Ramapo presses its advantage in win over Demarest

Jayden Onal Was a key piece to Ramapo's defense shutout and also drew the foul that led to the game's first goal in the Green Raiders' 2-0 win over NV/Demarest at the Soccer Park at Montclair State University.

MONTCLAIR – Ramapo has options and that has been a problem for its opponents through the first three games of this young season. Every player on the field from the goalie forward gets involved in the build-up or the attack and, no matter the position he plays, all of the Green Raiders are good options. Defenses have no choice to but to spread themselves thin as they chase the ball being pinned around the turf while Ramapo piles a tremendous advantage in possession.

The latest example was Sunday night’s 2-0 win over a solid Northern Valley/Demarest side at the Soccer Park on the campus of Montclair State University.

The challenge is that they can move the ball very well and apply a lot of pressure all over the entire field and they are quick with their one-two passing,” said Demarest head coach Rob Romeo. “We were doing a lot of chasing at times to keep up with what was going on.”

Demarest (1-1-1) actually had the game’s first dangerous moment when it hit the post off a redirected restart in the third minute, but Ramapo then started to assert itself by attacking from multiple angles. There were crosses in from the endline and well-weighted passes sent into the channels.

Albert Cirilli’s hold up work led to the Raiders’ first real chance. With his back to the net, he picked out Damian DiLisio for a running rip that just wide left of the mark. Ryan Shkylar (8 saves), Demarest’s junior keeper, was called to action numerous times in the first half and intervened brilliantly twice to keep the game scoreless through the first 40 minutes. He kept out MJ Dingo’s left-to-right blast with a dive across the face of the goal in the 15th minute and then stymied Anthony Giampetro, who hit one that was ticketed for the top shelf before Shkylar pushed it past the post.

Junior keeper Ryan Shkylar made 8 saves in net for Demarest.

“We created a lot of good chances, but you have to give Demarest a lot of credit for making it hard on us,” said Ramapo head coach Evan Baumgarten. “We were able to solve some of the question that they proposed with their play. We had to figure out how to get in behind them because they converged centrally as we got closer to their goal. And their keeper made some great saves.”

With all of the chasing that Demarest had to do a crack was bound to appear and Jayden Onal, up from his spot at outside back, forced it open. His forceful run toward the area drew a few defenders, a foul and a yellow card on a defender and Kevin McDonough seized the opportunity. McDonough skirted the wall with his free kick that kissed the underside of the bar on its way in to make it 1-0.

“Jayden had a great run. He is always attacking and he drew a free kick. He has drawn a few this season, but that is the first one I have been able to hit,” said McDonough, who spotted the ball just to the right of dead center about 20 yards from goal. “The wall was a little to the left so I didn’t really have to hit it over it. I just hit it to the right a little bit and it went in.”

Demarest was no door matt as it looked to get forward every time it could wrest away possession and almost had a highlight goal less than three minutes after falling behind. Matt Marinich’s corner kick in the 51st minute spit out into the middle of the park where Hayden Eig lined up the finally. He caught the ball flush on the laces, but it scooted just wide.

Kevin McDonough scored Ramapo's first goal on a well-taken free kick.

Three minutes later Ramapo iced it when Carilli slid one through to DiLisio in deep on the left and he rifled one into the opposite corner to double the Raiders’ lead. The defense saw out the rest of the game and Antonio Spina and Robert Achter shared the shutout from between the pipes.

“They like to play the long ball in behind and they counter-attacked up and tried to drive with numbers. I think we did a good job of not allowing them to go out wide and we forced them inside,” said Onal, who knows that 3-0 is only a good start and nothing more. “Coach Baum[garten] is always telling us, ‘Don’t believe the hype.’ We work for everything here and it is all a grind.”

Despite its first loss of the season, Demarest is also off to a solid start. The Norsemen have a win over Pascack Valley, last year’s North 1, Group 3 state sectional champion, and a draw against a quality Tenafly side in the first week-plus of the season.

“Ramapo is a great team, a great program and you have to give them all of the credit. This was a wonderful opportunity for us to play here [at Montclair State] and make it a special night for the boys,” said Romeo. “We fought hard against the numerous challenges they presented and we did not finish any of the chances that we did get. You win or you learn and the challenge of playing good teams early on in the season will, in the end, be in our favor and will make us a better squad.”