SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD -- For a program in just its second year competing at the varsity level, Scotch Plains-Fanwood has already made many positive strides in the right direction. While the Raiders didn't come up with the result they hoped for on Thursday, they still took another huge step forward.

Scotch Plains-Fanwood played archrival Westfield -- traditionally one of the county's premier field hockey programs -- toe-to-toe but ultimately fell, 1-0, Thursday afternoon. The team, led by head coach Ally Neidig, is now 2-4, but playing a team like Westfield so tough will undoubtedly help as the Raiders continue their challenging conference schedule this fall. 

Lily Ceraso scored on a feed from Hannah Jepsen in the first half, and Westfield never looked back. Scotch Plains-Fanwood managed just one shot on goal, but in turn, thwarted away 12 of Westfield's 13 shots. 

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Scotch Plains-Fanwood has defeated Livingston and Columbia, both 1-0, earlier this year. In addition to their loss against Westfield, the Raiders have also dropped two other games by one goal and currently sit in third place in the Essex/Union Conference Blue Division.

Senior Julia Barnes currently leads the team with two goals, while Hannah Cino has an assist, and goalies Emilia Saccento and Kelly Nitti have 23 and eight saves, respectively. 

They next visit Livingston Saturday at 10 a.m.