November 15, 2013 at 6:49 AM
LIVINGSTON, NJ – The Livingston girls varsity soccer team is a champion again. For the second time in school history, the Lancers won the NJSIAA Group 4, Section 1 title, defeating Randolph, 1-0, on Thursday.
Alyssa Egner scored the game's only goal early in the first half to lead Livingston into the Group 4 state semifinals.
“These girls work hard,” Livingston head coach Paul Raiz said. “They’re an awesome bunch of girls to be around. They never quit; they don’t even know the word quit. They fight and they fight and they’ve gotten so much better. I’m so proud of them. I love them. They’re the best.”
It didn’t take long for the Lancers to get on the board. In the fifth minute, with the sun blaring into the eyes of Randolph goal keeper Rachel Fennel, Egner was able to squeak a shot into the net, pulling the momentum into Livingston’s favor.
However, trailing, 1-0, Randolph’s offensive began to put pressure on the Lancer defensive front. Despite several first half opportunities to score, the Rams could not break Livingston goalkeeper Sam Rothenberger.
In the second half, Randolph saw even more scoring chances. Aided by the sun’s glare on Rothenberger, the Rams attacked the net, but could not find the right formula to score.
“Sam’s a senior,” Raiz said. “She’s been on championship softball teams. She was on our championship team freshman year when we went to the state final. She’s an athlete. She’s a pure athlete. She’s gutsy.“
Randolph’s closest chance came in the 61st minute when a shot from the top of the box hit off the crossbar and caromed back into play, only to be cleared by the Lancer defense.
Despite several late scoring efforts, Randolph came up short, ending their historic season at 18-3-2.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my team and my team mates,” Randolph senior captain Anna Conklin said. “They battled hard until the end.”
This was Livingston’s second consecutive 1-0 outcome. As a team, they have allowed one goal in their four state tournament games thus far.
The victory puts the Lancers into the Group 4 state semifinals on Tuesday. Livingston will face Bridgewater-Raritan in the semifinal round at Somerville High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.