WESTFIELD, NJ – The scoring came in bunches at Westfield’s Kehler Stadium, as the Blue Devils boys’ soccer team trampled Columbia High School, 7-0, in the first round of the NJSIAA state tournament.
Blue Devil junior Michael Prosuk recorded a hat trick, while senior Alik Morgan tallied two assists to lead Westfield into the second round of the North Jersey 2, Group 4 playoffs.
“As I told the boys, we could have finished the game off 30 seconds in with a goal,” Westfield head coach Eric Shaw said. “Games are going to get a little bit tougher and we might not get all those opportunities. We need to punish them when we can."
It took the Blue Devils almost 28 minutes to get the scoreboard, but once they put one ball in, the rest came easy.
Morgan connected with Prosuk and Mate Landeka on crosses within 55 seconds of each other to quickly put Westfield on top 2-0.
With over five minutes to play, Matt Williams got on the score sheet right before Dereck Amakye made it 4-0 at halftime.
“The earlier you can get goals, it makes us a little bit more confident,” Shaw said. “The longer you let teams sit in it, they start building confidence and it puts us on our heels. If we can get goals early on, in any match, we’re happy for it.”
In the second half, despite resting many of the starters, Westfield pounded in three more goals, including two from Prosuk and one from Sam Sokolin.
Senior defender Zach Sheil said it was fun to sit on the sideline and watch some of the backups get minutes in this type of game.
“Everyone on this team deserves to get in the game,” Sheil said. “Its great when the other players get a chance to get out there and even a few of them get some goals.”
With the victory, Westfield plays at JP Stevens in Friday’s second round match.