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BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — It turned out to be a nice finishing touch on a frustrating fall season for the Gov. Livingston girls’ soccer team today.
After being denied from advancing in the Union County Tournament and participating in the NJSIAA post season due to a Covid quarantine, the Lady Highlanders were able to take to the field for the last time.
Caroline Freer finished with three goals and an assist, Allie Post added a pair of goals to go with three assists, and Samantha Erickson contributed a goal and an assist as Gov. Livingston cruised to a 6-1 victory over neighboring rival New Providence.
“It felt good to play,” said Freer, a sophomore midfielder who closes the campaign with seven goals and four assists, “especially because we weren’t able to finish the county tournament or play in the state tournament.”
Gov. Livingston, which concludes its season at 5-4, had not played since it downed Johnson Regional, 9-1, in the second round of the UCT on Nov. 3. The Lady Highlanders, seeded fifth, were slated to play fourth-seeded Summit in the quarterfinal round.
Lauren McCauley added an assist and Vicky Lama finished with five saves in the final victory over New Providence.
For New Providence, Gillian Poiesz scored off an assist from Emma Kenneally in the first half and Carleigh Robertson finished with six saves. New Providence finishes at 6-4-1.
“It was a good way to finish the season,” said Gov. Livingston coach Mike Roof. “We hadn’t played in three weeks but we were able to be cleared and had a couple of days to practice and get ready; and our players were motivated to do well since it was almost like their swan song on the season."
Gov. Livingston built a 3-1 lead as the half ended and never looked back, with Freer and Post controlling most of the offensive flow.
“Caroline and Allie have a knack for knowing what each other is going to do,” said Roof. “They worked so well, and they were really in sync today. They had a major impact on the game.”
Freer agreed with her simpatico field play with Post.
“I think Allie assisted on all of my goals,” Freer said. “We’re cousins, so we were always connected I guess you could say, and today we really read each other. We were so frustrated to quarantine and so happy to be just on the field today and be able to play. I thought we had a pretty good season in the end, especially playing in the upper division. That helped us improve.
“It was so frustrating to get knocked out of the county and state tournament without even playing, but we were still able to finish on a high note.”
Post, a junior midfielder, finished with a team-leading eight goals to go with six assists for 14 points.
“Before we started I told them to go out and enjoy the game,” said Roof. “Remember it’s the last game of the season so give it all you have and have fun. We didn’t get to play for a section title and that was our goal, but I’m proud of our players, especially the seniors. They had a chance to go out on a high note and they did. Even though we were shut down for almost three weeks because of Covid, we had the opportunity to play one last game and went out with a win.”