LIVINGSTON, NJ—When the state tournament comes around, big-time players step up in bright lights of the big time games. That was evident Thursday in Livingston as Kristine Kelly paced the Lancers with two goals and four assists leading Livingston to an 8-0 victory over the Belleville Buccaneers.
Livingston was awarded the third overall seed in North 1, Group 4 while Belleville earned the 14th seed.
“It was a total team effort,” Kelly said. “We played a complete game as a team and the score showed that.”
Prior to Thursday afternoon, Livingston’s last game was two weeks to the day and they certain did not miss a beat as they controlled the tempo of the game from the start and dominated in every facet.
“We were eager to get out here and play,” Livingston defender Kylie McLaughlin said. “It’s been a hectic two weeks and it was nice to return to our normal routine.”
Livingston’s offensive outbreak began in the ninth minute when Annie Warner served Kelly’s cross into the back of the net past the outstretched keeper. Two minutes later, Kelly assisted another goal to Erica Dippold giving Livingston a 2-0 lead.
“We came out really strong and kept the tempo in our favor,” Kelly continued.
Later, in the 22nd minute, Joanna Scotti and Monica Flores played a two-mans’ game beating multiple Belleville defenders. Flores crossed it and it found the right foot of Scotti to increase Livingston’s lead, 3-0.
The Lancers would carry a 6-0 lead into the half.
With such a large lead, Livingston head coach Paul Raiz was able to give him starters a rest for majority of the second half.
Livingston was not as potent in the second half but came away with two more goals from Kelly and Warner.
“This game is over and done with and all concentration is on our quarterfinal match against Wayne Valley,” Kelly concluded.