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BERKELEY HEIGHTS – Allie Sciacchitano, Kaylee Vreeland and Allie Post were expected to be a reliable scoring trio for the Gov. Livingston girls’ soccer team this fall.
The triumverate delivered on Wednesday in the season-opener as Sciacchitano and Vreeland each came through with two goals while Post collected a goal and two assists to send the Lady Highlanders to a 5-0 victory over Kent Place.
“It’s nice to have the skill level and experience back,” said Gov. Livingston coach Mike Roof. “Allie Sciacchitano and Kaylee represented themselves well on the scoresheet. We are expecting a lot from all three of those players and they will shoulder much of the scoring load this year.”
It was a fairly efficient performance to open the season from the Lady Highlanders, who marched to a 20-4 record last season on their way to the NJSIAA Group 2 state championship.
Post, a sophomore midfielder, opened the scoring when she converted a pass from Schiacchitano to give Gov. Livingston a 1-0 advantage.
Schiacchitano, a senior forward, made it 2-0 off an assist from Post before Vreeland knocked in an unassisted goal for a 3-0 lead at the half.
“It was a very positive game for us in a lot of aspects,” Roof said. “We kept possession much of the time, we created a lot, and we showed a lot of good ball movement.”
Vreeland and Schiacchitano each connected in the second half to extend it to the five-goal lead.
Much might be expected from last year’s Group 2 champions, especially when the club returns nine starters. But Roof is making certain his squad remains humble.
“I told the team that I’m not even thinking about repeating, I’m just trying to keep us levelheaded and realistic,” Roof said. “We have to take every opponent seriously and never look past any team. I don’t think we can be looked at as underdogs but as a target which will provide opponents to play us even harder.
“As long as we defend with patience and discipline and continue to create opportunities and be selfish and ruthless in front of the goal we should have great opportunities for success this year.”
The Lady Highlanders capped an amazing campaign last season after Catalina Abusada scored on a 26-yard volley with little over a minute remaining in a thrilling 3-2 verdict over Ramsey in the Group 2 title match at Kean University in Union. It marked the first state crown for Gov. Livingston since 1985 and extended its winning streak to 12 games to cap the season.
“I like the personnel we have, and I think we can continue to play the positive style of play that we have been.”
Next up for Gov. Livingston is county rival Summit, for a match in Berkeley Heights on Saturday morning.
“I hope I do my part and we are prepared,” said Roof, who sports 207 career victories. “It’s a big test for us and will go a long way to see how we do.”