LIVINGSTON, NJ — A goal from freshman Kayla Parsons with the assist from senior Olivia Shevrin in the final minutes led the Livingston Lancers girls soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Montclair in the Essex County Championships at Montclair State University on Sunday.
According to head coach Paul Raiz, the girls were nervous in the first half, with Montclair coming at them hard in the first 20 minutes, but sophomore keeper Nicole Kwoczka held them off with 10 saves throughout the game.
“We’ve been runners up too many times—especially to Montclair, that team is a really good team,” said Raiz. “[Montclair] gave their best effort, they’re well coached and extremely talented and physical but in the second half we had more chances, more possessions and it took a little of the pressure off us. There were some great efforts all around.”
This victory comes after the Lancers fell to Montclair, 4-3, in the final round of same tournament last season and again in the group quarterfinals.
With standout performances by Parsons, Shevrin, Kwoczka, Megan Leffler, who Raiz said masterfully carried out plays that the Lancers practiced, and some bench players, the girls were able to enjoy a celebratory lunch following their victory.
“These girls deserve it—everyone on that roster: all 25 girls and the whole coaching staff,” said Raiz. “We have great support from Livingston fans, the soccer community and the boys’ soccer team so it’s really fun, it’s a great environment and a great high school.”
With an overall record of 15-1, the Lancers earned the No. 1 seed in the upcoming NJSIAA State Sectional Tournament, beginning on Nov. 1 with a first-round match against No. 16 Bloomfield.
Should they win, the girls will take on the winner of the match between No. 8 North Bergen and No. 9 Passaic Tech in the quarterfinals on Nov. 4.