Delran wins Group 2 boys' soccer title on Denny's overtime goal

Posted: November 26, 2013

EWING, N.J. - Two hours of whipping, bitter cold had distorted Doug Denny's face.

And the wind, probably unlike anything the Delran forward had ever felt, was surely unlike anything in which he'd ever played soccer, right?

That was the question posed to the senior forward, with about five microphones waving in front of his face.

"Nah, not really. I've played in worse," Denny said with a straight face, eliciting laughter from everyone within earshot.

After netting the winning goal in overtime of the state Group 2 boys' soccer championship game, sealing Delran's 3-2 win over Newton, Denny wasn't experiencing the raw, single-digit cold the way most others were at that moment.

"When the ball went in and I got tackled by my teammates, it was the best feeling I've ever felt in my life," Denny said.

Denny put back the rebound of a laser-beam shot by Samuel Santos with eight minutes left in the first overtime. It was a hustle goal emblematic of how Delran controlled most of the contest despite playing against the mauling wind for the second half and overtime.

"It's certainly not the type of weather you want to play soccer in," said Delran coach Mike Otto, whose team finished the season with an 11-game unbeaten streak and a 19-6-1 record. "We came into the season with the goal of making it to this game. . . . As the year went on, the team came together, we got guys in the right position. And it's obvious that we play our best soccer come state tournament time."

The state title was the eighth in Delran boys' soccer history, more than any other South Jersey program, according to Otto.

"We stepped up our game. We bonded as a team as the year went on." Denny said. "This means so much to all of us."

With the wind on its side in the first half, Delran dominated possession, taking eight corner kicks to zero by Newtown (24-2-2). Ryan Ferreira netted the first of his two goals 10 minutes into the match. He scored again to give his team a 2-1 lead with 20 minutes to play during a stretch in which Delran was consistently creating better chances than Newton.

But with four minutes left in regulation, Delran was called for a handball in the box, and Leo Recalde converted the penalty kick to send the game into overtime.

"Our coach always asks us who wants to be the hero," Ferreira said. "And I say all the time that we all do. Everybody stepped up today."

Delran 1 1 1 - 3

Newton 0 2 0 - 2

Goals: D-Ryan Ferreira 2, Doug Denny; N-Ryan Cronin, Leo Recalde.

Saves: D-Nick Stone 4; N-Tanner Euston 3.