SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD -- When Westfield played Scotch Plains on Sep. 16, it was Dobosiewicz who scored the lone goal in Westfield’s 1-0 victory. In Thursday’s rematch when the season series shifted to Scotch Plains, Dobosiewicz struck again, netting a pair of goals in Westfield’s big 3-0 victory over the Raiders in a rare weekday matinee game at Wexler Field.
“I don’t really think it’s anything with Scotch Plains; I think it’s just making the most of the opportunities I get,” Dobosiewicz told TAPinto.net, “ I just find myself in a good spot to score and capitalize my chances.”
Dobosiewicz silenced Scotch Plains-Fanwood right from the onset. His first goal came in the game’s 10th minute, and with the match starting at 2:00 p.m., occurred well before the crowd had even filed into the stadium. Dobosiewicz got his foot on a through ball sent by Tate Kronick, then took on a Scotch Plains-Fanwood defender 1-on-1 before firing off a strike the rolled past goalie Aaron Schack and into the lower left corner of the net.
“Tate played me a good through-ball over the top, and I just had it on the sideline 1-on-1 with one of their left backs, and just did my best to beat them. I got by them, and looked up where the goalie was and put it where he wasn’t,” said Dobosiewicz. “It gives us a lot of momentum and it takes a lot out of the other team, especially when it’s 0-0 and they’re coming out with a lot of fire then you deflate them with the goal.”
The senior striker put the cherry-on-top of a successful Westfield afternoon in the 60th minute, when he pushed a shot on goal from the right side of the six-box that went into Schack’s hands, but the ball had enough velocity to power its way through the goalie’s grip and found a home between the posts.
Dobosiewicz’s two scores sandwiched Andrew Echausse’s goal, which came in the 45th minute. Assisted by who else but Dobosiewicz. After receiving the ball, Echausse broke the Scotch Plains defense on the left hand side of the field before rocketing a strike that hugged the ground and smacked the right corner of the net.
“We’ve been playing very good soccer — the last nine matches, specifically, but the last month,” said Westfield head coach Eric Shaw. “As I told the boys yesterday, I’ve been excited to watch them play, whether it’s Scotch Plains or not. I think we showed that enthusiasm and energy today.”
The enthusiasm and energy of the matched spilled over to the emotional side, as passion ran high between both teams. It led to physical and chippy play at times, but in the end, it’s a Scotch Plains vs. Westfield match, and the intensity is to be expected.
“It’s just a different atmosphere,” said Westfield senior Dan Sokolin, who assisted on Dobosiewicz’s second goal. “The fact that both of our communities come together in this big rivalry, and we duel it out on the field… I really hope it’s not my last one, because I really enjoy the intensity of them.”
Westfield’s defense shutout Scotch Plains-Fanwood for the second time this season. As a unit, the Blue Devils limited the Raiders to just five shots on goal. Raiders head coach Tom Breznitsky knew his team just couldn’t convert on its scoring opportunities throughout the match.
“If you want to say a weak point of our team, it’s our offense and finishing goals,” Breznitsky said. “We did do some and we’ve improved, but it can be better. What it boils down to is composure, on the ball at that particular time. We had some, but, if nothing else, when you have a shot, you have to put it on the frame.”
“That was so unfortunate, this game here, because there were so many things we’ve been working on the for the last couple of weeks that we’ve done well,” Coach Brez added. “Things that look like soccer the way you see soccer played not at a high school level — possession, building your attack, thinking about what you want to do.”
With the season heating up as it begins to get deeper into October, both teams will soon be playing in much larger matches than Thursday’s. Both Westfield and Scotch Plains-Fanwood are perennial county and state tournament finalist contenders, and this year appears no different. There is a great chance the two rivals could meet in the Union County Championship in three weeks, and a state tournament meet up is also a possibility.
In other words: This is likely not the last these teams will see of each other.
“I hope it’s not [the last time we see Scotch Plains-Fanwood],” Sokolin said. “I hope they can make a run in counties and I’d love to see them in the finals, but we’ll see how it plays out.”