CLARK, NJ—The Arthur L. Johnson Girls Soccer team's near impenetrable defense, coupled with its aggressive offense, were the perfect combination for a 3-1 victory over Voorhees in the first game of the NJSIAA state tournament played at home on Tuesday.

Lauren Beck, starting forward, scored the first two goals for Johnson during the first half, and added an assist in the second half when Anabela Casimiro scored their third and final goal. Casimiro and Deserae Sequeira had one assist apiece as well. Felicia Silveira scored Voorhees’s one goal and goalie Katelynn Edmund recorded twelve saves.

The secret to Johnson’s success? “The girls support one another,” Coach Meredith Peitz stated.

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Beck, a senior at Johnson, agreed with Peitz. “We understand how each person plays and we work to complement one another. We have all molded to each other and our bond on and off the field is a major contributor to our success.”

Johnson took control of the game quickly with Beck’s first goal being scored within the first ten minutes of the first half.  Johnson’s goalie, sophomore Meaghan Gallagher, was on top of her game, not letting one shot past her throughout the entire first half. She made ten saves throughout the game, many of them being both difficult and impressive to perform. Shortly before the first half ended, Beck scored once again, giving Johnson a sound 2-0 lead at halftime.

The second half started off slowly, and neither team scored in the first twenty minutes. However, Silveira of Voorhees changed the pace of the game by scoring and putting the 12th seed on the board. “We made a few silly mistakes,” Beck admitted of letting up the lone goal.

Although their first goal re-energized the Vikings, they were unable to convert in the remaining twenty minutes. “Our speed outmatched Voorhees’s, and our skills were unbeatable,” Beck explained proudly.

With 13 minutes left, Johnson‘s Casimiro scored the final goal of the game to secure the Crusaders’ lead and win.

Johnson’s next game is scheduled for Friday when they will travel to Holmdel to face the number 4 seed in the state tournament quarterfinals.

Editor's Note: Kelly Vena is an ALJ student reporter who writes for the ALJ Crusader newspaper and the TAP team at ALJ.