LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston girls soccer team is starting the 2019 season strong after a 4-1 victory over Nutley on Saturday gives the Lancers their second consecutive win.

“I think we came into the game with a lot of respect for Nutley,” said new head coach Brian Carr. “They are a good program, they are well coached and, for us, it was just about focusing on ourselves. I think we put in the work offensively and defensively; and with a collective effort, we were able to push on.”

Livingston started fast and pushed the Nutley defense back. Team captain Lauren Belcuore scored the game’s first goal just four minutes into the contest, battling through the defender and goalie for the 1-0 Lancer lead.

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“We knew it would be a tough, physical game going into it, so we just focused on everyone winning their individual battles,” said Belcuore.

Belcuore was far from finished on the day, as she became a key cog in the scoring chain once more six minutes later. Belcuore connected with Jadyn Liebman on a gorgeous cross for the game’s eventual decisive goal. Liebman has been red hot to start the season, with two goals in two games for the Lancers.

“[Liebman] really stepped up this year; she’s a big time player for us,” said Belcuore. “She’s playing a lot of through balls and is a really technical player, so it’s good to have her.”

Livingston connected on one more goal prior to the end of the half. Megan Padilla’s first goal of the season gave the squad a commanding lead of which Nutley had no chance of recovering.

Belcuore finished out the game, adding one more goal for good measure. The junior has led by example, netting five goals and an assist in just two games to start the season.

“[Belcuore] is a hard worker,” said Carr. “That’s what makes her a special player.”

Although Belcuore has taken a lot of the statistical accolades to date, the team’s solid start is directly due to the veteran leadership of the squad. Eleven seniors have helped pave the way to a 2-0 record to start the season that has seen the Lancers outshoot their counterparts 23-9 and outscore them 8-1.

“It’s really a team effort at this point,” said Carr. “We’ve got to continue to work hard, focus on ourselves and win our individual battles.”

The Lancers will carry their 2-0 record onward as they look to make it three in a row when they take on Newark Academy on Tuesday.