LIVINGSTON, NJ – Led by a two-goal performance from sophomore Kamsi Udodi, the West Orange boys soccer team defeated Livingston, 2-0, in the second round of the state tournament on Friday afternoon.
Udodi had recently been called up from the Junior Varsity squad just before the state tournament began and he played a major role in the second round win.
“I just wanted to put the team first,” Udodi said. “Everything I do, I do it for the team.”
The Mountaineers got on the board in the 27th minute after a through pass found Pancho Pozzolli on the attack, but his shot bounced off of the post and rattled around in front of the net. Udodi was in the right place at the right time and booted the ball into the back of the net, giving West Orange the lead.
“We’re pretty even teams,” Mountaineers’ head coach Doug Nevins said. “Sometimes in games like this it comes down to one good play and the key today was being opportunistic.”
The Lancers struggled offensively throughout the game as they have for the majority of the season. In 20 games they have scored only 22 goals.
“When you don't score goals, you have to manufacture them in another way,” Lancers head coach Roger Rubinetti said. “We struggle for the goals that we get. We work hard for them, they don't come easy.”
West Orange increased its lead in the 71st minute when a defensive miscommunication brought the Lancers’ keeper out of the goal. Once again Udodi was there to finish the play off and give the Mountaineers a comfortable lead in the final minutes.
“They're a strong program every year and we battled them really hard today but we just came out on the short end,” Rubinetti said.
The Mountaineers will face off with the Essex County Tournament champion Montclair in the section semifinal on Tuesday.