BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Lauren McCauley scored in the first half and Sarah Foy came up with five saves in a sturdy showing in goal but it was not enough as the fourth-seeded Lady Highlanders were edged by fifth-seeded Oak Knoll, 2-1, in a heartbreaking double-overtime loss in the quarterfinal round of the Union County Tournament on Saturday.
“We defended more than we wanted,” said Gov. Livingston coach Mike Roof. “We didn’t have much possession, especially in the second half, and when you defend that much you get fatigued. Our girls played hard, but we just ran out of gas. Before the game we just said we needed to try and possess the ball as much as possible. But when you don’t have ball that much it’s tough to get much of an attack going.”
Gov. Livingston (13-2), which entered the match coming off a 2-0 victory over rival New Providence on Oct. 10 behind goals from Samantha Erickson and Caroline Freer, grabbed a 1-0 lead in the opening half when McCauley converted off a feed from Allie Sciacchitano.
The advantage was short-lived as Oak Knoll responded and squared it at 1-1 on the strength of an unassisted goal by Yasla Ngoma.
After a scoreless second half and first overtime Gov. Livingston looked to have a glorious opportunity to secure the victory when Caitlin Colendenski broke past an Oak Knoll defender before appearing to be taken down inside the box.
“She got ahead of their defender and it looked she may have been inside the 18 when was taken down from behind,” said Roof. “We thought we’d get a penalty kick for a chance to win the game. But it was ruled a free kick and the shot hit the crossbar. It was an unfortunate break, but there’s nothing you can do.”
Shortly thereafter, Oak Knoll struck for the winning goal.
“Oak Knoll deserved the win based on how they played, especially in the second half,” said Roof. “We hope we can learn from it and we’ll respond.”
The Highlanders’ other setback thus far came against Pingry, 5-1, on Oct. 5. Gov. Livingston dropped a 7-1 decision to Cranford last year in the UCT quarterfinal round.