BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Governor Livingston girl’s soccer team beat Cranford 1-0 Thursday afternoon behind Samantha Erickson’s first half goal.

Erickson’s goal came with six minutes left in the half after numerous GL (3-5-1) opportunities had come up empty. After a 30-yard shot hit the crossbar, Erickson crashed the goal and was able to get around the lone defender and kick the ball on the hop, sending it into the top left corner for the score.

Cranford almost evened the score minutes later on a breakaway. GL goalie Michelle Coyle came out of the net and dove on the shot, just barely missing it. But defender Ava Delargy was able to get right behind Coyle to kick the ball out and preserve the GL lead.

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“These kids have been playing with each other for a while and they have an idea of how to play with one another and they didn’t make many mistakes tonight,” head coach Mike Roof said. “They were very solid in the back tonight, and we handled our responsibilities on defense well and that was one of the major reasons we won today.”

The second half featured opportunities for both teams, but strong defensive play kept the score at 1-0. Both teams were physical the entire game, and the referees had to issue several warnings as time went on.

“They have good size and good physicality about them and I thought that gave us fits in the first half,” Roof said. “I thought we clearly dealt better with the physicality in the second half. It likely caught some of our younger girls and some of our new girls off guard and it kept us off-balanced at the same time, but I thought we dealt well with it from halftime on.”

GL next hosts New Providence on Saturday. The two teams have already played once this season, with the Pioneers besting the Highlanders 2-0 at the end of September.