LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston High School (LHS) girls soccer team advanced to a 3-2 record on the season with a 1-0 victory over Mount Saint Dominic (MSD) Academy at home on Wednesday.

In the second half, Livingston sophomore Savannah Belcuore sent the ball over the top to sophomore Kayla Parsons, who beat the goalie to the ball and put it through an empty net to score the lone goal of the game. The Livingston victory comes after Monday’s 2-0 defeat to Northern Highlands, which is currently the No. 1 team in the state.

LHS head coach Paul Raiz said the match against MSD “wasn’t the prettiest game” the Lancers have played thus far, but he was confident that the girls would continue to improve as they move through a challenging 2017 schedule.

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“After we play a big game against a really good opponent like we did on Monday night, we come out a little bit sluggish sometimes and I think that happened,” said Raiz, who added that the Lancers found it difficult to take shots on goal on Wednesday.

Livingston made a total of five shots on goal against MSD keeper Jillian MacStudy. However, with a goal from Parsons and three saves made by starting goalie Nicole Kwoczka, Livingston came out the victor. 

Raiz also gave credit to the MSD team, who he said is “not an inferior opponent” and played a tough, physical game. In fact, Raiz said he is looking forward to “showing that [Livingston] can compete with the best” in the coming weeks.

“We loaded up our schedule this year,” he said. “Our conference is always tough—with Montclair, Caldwell and Nutley and those kinds of teams—but I think we have one of the toughest independent schedules maybe in the state. We have our work cut out.”

After the holiday, the Lancers will take on a “physical, extremely well-coached” Ridge team, which dropped from No. 1 but is still somewhere in the top ten, according to Raiz. Last year, the Ridge team beat out Livingston to go to the state championship.

“We’re just looking for a good game,” said Raiz. “We’re playing all these tough opponents because we want to keep improving and be our best come October for county and state playoff time.”

Raiz said he is confident in this year’s roster despite the current absence of senior captain Tori Belcuore, who is one of the Lancers’ star players but was still sore as of Wednesday after spraining her ankle during preseason.

This year’s seniors include captains Tori Belcuore and Ashley Reuter; Christine Craitar; Ally Levitt; Nikki Schreiber; Tara McCormack; Nikki Eisen; Hannah Oliveira; and Jocelyn McCauley. In addition to being great players, Raiz said the seniors are also great motivators for the underclassmen—as there are many underclassmen starting on varsity this season, including three freshmen.

“I think we’re going to keep improving,” said Raiz. “We may not be 19-0 coming into the last game of the season like we were last year, but I think we’re going to keep getting better. We can still contend for conference and county titles and hopefully we’ll keep going in the right direction.” 

The Lancers will practice once more time on Friday afternoon before taking on Ridge on Saturday at 10 a.m. in Basking Ridge.