Boys Soccer: Abdella's Goal Lifts Scotch Plains-Fanwood to 1-0 Victory over Gov. Livingston

Zidan Abdella scored four goals last week and leads the team with seven total this season. He is the winner of this week's Joint Motion Physical Therapy Athlete of the Week. Credits: Matt Kipp
Brogan Quigley pumps his fist after his free kick gave Zidan Abdella the chance to score the winning goal. Credits: Matt Kipp
Josiah Crawford, front, is a St. John's commit and major scoring threat for Gov. Livingston. The Raiders identified him before the match and shut him down. Credits: Matt Kipp
Owen Murphy, left, heads a ball past a Gov. Livingston defender. Credits: Matt Kipp
Benny Essenfeld, right, dribbles in front of Gov. Livingston's Andreas Novak. Credits: Matt Kipp
Brogan Quigley, left, is pushed down by Gov. Livingston's Mason Boenning. Credits: Matt Kipp
Shane Hernandez dribbles up field for the Raiders. Credits: Matt Kipp
Jon Koseoglu, center, dribbles through the Gov. Livingston defense. Credits: Matt Kipp
Michael Dieu controls a ball for the Raiders. Credits: Matt Kipp
Shane Hernandez, #25, collides with a Gov. Livingston player. Credits: Matt Kipp
Zidan Abdella pushes Gov. Livingston's Jake Schkolnick out of the way in pursuit of a ball. Credits: Matt Kipp
Ryan Widman, right, chases after a ball opposed by Gov. Livingston's Alessio Marisi. Credits: Matt Kipp
Jon Koseoglu makes a pass. Credits: Matt Kipp
Gov. Livingston's Connor King, #17, puts a move on Rock Valian. Credits: Matt Kipp

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ -- In the Scotch Plains-Fanwood boys’ soccer team’s surge back to .500, Zidan Abdella has emerged into a force at the forward position.

Abdella struck again Tuesday, scoring the lone goal needed to win against Gov. Livingston as the Raiders rattled off their fifth consecutive victory to even their record at 6-6 after beginning the season 1-6.

After Gov. Livingston’s Andrew Santamaria was issued a yellow card for slide tackling Scotch Plains’ Jon Koseoglu in the 32nd minute, Brogan Quigley took the Raiders’ awarded free kick. Quigley launched a ball into the 18-box, which the Raiders’ Jack Brady used his height to get his head on and sent it over to Abdella, who also used his head and pushed the ball past goalie Andre Perez-Santalla and into the upper left corner of the goal for what proved to be the winning score.

Sign Up for E-News

The score was Abdella’s team-leading fifth goal of the season, and all of the junior’s scores have come in a five-game span.

“Zidan has got a nose for the goal; he sees the game,” Scotch Plains-Fanwood head coach Tom Breznitsky told “One of the things with forwards that you try to have them understand is that you’ve got to be able to see the goal scoring opportunity. A lot of guys don’t see a goal-scoring opportunity, but Zidan does.”

After scoring first, Scotch Plains-Fanwood had the luxury to simply manage the game for the remaining 48 minutes of play. Executing well on defense and controlling the ball for the majority of the game, the Raiders played a “nearly complete game,” according to "Coach Brez." They held the advantage in shots on goal over the Highlanders, 17-10, while goalie Aaron Schack had to make only three saves and just one after Abdella’s goal.

“Our overall play was very, very good -- the intensity was great. I thought we played a pretty close to complete game,” said Breznitsky. “It was 1-0, and we should’ve have two or three more goals. When you’re up, 1-0, at halftime, you manage the game. You don’t have to score anymore; you manage the game.”

While only one of the Raiders’ 17 shots found the back of the net, the team came very close to breaking the game wide open on multiple occasions throughout the second half. Among others, Brogan Quigley had a couple of seemingly lethal strikes in front of the goal sail just above the post. Gov. Livingston goalie Perez-Santalla also made some dazzling saves on close-range Raider shots.  

Defensively, the Raiders did an exceptional job of shutting down a Highlander offense that came into Thursday’s match scalding hot. Gov. Livingston had scored nine goals in its previous three games entering Thursday, with Josiah Crawford, a St. John’s University commit, leading the charge. Crawford has scored 10 total goals on the season and posed to be the biggest threat for the Raiders’ defense.

“You can’t let that particular type of thing happen — you can’t let one player beat you,” Breznitsky said. “We really didn’t pay a great amount of attention to him in the first half. With Jon Schwab, I told him to not mark him man-to-man, but pay a little more attention. The kid had a helluva shot — and we had a great save — in the first 10 minutes … other than that, I don’t think he really had any other solid opportunities.”

For a program with a tradition in excellence, reaching .500 may not seem like a big deal, but at one point just last week, the Raiders had just one win in seven contests. The power surge has come at the right time; the Union County tournament continues Saturday against Dayton. Meanwhile, the remaining regular season games will impact state tournament seeding.

“For us, it’s a great win — our 12th game — and with power points, we pick up a decent amount,” said Breznitsky. “I’ve been very encouraged with the way things have gone.” is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Westfield Family Continues ‘Summer of Kindness’ with Infant Clothing Drive

July 12, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield mom and teacher Sara Liptack is continuing her family’s “Summer of Kindess” with an infant clothing for Furniture Assist, an organization in Springfield that helps formerly homeless people, veterans, the elderly, fire victims, refugees and people fleeing domestic violence.

“I said, ‘What’s the one thing you really ...

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You


Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

Send a Message to Nick Scutari and His Cronies: Corruption Has No Place in Union County

July 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start.

To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million County ...

When to Dial 911: Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Tip of the Month

July 10, 2018

There are many times you should call 911. If you or someone around you is in true medical distress, such as experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, bleeding, possible stroke, or any other serious health issues, then 911 should be called as soon as possible. If there are wires down, fire, a crime in progress, or other dangerous conditions to people or property, call 911 ...

Union County Seeks Caring, Compassionate Volunteer Advocates

July 20, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ -- Union County residents who are looking for a unique way to give back to the community can apply to volunteer with the Union County Rape Crisis Center. Volunteers at the Rape Crisis Center provide judgement-free guidance for victims of sexual violence through a phone hotline. They may also accompany victims in person, to help them navigate medical, legal and law enforcement ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, July 23, 8:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

View the Night Sky at the Scotch Plains Public ...

Arts & Entertainment Education


Wed, July 25, 6:00 PM

JCC of Central NJ, Scotch Plains

The JCC’s Barracudas Swim Team Meet the Coaches ...



Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM


Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza