NUTLEY, NJ - The 100-plus-goal record-holder Zoe Steck scored four times Saturday morning en route to the Nutley Raiders girls varsity soccer team’s 5-1 victory over the West Essex Knights.
Nutley improved to (14-3-1, 6-2 SEC) with their home victory, while West Essex fell to (5-9-2, 3-0-2 SEC)
The senior forward set a new program record Tuesday, when she scored the 100th goal of her career in Nutley’s 6-0 defeat over the Bergenfield Bears. Her team then fell 1-0 to the Montclair Mounties in the Essex County Semifinals the following day.
Coach Mike DiPiano was not expecting such an easy game despite West Essex’s season record. They have accumulated a lot of losses, but played a number of strong teams, the coach said. However, Nutley did so well that all 20 girls had the opportunity to play, DiPiano added.
“We wanted to have a nice game today to get us ready for the States Tuesday and they did a good job,” DiPiano told TAPinto Nutley.
In addition to Steck’s four goals, junior Isabella Gonsiewski recorded her sixth goal of the season.
Steck thanks her team for working together so well this season and giving her the opportunity to thrive on the field.
“It’s been a really great senior year and I think a lot of it is because of the team,” the UConn-bound senior said in a post-game interview. “The way that they’re playing has allowed me to play as well as I have been able to.”
Junior goalkeeper Jillian DeSantis recorded five saves to prevent the visiting team from scoring a second goal.
The Raiders’ success today makes Steck and DiPiano feel confident about the first round of the Essex County State Tournament, in which they will face the (5-10-4, 4-7-1 SEC) Warren Hills Blue Streaks.
Nutley is the fifth seed in North Jersey Section 1. DiPiano knows it is a competitive section, but said him and the girls are ready for the fierce State Tournament.
“We have a favorable matchup in round one being a high seed, so we should be able to have a game like this again,” DiPiano said.
If Nutley beats Warren Hills, they will advance to the sectional quarterfinal round on November 4.
“If we just keep playing the way that we have and fighting for each other on the field, I think we can go as far as we want to go,” Steck said.
The two teams will battle at Nutley’s Father Glotzbach Field on Tuesday at 4 pm.