BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - In the season opener for both teams, the Governor Livingston Highlanders boys soccer team defeated the Summit Hilltoppers, 1-0.
Junior Josiah Crawford was not only responsible for the game’s lone goal, but also his team’s first goal of the season.
Not only do they stand 1-0, but the Highlanders picked up a crucial opening win in conference play.
The win wasn’t pretty, but head coach Bruno Somma will take it. Starting a season on the right note can do wonders for a team’s confidence, which is what Somma hopes this win does for his squad.
“The boys played hard and did a very nice job on defense,” Somma said. “But we also have to finish better on offense. We can’t squander scoring opportunities against good teams like Summit. We have to make the best of those opportunities.”
“But overall we had the better play of the day and did a nice job controlling the pace of the game.”
According to Somma, the Highlanders missed about three or four opportunities to get on the board. One of those opportunities included a Mason Boenning goal that was called back because of an offside penalty.
Thanks to Crawford, all of those opportunities weren’t blown.
About midway through the first half, Crawford blasted past a group of Summit defenders before kicking a perfect right-footed shot past the Summit goalie. What made Crawford’s goal even more impressive was the fact that it was unassisted.
Governor Livingston goalie Andre Perez-Santalla was another Highlander in the impressive category. In his first game as a starter, the sophomore registered five saves.
Perez-Santalla was just a piece of the dominant Governor Livingston defense. Somma was pleased at the play of centerbacks Killian Quinn, Andrew Aguilera, Eli Manganiello, and Nikos Mouchtaris.
“All four of those guys played well back there,” Somma said. “They were very tough on the ball and defended well.”
The Highlanders return to action Saturday in what will be another pivotal division matchup on the road against Johnson.
Capitalizing on offense will no doubt be the point-of-emphasis for Somma and his staff leading up to the contest.
“Against Johnson, we must do a better job of putting the ball in the back of the net,” Somma said.
Saturday’s game is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.