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Declan O'Sullivan has four goals and two assists for Montclair this season. (Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)
By Richard Greco | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on November 07, 2017 4:31 PM, updated November 07, 2017 9:23 PM
|11/07 - 12:00 AM Boys Soccer||Final|
MONTCLAIR -- A sense of relief come across the face of Montclair junior forward Declan O'Sullivan as his penalty kick went into the back of the net to open the scoring in an eventual 3-0 win for the second-seeded Mounties, No. 15 in the NJ.com Top 20, over seventh-seeded West Orange in the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 semifinals at Fortunato Field on Tuesday.
For O'Sullivan the goal was just the break he needed in an injury ridden season.
He first suffered an ankle injury and was then sidelined because of his achilles tendon. The injuries cost him time during the heart of the Essex County Tournament and the sectional quarterfinlas.
O'Sullivan returned to practice for Montclair on Monday and entered the game midway through the first half, but his chance to shine did not come until the second.
After being taken down in the box in the 51st minute, O'Sullivan, who hadn't converted a PK all season, was called to the penalty kick line by Montclair coach Toure Weaver.
O'Sullivan beat West Orange goalkeeper Paul Schuler, who made eight saves, with a kick just inside the right post to give Montclair a 1-0 lead.
"I haven't had a good record with taking PKs, but on this one I felt confident," O'Sullivan said. "I just stepped up and put it in. Coach Weaver always has great trust in me. He always makes me stay around after practice to work on PKs. I thought I was going to be out for longer (because of the injuries). I'm just so happy I got a second chance to play this year."
The goal was all Montclair needed to break the game open and it extended its lead to 2-0 in the 70th minute when senior center back Gordon Glenn got his shoulder on a corner kick from junior midfielder Phillip Cubeddu to score.
The tally was Glenn's second of the year.
"I just remember the ball hitting off of my shoulder and then me screaming with joy," Glenn said. "I was just thinking about next game and everything. It was a great feeling."
Although Montclair dictated the pace of play with its offensive pressure, West Orange tested senior goalkeeper Rowan O'Brien with eight shots on goal.
O'Brien was up for the task and stopped all eight in his 10th shutout of the year.
"Rowan stepped up big time," Glenn said. "He did everything that he needed to do to continue this journey. I love him for that...He's always solid, but today was a great performance by him."
Montclair will face the winner of Kearny/Fair Lawn in the North 1, Group 4 final Friday.
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