UNION, N.J. - Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s Tori Baliatico scored the game’s only goal, leading the Raiders to a 1-0 Union County Tournament title over Cranford on Sunday at Kean University.
“A lot of people didn’t give us any chance of winning the tournament at the start because we graduated so many kids, but the seniors really stepped up,” SPF head coach Kevin Ewing said.
The Raiders created opportunities early in the game but their shots couldn’t find the net. Kelly Yeager sent a cross to Baliatico in the fourth minute of play, but Cranford keeper Megan Pringle snagged the header ending the first threat.
The two forwards found each other again In the 36th minute when Yeager brought the ball up to the corner and slid it into the middle. Baliatico controlled it and shot it right under Pringle and into the corner of the goal.
“I think we all played well together the whole time,” Baliatico said. “We need to make sure we watch our marks, pressure a lot and look to get more goals.”
Both teams were undefeated coming into the game and it showed on the field as neither team could score until the end of the first half.
“I think we came out strong from the very beginning,” Raiders’ midfield Katherine Cunningham said. “We were ready to play and give it our all and that's what we did.”
The Raiders are focusing their sights on their next goal which is winning a state tournament.
“We just want to play well,” Ewing said.” We have a good chance to do well in states, but there are a lot of good teams in our section. We're just going to take it one day at a time like we did in the county tournament.”
The Raiders improve to 17-0-1 and play at Gov. Livingston on Tuesday.