NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Amid a steady rain, the New Providence High boys soccer team closed out its 2019 conference schedule with a 3-0 loss to Union on Tuesday afternoon in New Providence.
The setback was the fifth straight loss for the Pioneers, which saw its overall record fall to 6-10 while it finished 4-8 in the Mountain Division of the Union County Conference. Union (12-3-1) which defeated New Providence, 5-1, on Sept. 3 in Union, won the divisional championship with a 10-2 mark.
"I think we're a much different team than the first time we played them; definitely more experienced," said New Providence assistant coach Nick Sommo. "We had a couple corner kicks and peppered them with a few shots but just couldn't finish."
Union struck for two first half goals, scoring its first 20 minutes into the contest and then the second on a penalty kick later in the half. The Farmers then went up by three goals when it scored 90 seconds into the second half.
Miguel Garcia finished with five saves for New Providence.
"Miguel did well for us as he's been very good all season," said Sommo. "Union is a very good team though."
Out of New Providence's previous four losses, three were by one goal, including a 4-3 overtime setback to Oratory Prep on Oct. 15. That game saw the Pioneers receive goals from Christian Muller, Jake Ponte and Mark Elek and six saves from Garcia.
"I felt we played really well in those losses, especially against Oratory," said Sommo. "We were right there with them."
New Providence has one final regular season game remaining and will play host to Immaculata on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 4 p.m.
The NJSIAA state tournament is scheduled to start next week and the Pioneers are seeded sixth and tentatively scheduled to play host to 11th-seeded Weehawken on Tuesday, Nov. 29.
The sectional quarterfinal round is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 1 with the semifinals slated for Tuesday, Nov. 5. The sectional championship is set for Friday, Nov. 8 at the home of the highest remaining seed.
"I think our schedule has gotten us ready for the states and we'll have one more tune-up before it starts," said Sommo.