LIVINGSTON, NJ – The Livingston Lancers boys’ soccer team prevailed over the Newark East Side Raiders in a penalty shootout victory at home on Wednesday night in the quarterfinal round of the Essex County Tournament.
Both halves of regulation consisted of slow play. Neither Livingston nor East Side could take control of the time-of-possession, and chances near the goal proved to be scarce for both squads.
The score remained at a 0-0-tie heading into overtime, where the speed of play picked up with both teams trying to end a hard-fought game as quickly as possible. Livingston coach Roger Rubinetti said his team was able to keep pushing through the overtime periods from “all the preseason running (the players) did, which made (their) legs stronger. No one was too tired to expect anyone else on the field to do their job.”
Despite Livingston’s fresh legs through the first and second overtime, they were unable to convert on the offensive end. The Lancer defense, however, was able to fend off some of the close chances generated by East Side.
In penalty shootouts, the first three shooters from Livingston and East Side were all able to find the back of the net with ease. The Lancers fourth shooter, Zach Chakin, was also able to get his shot past the Raiders goalie. Then, Livingston goalie, Garrett Meinhardt, made two consecutive diving saves to earn the Lancers a semifinal berth in the Essex County Tournament with a 4-3 shootout victory.
“We all gave our best effort, but we got a big help from our back four, Ankush Rakhit, Jesse Levitt, Ryan Chisarick, and Zach Chaikin,” said Meinhardt following the win. On the upcoming semifinal battle against Montclair, Meinhardt said, “The pressure is on Montclair now. All we have to do is go out, play our best, and hopefully we can scratch out another tough one.”
With a victory over the Newark East Side Raiders, the Livingston Lancers move on to the semifinals of the Essex County Tournament where they will face off against Montclair, who has already handed the Lancers two of their four losses. The two teams will play their third meeting of the season on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. at Millburn High School.