Sports

Millburn Boys Soccer Blanks Scotch Plains-Fanwood, 1-0, Advance to State Final

Raider James Murphy sets up for a free kick from just outside the box early in the second half.  Credits: Caitlin Flood
SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD NJ- Millburn scored the go-ahead goal with two minutes remaining to knock off the top seeded Raiders 1-0. Millburn's Josh Mata scored the winning goal leading them into the sectional final. The loss ended the season for the Raiders. The Raiders came into the game at an emotional and tactical loss as senior and co-captain Christian Zazzali was unable to play due to an ankle injury that he suffered in practice on Monday. The ball was mainly possessed by the Raiders as they had many chances to score. Notably they had four free kicks from just outside the box in the second half alone, but were unable to capitalize. "This season the team came together as a family. It has easily been the best time of my high school life, even though we couldn't achieve the ultimate goal of winning a state championship," said defenseman Brian Howard. The game seemed to get out of hands at times as many yellow and a few red cards were handed out during the game. The game ended in a questionable fashion as the referee blew the final whistle as the Raiders crossed the ball into the box and had a good opportunity to score. The Millburn goal could not come at a worse time, as the goal gave Scotch Plains-Fanwood very little time to answer the goal, which they were unable to do. The tally came on a rush from Millburn up the left side of the field, and was finished off by Mata on a cross from Vasil Matsur. "The team has a rich tradition and is filled with soccer culture. All the guys love the game and are very skilled, but the most important thing is the brotherhood we have. I will never forget these four years," said senior Eddie Arocha. The loss ends the season for the Raiders which saw them win the county title and finish with a record of 17-5-1. Millburn advances to face Watchung Hills on Friday.

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