NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The New Providence girls soccer team advanced to the second round of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 tournament with a 3-0 win over Brearley on Monday.
Maddy Engelbrechtsen had a goal in each half and Alana Ponte also had a second half goal to lead the Pioneers to the win.
New Providence (10-8) started the game with total control of the ball, keeping play on Brearley’s half for much of the first 40 minutes of play. But the Pioneers were unable to capitalize on the field position, often sending passes too far past the forward and right to the Brearley goalkeeper.
The tiebreaker finally came from Engelbrechtsen in the 26th minute. Brearley struggled on defense during transition play the whole game, and the Pioneers were finally able to use that to their advantage. Engelbrechtsen carried the ball up the field and once she was past the lone defender, shot it in the lower left corner, easily scoring.
Engelbrechtsen scored again in the second half, after a short New Providence corner kick turned into a penalty kick thanks to a Brearley handball in the box. Bears goalie Sofia Lospinoso blocked the shot, but the defense was unable to handle all the New Providence players crashing the net. Engelbrechtsen received a pass right in front of the goal and made the shot to put the Pioneers up 2-0.
Brearley had opportunities to score in the second half, but the Bears had difficulty getting shots on goal when they had the chance. The Bears used throw-ins and free kicks to put the ball in front of the New Providence net, but beyond that couldn’t get shots off before the Pioneers regained possession.
Ponte scored the final goal for New Providence with seven minutes left to play. The pass was sent in from the right side of the 18, and Ponte was there to receive it at the six. Ponte’s shot got past Lospinoso for a final score of 3-0.
Sophia Marinello, Caroline Zoufaly and Ponte each recorded assists in the win.
New Providence will travel to Glen Ridge in the second round on Thursday before honoring its seniors this Friday against Oak Knoll at home.