Girls Soccer: 2nd Half Surge Sends Scotch Plains-Fanwood Past Watchung Hills and into Sectional Championship

The Raiders celebrate after Christina Rodgers' tie-breaking goal Tuesday. Credits: Matt Kipp
The Raiders' bench reacts after Christina Rodgers' goal Tuesday. Credits: Matt Kipp
Gina Fahrenholz scored a goal for the Raiders Tuesday. Credits: Matt Kipp
Christina Rodgers, #22, scored the first goal of the game in the second half Tuesday. Credits: Matt Kipp
Kerri McNeely's shot goes wide past Warrior goalie Kaylee Donnelly. Credits: Matt Kipp
Watchung Hills huddles before Tuesday's game. Their season ended with the loss to SP-F. Credits: Matt Kipp
Raiders line up to block a kick from Alexa Ferreira. Credits: Matt Kipp
The Raiders react after a misplay in their 'sloppy' first half. Credits: Matt Kipp
Gabby Aloe, #1, handles the ball Tuesday. Credits: Matt Kipp

WARREN, NJ – It took 64 dramatic minutes to sever a 0-0 tie, but the Scotch Plains-Fanwood girls’ soccer team pulled away with a 2-0 victory over the Watchung Hills Warriors Tuesday to advance to the NJSIAA North 2, Group 4 championship game.

The Raiders and Warriors played well into the second half knotted up with their seasons on the line. In the 24th minute of the second half, Christina Rodgers, a Providence commit, got a touch on a cross sent from Danielle Mrozek and sent it to the back of the net.

“We had a bunch of chances in the second half. It was getting frustrating in the beginning, because we were just getting shut down, so once we got that first goal, it really opened up the game,” Rodgers said.

Sign Up for E-News

Mrozek, who sent the cross, said, “In practice, we’ve practiced going out wide and crossing it to the people crashing the box. Knowing that Christina [Rodgers] was able to get on the end of it was a pretty great feeling.”

After breaking the ice, the Raiders struck again on Gina Fahrenholz’ header seven minutes later. Fahrenholz, a junior, received a ball from Mrozek, got her head on it, and sent it passed goalie Kaylee Donnelly.

“As soon as Danielle [Mrozek] took it down the line, I knew that she was going to put it in, and I was the only person there so I knew I had to do something with it,” Fahrenholz said. “As soon as I got up in the air, I knew it was going to get in.”

Before the two goals, third-seeded Raiders and second-seeded Warriors were interlocked in a tight first half.

“The coaching staff was a little nervous. We did not play very well in the first half; we didn’t play with a lot of composure,” Raiders Head Coach Kevin Ewing said after the game.

SP-F blanked a potent Watchung Hills squad that averaged 3.7 goals per game entering the match and which had won the highly competitive Somerset County Tournament. The Raiders also shut down Melanie Cunha and Alexa Ferreira – both of whom have more than 20 goals on the season.

“Watchung Hills is an excellent team offensively. They have two girls that have over 20 goals [this year]. Our defense was solid and Andrea [Leitner] was solid,” Ewing said.

Earlier in the game, the Raiders had big scoring opportunities. In the second half, Kerri McNeely beat goalie Donnelly, but her shot went wide right. Late in the first half, senior Sophie Brause missed a close shot by the corner of the goal.

Goalie Andrea Leitner recorded six saves, while the Warriors’ Donnelly racked three.

By winning, Scotch Plains advances to the North 2, Group 4 Championship at SPFHS Friday. They will face Ridge, the defending Group 4 state champions, who defeated Westfield, 5-4, in penalty kicks. Scotch Plains beat Ridge in the 2014 sectional championship. The game will start at 2 p.m.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Update: Health Authorities Still Investigating Flu Death of Elizabeth Schoolgirl

February 19, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The New Jersey Department of Health is continuing to investigate the cause of the passing of elementary school student Daniela Genaro after it was confirmed that the student had been diagnosed with influenza. Officials said it "presently remains unclear whether or not the virus was the primary contributing factor to the child's passing."

In a second letter ...

Sinai or Sanctuary?



And in the beginning, G‑d was homeless, and so G‑d asked His people to set Him up with some digs. Where does it say that? Well, nowhere, actually. But it does say that G‑d instructed Moses to tell the people, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”

Now the question is, was G‑d really homeless? ...

The Definition of Insanity

February 21, 2018

Dear Editor:

There is a quote, attributed to various people, including Albert Einstein that states, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”, that is fitting for our current election for Union County Democratic Committee (UCDC) chair.

There is no shortage of polling data related to the functioning of our Federal, ...

Being Alone on Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2018

Valentine’s Day is a day filled with Hallmark cards, chocolate covered strawberries, red roses and special dining.  It’s a day to express our love and affection to those close to us.  Some of us have expectations that this day will be blissful, we may even receive that diamond ring that represents engagement or marriage.

Valentine’s Day can be a wonderful time if ...

Boys Basketball: Union Catholic Freshmen Capture Title at N.J. Rising Stars Basketball Classic

February 21, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ -- The Union Catholic boys freshmen avenged an early season loss to Elizabeth by defeating the Minutemen, 46-43, to capture the title at the prestigious N.J. Rising Stars Basketball Classic on Tuesday night at the Dunn Center in Elizabeth.

UC, which also defeated Ridge on Saturday and avenged a loss last week to Roselle Catholic on Sunday, was clinging to a ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, February 22, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend "Wacky Winter Olympics" Open House



Thu, February 22, 4:00 PM

JCC, Scotch Plains

4th Annual Family Hamantash Bake


Thu, February 22, 5:00 PM

Barnes & Noble, Clark

Purim Story& Crafts Hour at Barnes & Noble