BERKELEY HEIGHTS – The Lady Highlanders have punched another ticket to the sectional championship match.
Allie Sciacchitano and Lauren McCauley each collected a goal in the second half and Sarah Foy finished with four saves to send second-seeded Gov. Livingston to a 2-1 victory over third-seeded Rumson-Fair Haven in the semifinal round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 2 tournament on Monday.
The triumph extended the Lady Highlanders’ winning streak to six games and allowed them to advance into their second straight final on Thursday at top-seeded Wall. Gov. Livingston, which suffered its last setback on Oct. 12 in a 2-1 loss to Oak Knoll in the Union County Tournament quarterfinal round, improved to 19-2.
After a scoreless first period it was McCauley, a freshman, who gave the Lady Highlanders a 1-0 lead when she connected for an unassisted goal just under two minutes into the second.
Sciacchitano then converted on a feed from Caroline Freer to extend the lead to 2-0 when she deposited a shot low to the far post to beat the Rumson keeper with 15 minutes on the clock.
“We did enough to win,” said Gov. Livingston coach Mike Roof.
Rumson cut the deficit to 2-1 with a late goal by Chase Boyle, but the Lady Highlanders were able to squash any further comeback hopes for the visitors.
Now, it’s a trip into Monmouth County to battle Wall for the section title.
“We’ve scouted them and I feel good about our chances,” Roof noted. “We just need to clean up some simple defensive mistakes but winning it last year should help us. Our players know what it took last year, and we aren’t nervous because we’ve been here before. If we can lean on our experience and learn from some rough patches this season, we will do well. I think our players know how to handle big games.
“We’re still the defending champions until somebody beats us,” said Roof.