BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The tenth-seed Governor Livingston Highlanders girls’ soccer defeated the fifteenth-seed Raritan Rockets, 5-0, in the second round of the NJSIAA Central Group 2 Tournament on Thursday.
Governor Livingston came out on the home turf and looked to build on their Tournament success. Their command started in the later part of the first half, when the team took advantage of the Rockets’ fouls. Once their passing and ball control came together, the Highlanders dominated for the remainder of the game.
“Once we got outside the first fifteen minutes, where there was some angst and indecision,” Governor Livingston head coach Mike Roof said, “I think we were okay.”
Senior captain Lindsay DiStaso started the Highlanders offense with a goal off a penalty kick in the 27th minute. Roof was very clear about her importance as a leader in this game and on this team.
“We are going to need her at this stage in the season to contribute,” Roof said “She needs to continue producing. She did a great job either creating opportunities on offense for herself or for others.”
Senior Rachel Siegel kept the offense going with two goals while senior Logan Boenning and junior Riley Jankowski tapped in one goal apiece.
Roof was pleased with the way the girls settled in behind their early offense and maintained control throughout.
“We kept it simple,” Roof said, “We had some trouble keeping balls on the ground, but once we started playing the balls short and on the ground we were fine.”
In this offensive show for the Highlanders, their defensive performance could not be ignored. The Highlanders did not provide the Rockets with many offensive opportunities and kept them scoreless.
Senior Alice Caballero led the Highlanders domination on defense. Caballero was quick to give credit to the team as a whole.
“The score really showed that we came together,” Caballero said, “We played as a team which is always great to see.”
DiStaso, knowing what was at stake, was proud of the team’s performance and the strong victory.
“With every state game we know there is a possibility that it could be our last game,” DiStaso said, “We knew what we had to do, and we got it done today.”
Next, Governor Livingston will take on the third-seed Holmdel Hornets in the semifinals on November 9th.