LIVINGSTON, NJ — Despite a solid effort in the Livingston High School boys soccer team’s match against Glen Ridge, the Lancers are still learning the intricacies of varsity-level soccer after a 2-1 overtime loss dropped the team to 0-4 on the season.
“We’re a young team that’s struggling,” said Livingston head coach Roger Rubinetti. “We’re limited to what we can do because we’ve got a lot of young guys.”
Both teams headed to overtime knotted at one, but the momentum had been turning The Ridgers’ way. Glen Ridge forced a corner kick that was promptly put home by Modesto Nogueira with three minutes and 57 seconds left in the extra period for the Ridgers’ victory.
“We made a mistake: we left the guy open on the corner kick on the six all by himself and give them credit, the kid put it right on their head and he knocked it in,” said Rubinetti.
Nogueira’s goal capped off an impressive comeback victory for the now 3-1 Glen Ridge squad that came into the game favored. Glen Ridge showed its resilience with an early second-half goal from Jordan Caloo off of yet another corner kick, which tied the game at one in the 42nd minute.
“Glen Ridge is one of the best teams we’ve played in a long time,” said Rubinetti. “They have a lot of speed, size and strength.”
Livingston received a solid effort from two of its lone seniors in Brian Kelly and Aria Navi. Navi connected with Kelly on the sole Livingston goal in the sixth minute of the contest to show Glen Ridge that the squad would not be a pushover despite a winless record. The goal was Kelly’s second of the season.
“[They both] work really hard for us up top,” said Rubinetti of the seniors.
In addition to the seniors’ hard work, a bright spot in the loss was sophomore goalkeeper Elijah Elster. Elster kept the squad in the game with a number of key saves late in the contest before finishing with a game-high eight for the night.
“[His communication] was better today, his punts have been really good, he came up big [late in the game], he hustles after it and I give him credit,” said Rubinetti.
Livingston will look to take the positives from the loss and grow as the season progresses. The youthful squad will utilize the experience and play time given to work at getting on the winning track.
“We’ll take these games and put them together and hopefully get a win at some point. I know the kids are upset that we came out on the short end,” said Rubinetti. “We have a lot of work to do.”
The Lancers will look to break their losing streak as they take on Montville on Friday.