For the Jewish Community Center of Bayonne’s Indoor Soccer Senior Division, the neck-and-neck stretch run continued into week five as the Comets (3-2) took on the Sonics (2-2-1). Striking quickly, the Sonics’ Chloe Gregory centered a pinpoint pass to Shashwat Punjani, who drilled the ball to net for a 1-0 lead. Boasting the league’s leading offense, the Comets seemed out of sync as Alexandro Gonzalez, Allen McComb and Michael Lago tried to maneuver past the Sonics’ two-sweeper defensive alignment.
The Sonics’ defensive plan relied heavily on the goal-tending of Kevin Aguilar and the tenacious nature of sweepers James Johnson and Tyler Cholankeril, each of whom played with focus and determination from start to finish. With their defensive ranks sured up, the Sonics’ offense cashed in again as James Johnson rammed a pass to Shashwat Punjani, who sailed in his second goal, making it 2-0, Sonics.
Trailing by two, the Comets’ Drew Radil, James Bajor, and Joshua Verzosa pounded shots off the Sonics’ net, but points still stayed just fractions of inches away. As the Comets picked up the pace, the Sonics answered with Ryan Ballance unleashing five shots on net to set up a James Johnson rebound pass to Shashwat Punjani, who hit the trifecta with his third goal of the bout.
With little time remaining, the Comets’ Elliott Santana and Natallyah Teixeira held the fort defensively just long enough for Joshua Verzosa to headball a pass to James Bajor. Bajor alertly made it a 3-1 game with his fifth goal of the season. As time ran out, the Sonics regrouped and held on for a 3-1 victory.