LIVINGSTON, NJ – An unassisted goal by Bloomfield's Antalia Pena and successful goalkeeping by Grace Carroll following a goal from Livingston's Lauren Belcuore brought the game to a 1-1 tie at halftime, but Livingston’s offense swept past the Bloomfield Bengals in the second half for a 3-1 victory in the first round of the NJSIAA Tournament on Monday afternoon.  

“We were a little too direct,” said Bengals head coach Jon Aliaga. “Although we had some speed up top, we should have had a little more variation on our attacks.”

Belcuore ultimately netted two goals for the fourth-seeded Lancers, while her teammate Ashley Reuter scored one. Sarah Miller recorded two assists and another assist came from Avery Conklin.

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Carroll made 14 saves for the Bengals on Monday compared to one save for Jocelyn McCauley.

The Bengals finished their season at 7-11-1 and in the 13th-seed.

“We fought really hard this season and our tenacity also improved,” said Aliaga. “We had a lot of tough losses, but we never gave up. We’re always in the fight and that’s something we will continue to build on for next year.”

Aliaga praised his team for its offensive and defensive enhancements throughout the season.

“We’ve improved our ability to keep the ball at our feet and read the game more both offensively and defensively, so I think they’re becoming much more knowledgeable about the game of soccer.”

While the season has come to an end for the Bengals, Livingston has advanced to the second round of the NJSIAA Tournament where they will take on fifth-seeded West Orange on Thursday.