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BERKELEY HEIGHTS — The Gov. Livingston girls’ soccer team there would be no days off in its division this fall.
The Lady Highlanders met division rival Cranford and battled through a scoreless first half before eventually suffering a 3-0 setback on Tuesday.
“We beat them 4-0 on their Senior Night two weeks ago,” said Gov. Livingston coach Mike Roof, “but Cranford was determined this time. There are no days off in this division. It’s just one good team after another.”
Gov. Livingston carried much of the play in the opening half but it was Cranford which pulled away in the second on the strength of a hat trick by Olivia Russomanno. It marked the second straight shutout loss for Gov. Livingston, which closed out its regular season at 3-4.
Cranford was able to avenge that 4-0 loss to Gov. Livingston, which had dropped a 3-0 decision to Summit on Oct. 20. The two defeats came after Gov. Livingston had posted an impressive three-game winning streak against Summit (2-1), Cranford (4-0) and Westfield (2-1) earlier this month.
The lack of offensive production of late has been frustrating for Roof and his charges.
“Right now we are at a loss for goals,” observed Roof. “We’ve been changing things up and moving players around and haven’t found the solution yet. We’re playing hard but it’s a struggle scoring.”
Senior Kaylee Vreeland was moved back from striker to midfield against Cranford in one of the position changes to try to get something going. Roof noted the solid play by senior defender Brooke Schwarz along with junior goalie Vicky Lama against Cranford.
“We’re playing hard and trying but at times when you don’t score your offense can get pretty frustrated,” said Roof, “and you put a lot more pressure on your defense; and with the tough schedule we have this season it’s tough to hold teams this good to one goal or scoreless. Cranford capitalized and we didn’t. We’re just not making good decisions at critical times right now.
“I thought we carried the play the first 25 minutes but we couldn’t score. It seems lately like if we don’t score in the first 15-20 minutes it gets tougher for us. I think you can start pressing on offense and then the defense feels more pressure to not give up a goal at the other end. We can play better, and we had those big three wins where we played very well. We knew this division would be every game a battle, but we have the ability. We just need to regain our confidence.”