Sports

Boys Soccer: Scotch Plains-Fanwood Falls to North Brunswick, 1-0

Despite allowing the goal, Aaron Schack posted a very solid game in the net. Here, Schack is about to make one of eight saves. Credits: Matt Kipp
N. Brunswick goalie Graham Randall helps up SP-F goalie Aaron Schack after a well-played game Saturday. Credits: Matt Kipp
Isai Aguilar celebrates his 2nd half goal which proved to win the game for North Brunswick. Credits: Matt Kipp
Alex Ferrera had a shot hit the crossbar and bounce directly down, inches in front of the goal. Credits: Matt Kipp
'Raider Nation' came out in full force to support Scotch Plains-Fanwood Saturday. Credits: Matt Kipp
Owen Murphy reacts to an official's call Saturday. Credits: Matt Kipp
Jason Williams of North Brunswick competes for a ball with Jack Brady. Credits: Matt Kipp
Jon Koseoglu of Scotch Plains heads a ball near the goal. Credits: Matt Kipp
Yardin Miranda battle Alex Ferrera for a lose ball. Credits: Matt Kipp
Ryan Widman hustles after a ball. Credits: Matt Kipp
Aldo Bautista pushes Anthony Miguelino in pursuit of a lose ball. Credits: Matt Kipp

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD -- Games that end 1-0 are either very positive or very negative for a soccer team. For the Scotch Plains-Fanwood boys’ team this fall, 1-nil games have become the norm, and two-thirds of the time, not in a good way.

Saturday afternoon, in the team’s third of three games decided by a 1-0 score, the Raiders of Scotch Plains were defeated by the Raiders of North Brunswick, 1-0, as Scotch Plains’ early season struggles and bad luck continued.

Playing to a scoreless tie with the Middlesex County team for 64 minutes, SP-F’s defense suffered a bit of a miscommunication in the 65th minute. David Rodriguez of North Brunswick took advantage of Scotch Plains’ falter and sent a pass to teammate Isai Aguilar.

Sign Up for E-News

With the clear path to the goal and Scotch Plains netminder Aaron Schack -- who had made phenomenal saves all afternoon -- leaving a vacated slot in the right side of the net, Aguilar pushed a shot to the opening that a diving Schack was able to slightly get both his hands on. However, Aguilar played the ball through Schack and netted the game’s only goal, leading to North Brunswick’s victory.

“There was a little bit of a miscommunication between my center backs and me. The ball was bouncing, and I had it with two hands, and one of their strikers came running through me and forced me to drop the ball,” said Schack. “I know, myself, I had two hands on it, but the assistant and head referee both didn’t see it.”

Luck not being on the Union County Raiders’ side was on on full display in the third minute of the second half. Alex Ferrera connected on a beautiful strike in front of the goal that sailed above the hands of North Brunswick goalie Randall Graham, but instead smacked crossbar and bounced down inches in front of the goal.

“You don’t like to have that situation happen, but it does happen,” said Scotch Plains-Fanwood head coach Tom Breznitsky. “It’s a big shock, because in Scotch Plains, historically, this type of stuff hasn’t happened.”

What also hasn’t historically happened with SPF has been shaky defense. While this year’s D has only allowed two goals in three games, the team knows it can certainly improve and tighten up many aspects of its game.

“Our defense, at this particular point, is unstable. We really have had no constancy in the defense,” said coach Breznitsky. “Some of it is a result of injuries, some of it is a lack of consistency in the guys that are on there. I have not been pleased, at all, with our defense.”

On the other side of the ball, the offense continues struggling to finish scoring opportunities. The team had plenty of looks, shooting 17 shots on goal, but just couldn’t convert like it is capable of. Only scoring one goal in its first three games — last year, it scored 15 in that span — the Raiders have had to play with practically no margin for error.

“I know our strikers are capable of finishing this year. They’re just off to a little shaky start, but we’ll work on that and they’ll find their groove, start getting balls in the back of the net,” said Aaron Schack, who has become a vocal leader of the team between the posts. “We need to start turning around the season.”

The Raiders can begin to turn the ship Tuesday, when they look to return to .500 while playing host to Linden — a team they clobbered 7-0 last season.  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Grace Park Stepping Down as Union County Prosecutor; Thomas Isenhour to Take Over Role

September 12, 2017

ELIZABETH, NJ — Acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park is going to work for PSEG after more than four years of public service, she announced Friday. Thomas K. Isenhour, a 33-year veteran of the office who formerly served as first assistant prosecutor under Park, has been appointed to take her place.

“With over three decades of experience prosecuting defendants and ...

Whether You’re Selling Your Home or Want More Peace

Realtors always advise home sellers to eliminate clutter when selling their homes because it makes a remarkable difference. A clutter-free home can look like a new one altogether, and you shouldn’t wait until you sell your home to make it look better. Furthermore, clutter can have adverse effects and cause mental and physical stress. You can take steps to conquer your clutter by breaking ...

Help Save Sabattis Adventure Camp for Our Boy Scouts

September 10, 2017

Dear Editor:

All of the other troops think that Blackfoot is the worst campsite at Sabattis Adventure Camp. That’s because it’s the furthest walk to the center of camp. Troop 77 knows that Blackfoot is the best campsite at Sabattis. We’ve been camping at that campsite every summer for years, far longer than our current scouts or their older brothers can remember.

Caring for a Chronically Ill Child Impact the Entire Family

September 14, 2017

September is Pain Awareness Month. It’s not easy balancing your care giving role and other parts of your life when you care for someone with a chronic health condition. Taking care of a chronically ill child, parent, spouse, or friend can be one of the most draining and difficult tasks we can face.

I have experienced chronic pain through my adult daughter’s illness; ...

Sleepy Hollow Performance at Westfield Memorial Library on Oct. 4

September 23, 2017

WESTFIELD, NJ -- The Westfield Memorial Library will present an adaptation of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” on Wednesday, Oct. 4. at 7:00 p.m. A performance focused around a spooky and twisted tale, this show is an all new adaptation of the horror story written by Washington Irving.

Presented by a performer from the American Historical Theatre, the interactive one-man ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, September 23, 11:00 AM

Frazee House, Scotch Plains

2nd Annual Harvest Homecoming at the Frazee House

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_673611af7f861e0e0ba6_harvest_fest

Sat, September 23, 11:00 AM

Frazee House, Scotch Plains

Harvest Fest

Community Calendar

Carousel_image_ecf675f26dbf4fe266ec_greater_westfield_area_chamber_of_commerce_invites_all_to_festifall

Sun, September 24, 10:00 AM

Westfield

Westfield FestiFall