BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Senior Allie Sciacchitano had a starring role in the Highlanders' 19-3 season as the high scorer with 20 goals, 3 assists. With 77 goals scored, the Gov. Livingston girls soccer team was among the elite ranked by NJ.com as the most electrifying offenses that led the state in scoring.
Sciacchitano was also voted as the top girls soccer senior player in New Jersey garnering over 20,000 votes in the New Jersey Advance Media four part series asking the fans to vote for players they think are the best.
Going into the season, Sciacchitano had big expectations of her senior year after scoring the two critical goals against Ramsey in the 2018 State Championship that sent the game into overtime, when Catalina Abusada scored the winning goal to capture the state crown. This was the first for the Lady Highlanders since 1985.
"Those goals are among the most important of my career," said Sciacchitano. "I proved to myself that I am a player that is capable of great things as long as I put my mind to it. The fact that I can say I am a state champion and I was able to contribute two goals in the final game is an unexplainable feeling."
As a senior, Sciacchitano had her sight on back to back championship titles. She scored in the 2-1 semifinal victory over Rumson-Fair Haven, however, the Highlanders fell 2-0 to Wall in the sectional final. This loss was hard knowing "we had the ability to beat them," said Sciacchitano. "Coming off of a year like 2018, I came into the season with high expectations and I believe we showed those skills every moment of the season but just fell short mentally that final game."
Coach Mike Roof couldn't be prouder of his entire squad, especially of Sciacchitano. "I don’t know what we would have done without Allie’s leadership skills this year. She led by example on the field but was also a source of true leadership that others could look to and emulate off of as well," said Roof. He said, Sciacchitano was a go-between for the players. "[She] would help with positive communication with all members of our team."
"Her goal and assist tally certainly helped us create positive results on the field and she had a prolonged effect on games throughout the season. Whether it was versus elite or lower level competition, Allie found ways to impact the game either finishing opportunities or setting them up for her teammates. She scored in some of our less stressful games as well as in some of the games which were more intense and against better competition such as Summit earlier in the season and in the sectional semifinal versus Rumson Fair-Haven. You can also trace her leadership and advanced skill set back to last year’s state final when where she impacted the game scoring two goals.
"Allie has had a lasting impact on this program and leaves having garnered much success accolade and result-wise and is someone other girls should look to in their quest to become a strong, positive leader on and off the pitch," Roof said.
Allie took time out to answer a few questions in recognition of being named Valairco Heating and Cooling Highlander Athlete of the Week.
TAPinto: When you reflect on the past four years as a Lady Highlander soccer player what are you most proud of?
Allie: I am individually proud of my progression coming from being a JV starter freshman year, a benchwarmer my sophomore year and then earning a starting spot my junior year and eventually winning a state final. I am also extremely proud of the fact we were even able to reach the sectional final this year, which is a huge accomplishment in itself.
TAPinto: Toughest opponent in your varsity career?
Allie: I believe that Pingry was someone who caught us off guard this season. Everyone has given us a challenge but I believe that Pingry was an opponent that taught us valuable lessons on the field and it was a game that we can reflect and grow from.
TAPinto: What drew you to soccer at an early age?
Allie: My parents had put me in a variety of sports from a young age to keep me busy and to expose me to different things. I was naturally drawn to soccer and always had fun playing soccer from the age of three. As time progresses sports became more time consuming and I was faced with the challenge of eliminating sports one by one in order to manage time. Eventually soccer was the last one left and I couldn’t be more satisfied that it was, I cant see my life without the sport.
TAPinto: Who gave you the best advice about playing soccer when you were a freshman?
Allie: I think the motivation from my family gave me the drive to be the best player I could be at the start of freshman year. They always believed I could do just a little bit better and that drove me to do that much better. My club coaches prepared me for varsity careered which made the transitions easy. I also think that coach Stickle seeing the ability in me and taking a chance by putting me on JV gave me confidence and more drive to do good.
TAPinto: Who is the sports icon that has influenced you the most?
Allie: I can’t pick out a specific player that influenced me because I am not a huge sports watcher but anyone I hear that has done something out of the ordinary has influenced me greatly. What I mean by that is as I hear of player surpassing goal records and winning championships and by watching those players accomplish those things it makes me want to work harder and do the same.
TAPinto: When you think of your time at Governor Livingston, what immediate thought brings a smile to your face?
Allie: I think the close bond the team has every year makes me the happiest when thinking about the team. I have been on several teams for several sports throughout my life but nothing is like a high school team. The pasta party and time the team spends together create a relationship between the players that is hard to find anywhere else.
TAPinto: Favorite Class and teacher?
Allie: In my high school years I have had classes that I've loved and others that I didn’t love so much but the two that I took a liking to pretty quickly we're Physics and Holocaust and genocide. I have liked most of my teachers and even those who I haven’t gotten along with I believe have helped be get throughout high school and made me a better student so I don't think I have one favorite teacher.
TAPinto: Off the field what do you like to do in your spare time?
Allie: Off the field, I spend a lot of time with friends and family.
TAPinto: What are your plans for next year?
Allie: For the next year, I plan on attending The College of New Jersey and playing for the women’s soccer team. I hope to earn playing time as a freshman and have a successful season.
TAPinto: What is your dream job?
Allie: At the moment I don't have an idea of what I would like to do in my future but I would love to make money doing something I love, maybe something with athletics.
Valairco Heating & Cooling is the proud sponsor of the Highlander Athlete of the Week. Kevin McHugh, Valairco Owner and President and Berkeley Heights resident, is an alumni of Gov. Livingston High School.
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