LIVINGSTON, NJ—Livingston head coach Paul Raiz set three goals for his Lady Lancer squad way back in August: Win the conference, county, and state title. Straightforward and simple.
The Lancers came one step closer to their coach’s goal as they defeated Glen Ridge, 5-0, in the semi-finals of the Essex County Tournament.
“It is an honor to make one county final,” Livingston defender Carly Swenson said. “For most of us it is our second in a row. That opportunity doesn’t come around too often.”
Not only does it not come around too often, but this will be the first time in Essex County history that there will be a rematch in back-to-back years with Livingston and Montclair.
Last year, Livingston won a 2-1 overtime classic.
This will be the third time the two teams have met in 2011. The first match resulted in a double overtime tie. The second time around Montclair handled business and handily defeated the Lancers 4-0. However, these teams are extremely familiar with one another.
Saturday will be the seventh time the two teams have played in the past two years and this year the two could meet for the conference title and in the state finals.
On Thursday, Livingston used the perimeter of the field extremely well. Four of the five Livingston goals originated from the sidelines.
“It’s our spacing,” Livingston defender Kylie McLaughlin said. “We are a quick team and trust we can get to any ball.”
This was Livingston’s third time beating Glen Ridge this fall.
Junior Clara Scher put Livingston infront early. Scher, who moved from forward to center midfielder on Thursday, headed in a beautiful corner kick by Kristine Kelly in the tenth minute. Ten minutes later, junior Joanna Scotti scored on a fantastic cross by sophomore midfielder Jordy Bonvini in the 20th minute.
Livingston had a 2-0 lead heading to halftime and outshot Glen Ridge 8-0.
“We were content with where we were at half,” McLaughlin continued. “But 2-0 is a manageable deficit, especially for a team of the caliber of Glen Ridge.”
Livingston showed no signs of slowing down as Scher used the right sideline before sending a cross to Ilana Bier.
Shortly after, sophomore forward Erica Dippold knocked a 25-yard shot laser into the left corner past the Glen Ridge keeper. The final goal was put in by junior Morgan Unger.
“It was a total team effort today and Saturday will be another great challenge for us to meet our goals,” Swenson said.