CLARK, NJ- Johnson senior and co-captain Deserae Sequeira scored two goals to help lead the No. 1 seeded Crusaders girls varsity soccer team to a victory in the NJSIAA Central, Group 2 first round matchup against the No. 16 seeded Delaware Valley Terriers 3-0 Tuesday afternoon in Clark.
Her first goal came on a penalty kick at the 23:45 mark of the first half, beating Delaware Valley sophomore goaltender Brianna Schneider, following a handball in the box. Sequeira’s second goal iced the game at the 28:37 mark of the second half.
“We have to get a good start in the first game so that we roll into the next game,” Sequeira said. “All we knew is that once this team was working, we knew we would get one.”
Despite a number of injuries on team, the Johnson Crusaders were still seeded No. 1 in the state bracket. According to Sequeira, the teams' handling and overcoming adversities earlier in the season shows how they can stay on track.
“It means that our team has a lot of depth and all of our players are really skilled at what we do, and we’re going to keep moving forward with what we do,” she said.
Johnson sophomore Colleen Sullivan got things started for Johnson, scoring at the 17:00 mark of the first half to give Johnson the 1-0 lead with her second goal of the season.
“As a team, we all pick each other up and one of us has to go out there but we all do it together,” Sullivan said. “I couldn’t have gotten that goal without my team, so I think we all did it together, it’s not just my goal, it’s the team’s goal.”
Johnson led 2-0 at halftime, and stayed in control throughout the entirety of the game. The Delaware Valley Terriers got a few chances, but they all went wide. Johnson kept the ball in the Delaware Valley zone and out of their own for large portions of the game.
Johnson controlled the game on both sides of the field, got pressure going with setups up for scoring tries and never looked back.
Johnson senior goaltender and co-captain Meaghan Gallagher stopped all three Delaware Valley shots that came her way, as she got help all around the net. This is Gallagher’s ninth shutout of the season.
Also, for the Crusaders, sophomores Cecelia Puentes and Natalya Torres each recorded an assist in the victory.
“It shows that we have been working really hard,” ALJ Coach Meredith Peitz said. “We are almost back to 100 percent after battling multiple injuries mid-season. Winning 3-0 today helps build our confidence. The first round shows we feel confident moving into the quarterfinals against Voorhees on Friday.”
For Delaware Valley, sophomore goaltender Brianna Schneider made seven saves on ten shots in the loss.
The Johnson Crusaders (15-3) advance to the NJSIAA Central, Group 2 Quarterfinals on Friday, November 4. Game time is 4 p.m.
They will face off against No. 8 seeded Voorhees HS, who defeated No. 9 McNair HS by a score of 7-0 Tuesday afternoon.
The Delaware Valley Terriers finish their 2016 season with a 2-15-3 record.