WEST ORANGE, NJ – Forwards Kazari Trought and Matthew Wilson each scored a goal in the first half for the West Orange Mountaineers and Jelani Williams added a tally in the second half as they handled the Livingston Lancers en route to a 3-0 victory on cool, wet Thursday afternoon at West Orange High School.
Controlling possession and limiting the other team’s opportunities is usually a pretty good formula to win a soccer game. That is exactly what West Orange was able to do against Supper Essex County Conference opponents Livingston as they outshot the visiting team 8-4 before collecting their 9th win of the season.
“I’m very happy. This (conference) is so hard. So you don’t get any easy games,” West Orange Head Coach Doug Nevins said. “Defensively, we looked very good. We didn’t give up many chances.”
The offense certainly helped with that cause as they were all over the Livingston end of the field for virtually the entire first half.
Trought, a player who Coach Nevins called “a freak of nature” because of his blinding speed, got on the scoreboard first for West Orange. He beat Livingston defender Jesse Lederman to a loose ball then, after goalkeeper Brady O’Connor came out of his goal, he lofted the ball past him and footed it into the back of the cage.
“It was just a good ball from Jelani Williams," Trought said. "I just saw an opening. I saw the goalie come out and put it around him. I saw the goal and just put it in the net."
Less than six minutes later, Trought added an assist to the stat sheet when he made a nice pass to Wilson who was racing toward the Livingston goal. The sophomore took the ball and blasted a shot past O’Connor to give his team a 2-0 lead at the 7:36 mark of the first half.
For Livingston, they had a tough time advancing the ball up field against West Orange midfielders and defenseman.
They earned two corner kicks in the first half and their best chance came when forward Eric Sugarman sent in a corner for teammate Jared Goldstern. However, his try sailed over the West Orange net and the score remained 2-0 at halftime.
Coming out of the halftime gate, West Orange would continue to keep up the offensive pressure as the team scored their third goal of the
contest just 1:29 into the second half.
Taking advantage of a Livingston turnover, Williams collected the ball near the left side of the Livingston box before blasting in a score.
“Basically, we just came out and said to put pressure on their (defensive) backs, which we did,” Trought said after the game. “Midfield, as soon as we get the ball, it’s about contact. To me we’re one of the fastest teams in the state.”
The chances for Livingston were few and far between in the final 40 minutes of play as well. A good opportunity came when Sam Katz sent a direct kick toward goal, but Taylor Genovese’s header was just wide of goal.
West Orange may have won a tough, conference game against a quality opponent, but they will face the same challenge all over again when they take on Livingston this Saturday in the first round of the NJSIAA Essex County Tournament.
“We don’t even look at this result. We know Saturday is going to be very hard. We know they’re going to show up ready to play and they’re very good,” Coach Nevins said of the Livingston team. “They might change up what they do. They have good players. I’m sure Saturday’s going to
be a great game."
That matchup will take place at West Orange High School at 5 p.m.