPan, 11.

Contact Phil Anastasia at panastasia@phillynews.com. Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter. Read his blog, Jersey Side Sports, at www.philly.com/jerseysidesports

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