CRANFORD - Shot by Murray, saved. Rebound. Shot by Korzeneski, saved. Rebound. Shot by Murray, goal. That was the final five seconds of the game.
Maggie Murray scored the game-winning goal five minutes into overtime to give Cranford, No. 12 in the NJ.com Girls Soccer Top 20, a 2-1 victory over No. 17 Westfield, on Thursday at Memorial Field.
"It was basically I shot it, the goalie deflected. Riley (Korzeneski) shot it, the goalie deflected. It kind of just kept going back and forth and I saw it bouncing and I didn't know if Riley was going to hit it or not and it was bouncing around her knee and I literally put my leg around her and just put it in the back of the net. We just needed a goal," said Murray.
Both teams were held scoreless in the first-half but it was Westfield who drew first blood with a goal 14 minutes into the second. Down but not out, Cranford tied things up 14 minutes later when Murray sent a cross to freshman Aileen McGovern who headed it into the net, giving her the first varsity goal of her career.
"I was really excited because I hadn't scored yet," said McGovern. "I've had chances and opportunities but I kind of felt like today would be a good game and I was just lucky enough to be there at the right time."
Though Westfield's goal came in the second-half, Cranford's defense allowed just two shots on goal in the final 40 minutes compared to seven in the first 40. Head coach Andrew Gagliardo complimented his strong back four line.
"They played a great game," said Gagliardo. "I think Morgan Heim played an awesome game. (Abbigail) Ahearn was winning balls and settling and taking space up the field. Claire Ganley again taking those 50/50s. Caroline Ewing on the right side, you know, people kind of write her off because they think she's not that big or physical, but when you get down to the nitty-gritty, she is big and she is physical. So I think they all did an awesome job at keeping us in the game."
The Cougars will next play on Saturday when they travel to face North Hunterdon for an 11:30 a.m. start.
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