CRANFORD - It's never ideal to enter tournament play winless in your last seven games, but that's the situation Cranford found itself in.
After a 2-1 start to the season, the Cougars had dropped to a 2-7-1 record after an 0-6-1 skid. Despite the record, Cranford drew the 11th-seed for the Union County Tournament with a first round matchup against 14th-seeded David Brearley (7-2-1) of Kenilworth.
Tied 1-1 with just over 15 minutes to go, junior Tim O'Donovan scored the game-winning goal to give Cranford the 2-1 victory and advance to face sixth-seeded Governor Livingston in the second round.
"I was just pushing forward," said O'Donovan. "We were constantly looking for one. Coach told me to get forward and gave me the freedom to push up. It fell to me and I just hit one."
Cranford fell behind 1-0 in the first-half and went into halftime trailing before Connor Blazek tied things up 1-1 in the 46th minute, set up by Ryan Dooley.
"(Dooley) hit one around one of the defenders and I ran up the left side and hit it with the outside of my right foot. It hit right off of the goalie's side and rolled in," said Blazek.
Blazek also mentioned that the team's recent rough patch had been weighing on them.
"After losing all of those games, it just kind of hurts, so now we're going into counties and it's do or die, so we just have to leave it all on the field," added Blazek.
Junior goaltender Dom Savinelli also picked up his first win of the season. Savinelli has been trust into the starting lineup with Andrew Iacovano out with an injury. Savinelli stopped four of Brearley's five shots on goal.
"It's been really fun being out on the field," said Savinelli. "I get to be a real part of the team and it's just a great experience. The defense was really strong and helped me out."
Cranford's next UCT game is scheduled for Saturday at Governor Livingston with a time to be determined. The Cougars' last matchup with Governor Livingston came in last year's season-opener in which Cranford fell 2-1.
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