By Phil Anastasia
Every goalie tries to squelch scoring opportunities.
Moorestown's J.T. Bretschneider also tries to create them.
Bretschneider made 11 saves as visiting Moorestown beat Delran 1-0 on Tuesday in a Burlington County League Liberty Division boys' soccer clash of Top 10 teams.
Bretschneider also set up the game's only goal, booming a punt from one end of the field to the other and earning the assist when Moorestown senior striker Mike Kassak blasted a half-volley into the far corner.
"He's probably done that five times in the last two years," Moorestown coach Mike Sutcliffe said of Bretschneider registering an assist. "Our guys know to look for him. We practice that."
Kassak's goal with 25 minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the second half was the difference in physical and emotional battle between the fierce rivals.
Moorestown, the No. 1 team in The Inquirer Top 10, improved its record to 1-0-1 both overall and in the division.
Delran, the No. 10 team, fell to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the division.
"We got a little too emotional at the end," said Delran coach Kevin Romanik, who was directing the team in place of veteran coach Mike Otto. "It's frustrating when you have one of those games when you can't finish but you have to relax."
Otto was serving the first game of a two-game suspension.
Delran carried play through the first half and created several scoring opportunities behind strikers Doug Denny and Ryan Ferrira.
Bretschneider made two spectacular saves in the first half, both on point-blank shots.
"I thought we were very, very fortunate to be even (at halftime)," Sutcliffe said. "Every time this team has needed him (Bretschneider) to make a play he's done it."
Moorestown finally broke through when Bretschneider made a save and quickly unleashed a punt that soared over most of the Delran defense. Kassak played the ball off one bounce and fired a shot into the left corner.
"I guess I have a knack for it," Bretschneider said of his assists. "It helps to have great strikers."
Delran continued to pressure but Moorestown was able to withstand the Bears' attack with a tight defensive alignment.
The hard-fought game featured spirited battles for 50-50 balls and lots of contention over officials' calls. Four players were given yellow cards.
"It's like the biggest game of the year," Bretschneider said of the Quakers' battle with the Bears. "It's all we've been talking about for the last week and all day in school. It's a huge rivalry."
Moorestown 0 1 -- 1
Delran 0 0 -- 0
Goals: M-Mike Kassak.
Saves: M-J.T. Bretschneider, 11; D-Nick Stone, 5.
Contact Phil Anastasia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.