CRANFORD - Maggie Murray scored the game-winning goal to give second-seeded Cranford a 3-2 victory over seventh-seeded West Morris in the quarterfinal round of the North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 tournament on Thursday at Memorial Field.
Tied 2-2 with seven minutes left, Kirsten Williams knocked down a clear at midfield that Aileen McGovern also got a touch on before Murray settled it with space ahead and skipped it past West Morris goalie Susan Whittemore.
"I had a one-on-one with the goalie and I knew she was going to dive if I hit it to the side because that's what she did the whole game, so I just tried to hit it under her, and it went right under her as she dived," said Murray.
Cranford jumped out to an early 1-0 lead just over 10 minutes in when Claire Ganley threw one of her signature bombs into the box that Whittemore punched out of what looked to be harm's way. Sophia Montague headed the deflection over to Williams who appeared to head the 50/50 ball past Whittemore.
The Cougars were headed towards a 1-0 halftime lead, but with a little over two minutes to go, West Morris tied things up when a miscommunication between Cranford goalie Amanda Vath and her defenders resulted in Vath being out of position and Delaney Smith scoring an open net goal.
Riley Korzeneski put Cranford ahead 2-1 14 minutes into the second-half when she and Murray had a 2-on-1 with Whittemore. Murray crossed to Korzeneski for the easy goal. Bridget Moylan would tie things up again six minutes later before Murray hit the game-winner.
Cranford, currently ranked No. 8 in the NJ.com Top 20, will take on third-seeded Middletown North in the semifinals on Monday at a to be determined time. A win on Monday will put the Cougars in the N2G3 Finals for the second year in a row. Last season, they fell to Middletown South 3-1.
"We haven't done this in 20 years," said Murray. "We won co-champs for the conference, co-champs for the counties, so we want to actually win something, not co. I think this is our time to."