As the county tournaments come to a close, new heroes are made. And that’s what makes the game of high school soccer so intriguing, because anyone can have their moment in the sun on any given day. Such was the case this past week.
GIRLS SOCCER NOTEBOOK
MONTCLAIR EDGES LIVINGSTON IN ESSEX COUNTY FINAL
It was number one vs. number two – and playing true to form, top-seeded Montclair and Livingston battled to the end in the Essex County championship match, with the Mounties holding on for a 1-nil victory.
Erasing the disappointment of a year ago, Montclair earned the title thanks to a goal by Kiah Atkinson off a superb feed from Maya Pitts, keeping Montclair unbeaten at 14-0-1.
Kayla Jenkins and Deja Davis did the job anchoring the back line. Lancers goalie Samantha Rothenberger was superb in defeat, earning 10 saves.
NEWCOMERS STEP UP FOR RANDOLPH IN MCT
Sophomore forward Alexa Roemer had been propelling her junior varsity team all season until the call came – you’re needed on varsity.
The Randolph forward quickly made a name for herself when she hit the winning goal in the second overtime as Randolph delivered a 1-0 victory over Mendham, sending the second-seed on to the championship game.
And if that wasn’t enough excitement, defending Morris County champion Villa Walsh saw its hopes to repeat dashed in overtime as well, with Kinnelon taking a 2-1 triumph while handing Villa Walsh its first loss of the season.
Hats off to defender Karyn Anselmo, who’s allowed to move up into the box for corner kicks, converting two on the day, both on assists by Emily Thiem.
The victory avenges a 1-0 early-season loss to Villa Walsh. And it wouldn’t trade it for the world.
HERE WE GO AGAIN
It’s not like we havn’t seen this before – but Westfield and Scotch Plains-Fanwood are back in the Union County championship game.
The Devils and Raiders have met three times in the past five years, with SP-F winning twice and tying once.
You have to go back to 1996 to find when Westfield defeated the Raiders for county honors.
The final will be contested Saturday night at 7:30 at Kean University in Union.
FOLLOW THE LEADER
Bishop Ahr standout Kerriann Cahillane continues to be among the top goal scorers in the state with 28 goals and 12 assists to her credit, good for seventh in the state.
Wayne Hills' Nikolette Driesse is right behind with 25 tallies, good for eighth in New Jersey, while Mount Olive’s Victoria Portesy has hammered in 22 goals in her own right.
BOYS SOCCER NOTEBOOK
3 AND 4 MATCH UP MORRIS COUNTY FINAL
One thing you can always count on when it comes to tiny Whippany Park. Longtime head coach Tom Wilson will have his players ready for game day.
And the fourth-seeded – gave third-seeded Delbarton everything it could handle, before the Wave overwhelmed Park by a final of 2-0.
Connor Kelly notched his first goal of the season in the middle of the second half before Jack Clarke chipped in with the second goal of the game.
Delbarton improves to 15-2 on the season and will next face Chatham for the MCT crown after the Cougars secured the final in a penalty kick shootout.
Chatham had battled ninth-seeded Roxbury through 90 minutes of play before winning, 5-4, on a penalty kick tiebreaker.
The championship tilt will take place Saturday October 29 at 5:30 p.m.at Roxbury High School.
SETON HALL PREP ON TOP AGAIN
Give seventh-seeded Livingston all the credit in the world for hanging tough with top-seeded Seton Hall Prep in the Essex county championship game.
After a scoreless tie in the first half, the Pirates, coached by Marty Berman, broke the game open with three goals to earn their third consecutive ECT crown. Tim Mulrenan had the game-winning goal, his seventh of the year.
Livingston had reached the final thanks to a 1-0 win last Thursday against formerly unbeaten Verona 1-0. Hats off to coach Roger Rubinetti for making the finals for the first time since 1995.
MSG VARSITY SCORING MACHINES
What a year it’s been for Arturo Martinez of Wardlaw-Hartridge, who owns 22 goals and 20 assists on the year.
St. Benedict’s Prep star Christiano Francois has 27 goals and seven assists, while Joao Conceicao of Harrison has knocked in 24, while Tyler Raff of Whippany Park has 20 goals and 16 assists on his resume, all among the state leaders.
STATE TOURNAMENTS START NEXT WEEK
The NJSIAA boys and girls soccer tournaments kick off next week with a full slate of games on the girls’ side set to go on Monday October 31, with second round action set for Wednesday November 2.
The boys will play on alternating days, with first-round action scheduled for Tuesday November 1 and the second round for Thursday November 3. The top 16 teams in each section were invited into the tournament, not based on record, but based on a power point system which rewarded teams for strength of schedule.
Mike Curci covers boys and girls soccer for MSG Varsity.