BELLEVILLE, NJ—The 2010 Essex County Championship was one for the ages. It was an overtime classic where the Lady Lancers defeated the Mounties of Montclair. But this year, Montclair avenged that loss and captured the title they have been chasing for over a year as they defeated Livingston 1-0 on a brisk night in Belleville.
“It was an unbelievable game,” Livingston defender Carly Swenson said. “Two classics in back-to-back years.”
Soccer is a game of patience and timing: both in Montclair’s favor Saturday night. Montclair owned majority of possession throughout the night and outshot Livingston almost five to one (19 shots for Montclair and four for Livingston).
“Coming into this, we knew how fast they are and how they use an attacking formation,” Swenson continued. “We countered with more of a defensive formation and it worked. Their goal was on a counter attack.”
However, it was the one set up from Maya Pitts to Kiah Atkinson in the 19th minute of the first half that brought the title to Montclair.
The lone goal would be enough for the Mounties as their defense played astonishing throughout the evening. With Kaila Jenkins and Deja Davis controlling the wings and Erika Joab and Annie Monaghan doing most of the marking in the middle of the field, Montclair’s defense gave their forwards and midfielders more than enough opportunities. Even though Montclair on converted on one of those opportunities, the Mounties had full confidence they would own time of possession.
Livingston’s one true chance was in the 11th minute of the second half when junior Clara Scher had a break. Scher was met by a diving goalkeeper, Lucia Surraco. The Mounties gained full momentum after that and attempted to play keep away for the next 11 minutes.
“It hurts to lose, but we will build from this,” Livingston forward Kristine Kelly said. “Fortunately for us we have the state tournament and also we are an extremely young team.”