WEST CALDWELL, NJ -- The Livingston girls soccer team, seeded third, defeated second-seeded West Orange in the semifinal round of the Essex County Tournament Tuesday night.
Livingston (12-2) will meet top-seeded Montclair in the county championship game Saturday at 5 p.m. at Livingston High School. Montclair beat Mount St. Dominic, 3-1, in Tuesday's other ECT semifinal.
Less that two weeks ago, West Orange had defeated the Lancers, 4-2, in a regular-season game. The Mountaineers were the defending county champs.
Neither team scored in the first half of Tuesday night's semifinal, but the second half was an entirely different kind of game. Jadyn Liebman scored two goals for Livingston, including one with just over four minutes left in the second half to give Livingston a 3-2 lead.
On her game-winning goal, Liebman took a pass from Kylie Prendergast hit a volley out of the air, shot from the top of the 18 and buried it into the upper 90 on what Livingston head coach Brian Carr called "a picture perfect goal."
Kayla Parsons had given Livingston a 1-0 lead with a goal early in the second half with an assist by Lauren Belcuore. West Orange came back to score on two set pieces, a corner kick and a throw-in, to take a 2-1 lead. Liebman's first goal tied the game, 2-2. Prendergast assisted Liebman on both of her goals.
"Our teams have two very different styles of play, but both teams score a lot, and when we play them it can turn into an all-out attacking show," Carr said. "The second half was pretty chaotic."
The first time the teams played, Livingston fell behind, 3-0, in the second half before rallying to make it a one-goal game. Tuesday night, the Lancers again battled back after falling behind, 2-1.
"We feel like we're never out of it, regardless of the score," Carr said. "These girls just don't know how to quit."