SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – It took almost 91 minutes for the Wexler Field scoreboard at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School to read anything but zeroes. After two regulation halves and a 10-minute overtime period, it was Westfield’s Alic Morgan who beat Raider goalkeeper Dan Kaduba to give the Blue Devils the first of two games between the local rivals on Tuesday.
Morgan ended the game by streaking down the right sideline and around a fallen Raider defender. By the time he got inside the box, Morgan was all alone with Kaduba, using a shot slightly harder then a dribble to give the Blue Devils their second victory of the year.
“We obviously were patient,” Westfield head coach Eric Shaw said. “We took the opportunities when we had them. We finished the chance we needed. We only needed one chance in this game and Alic was able to finish it in the end.”
Despite the late Westfield heroics, the game almost ended in regulation. With less than a minute to play, the Raiders found a loose ball inside the box, but Blue Devil junior goalie Koryn Kraemer made a diving stop to his left to keep the game scoreless.
Kraemer made multiple circus-like saves during the course of the shutout to give the offense a chance to come away with a win.
“I just went out and tried to have some fun,” Kraemer said. “I’m glad that it ended that way.”
Both Morgan and Kraemer put the win on the back of the team’s defense. While Kraemer gets the credit with the saves, Morgan said without the backline, this team would not have won.
“It was all the defense,” Morgan said. “The forwards, we were just waiting for a long ball so we can put the game away. We kept our composure in the back and eventually we got our shot and scored off of it.”
This was the first of two scheduled meetings between the rival schools. Round two will take place on Oct. 8 at Westfield’s Gary Kehler Stadium.