Montclair High School boys soccer keeps bragging rights over Montclair Kimberley
It is one of the games that are on the target list for both the Montclair High School and Montclair Kimberley Academy boys soccer teams.
Each team covets a cherished victory over the other — and bragging rights.
In this season's matchup, the Mounties would pull away for a 3-1 victory over the Cougars on Monday, Sept. 12, at Fortunato Field. Montclair raised its record to 2-0, while MKA dropped to 1-1.
Montclair has dominated the rivalry for the last decade, but almost all of the contests have been close, with a one- or two-goal difference. The last time MKA defeated Montclair was in 2012.
Montclair senior Filippo Gaisie, who scored a goal, said his team does want to defeat MKA, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle.
"It's a rivalry game and you want to beat MKA," Gaisie said. "But it's just a stepping stone."
While there was a two-goal difference in the 2022 version, the match was either tied or had a one-goal Montclair advantage for almost the entire contest.
But junior Tomer Salamon notched his second goal of the game, a 20-yard shot with four minutes left that locked it up for Montclair at 3-1 and sunk the hopes of MKA to grab the equalizer.
"I saw that the goalie (Andrew Avalos) was too far to one side, and I thought, why not give it a shot," Salamon said.
For most of the game Montclair controlled the battle for possession, grabbing a 1-0 lead with 17 minutes left in the first half.
Salamon scored that goal, the first in his career off a corner kick. "It doesn't matter just so somebody gets it in," he said.
But Montclair Kimberley would put on the pressure to start the second half.
The Cougars’ top striker, senior Omar Martinez, made the Mounties pay as he took advantage of a turnover and broke to the net. Martinez's strike went to the far side of the goal and bounced off the post and into the goal.
The Cougars had new life, with the game tied at one with less than five minutes off the clock in the second half.
But Montclair Kimberley could not build on that goal.
Montclair would finally hit the back of the nets in the second half when Gaisie got another shot off after his initial shot was blocked, and he put it to the back of the net.
"I took a shot, and it was blocked," he said. "I got the rebound and just volleyed it in."
Gaisie said persistence was something he has been working on, "to keep going no matter what." He said it felt even better after a goal was disallowed earlier in the second half.
Then, just before the end of the game, Salamon scored his second goal to lock up the win for the Mounties.
Montclair Boys Soccer Schedule
(Dates and times subject to change, 4 p.m. start except where noted)
Sept. 15 at West Essex
Sept. 20 at Verona
Sept. 22 West Orange
Sept. 24 Cedar Grove, 10 a.m.
Sept. 26 at Seton Hall Prep
Sept. 28 Newark East Side
Sept. 30 at Columbia
Oct. 3 Livingston
Oct. 7 at Newark Academy
Oct. 10 St. Benedict's Prep
Oct. 11 Essex County Tournament, TBD
Oct. 13 Essex County Tournament, TBD
Oct. 15 Essex County Tournament, TBD
Oct. 19 Essex County Tournament, TBD
Oct. 22 Essex County Tournament Finals, TBD
Oct. 24 Randolph
Oct. 28 State playoffs, TBD
Montclair Kimberley Boys Soccer Schedule
(Dates and times subject to change)
Sept. 15 at Glen Ridge, 4 p.m.
Sept. 17 at Verona, TBA
Sept. 20 Livingston, 4 p.m.
Sept. 22 Cedar Grove, 4 p.m.
Sept. 24 at West Orange, TBA
Sept. 28 Bloomfield, 4 p.m.
Sept. 30 at Irvington, 4 p.m.
Oct. 3 at North Hunterdon, 4 p.m.
Oct. 6 Prep B Tournament, TBA
Oct. 8 Seton Hall Prep, 11 a.m.
Oct. 11 Essex County Tournament, TBA
Oct. 13 Essex County Tournament, TBA
Oct. 15 Essex County Tournament, TBA
Oct. 17 Newark Academy, 4 p.m.
Oct. 19 Essex County Tournament, TBA
Oct. 20 Prep B semi-finals, TBA
Oct. 22 Essex County Tournament final, TBA
Oct. 24 Columbia, 6:45 p.m.
Oct. 28 Prep B final, TBA