ELIZABETH – Allie Sciacchitano found herself with a marvelous scoring opportunity with the second half clock ticking away, and the junior didn’t waste the chance.
Sciacchitano delivered the decisive goal when she scored from 20 yards into the upper left-hand corner to give ninth-seeded Gov. Livingston a 3-2 victory over eighth-seeded Elizabeth on Wednesday (Oct. 10) in the first round of the Union County Tournament.
“Allie got the ball about 30 yards, turned and made a nice move,” said Gov. Livingston coach Mike Roof. “She used her left foot, and it was a pretty impressive shot.”
Kaylee Vreeland finished with two goals, Allie Post collected an assist and Sarah Foy made two saves for the Highlanders, who improved to 9-3 and advanced into the quarterfinal round to face top-seeded Cranford on Oct. 13. Elizabeth is 7-3-2.
The triumph allowed the Highlanders to avenge a 2-1 road defeat against Elizabeth on Sept. 29, a setback that halted a six-game winning streak. It marks the second straight season Gov. Livingston advances into the quarterfinal round to play the top seed – last season the Highlanders were edged, 1-0, by No. 1 seed Westfield in the final minute of regulation.
Gov. Livingston had advanced with a 2-0 victory over 15th-seeded Brearley on Oct. 6 in the preliminary round as Catalina Abusada and Kaylee Vreeland both scored.
“We weren’t happy with that loss,” Roof recalled of the previous setback against Elizabeth this season. “We wanted to make it a focal point today to be mentally and emotionally strong. We focused on playing our brand of soccer, going hard and being physical. I felt we were better. Elizabeth’s field is a bit shorter and it’s a tough place to play. You have to change your game a little and make simple plays.”
Vreeland gave the Highlanders a 1-0 lead with her 10th goal this fall in the first half, but Elizabeth responded and squared it at 1-1 before the half ended.
The talented sophomore connected again on a set piece, with Vreeland delivering her 11th goal to put Gov. Livingston on top again, 2-1.
“We wanted to have a good response after losing to Elizabeth a couple of weeks ago,” Roof added. “We did the things we wanted to do. We were composed, and I thought the biggest difference was that we had three very good scoring opportunities and we finished them off. That was a big reason we were successful today.”
The Highlanders will now face Cranford in the quarterfinal round. Cranford edged Gov. Livingston, 2-1, in a regular season match on Oct. 4 in Berkeley Heights.
“We’ll go to Cranford and play them again,” said Roof. “We gave them a pretty decent game last week, so it should be a good game again. They’ve got some talented kids and we know it will be a tough game.”