LIVINGSTON, NJ—“We just want another chance to get back there and this is one step closer,” said Livingston forward Kristine Kelly about returning to the state title.
Last year, Livingston faced the No.1 team in the state, Lenape, in the final game but ultimately loss.
This year is different. There is no player of the year like last year when Livingston had Kate Schwindel, who was just named second-team All Big East this week. This Lancer squad has a year of experience under their belt. They’re aware what it takes to get to the state final, now they want to win it.
By defeating Morris Knolls 3-0 Friday afternoon in Livingston the Lancers have two more victories to get back to that big game. However, they know it will be a test and it will be a game-by-game process.
On Friday, Clara Scher’s right foot slammed the ball into the back of the net, on a penalty shot, to put Livingston ahead in the 20th minute.
“It is always key to get ahead, but especially in states,” assistant coach Dave Cohen said. “We have played ahead most of the year, it is part of our game.”
When Livingston is ahead they do a fantastic job of being patient with the ball, out-flanking their opponent, and working for additional goals.
Livingston only led 1-0 at half but completely owned time of possession and shots. The Lancers outshot the Golden Eagles seven to three.
“Our looks were good and we could feel another coming,” Kelly added.
That second goal came in the 62nd minute off Scher’s left foot. A beautiful 18-yard ball that curved into the upper left corner out of the outstretched arms of Morris Knolls goalkeeper Annie George.
Only six minutes later, Kelly netted a shot extremely similar to Scher putting Livingston up 3-0. Livingston continued to pressure with a lead and outshot the Golden Eagles 14 to six in Friday’s contest.
“Every game from here on out is a challenge, we know that. If we play our game and execute we’re as good as anyone,” Cohen concluded.