Sports

Girls Soccer: Lyght, McNeely Lift Scotch Plains-Fanwood to Opening Day Victory

91cf3ca0bc45b2f6c06f_IMG_0836.jpg
Corinne Lyght, #6, celebrates scoring her first goal -- 20 seconds into her high school career. Credits: Matt Kipp
d1459ad60e6fba2abfbe_IMG_0982.jpg
Kerri Mcneely leads the Raiders in goals this year. Credits: Matt Kipp
0e452b6507f6fc1ef5f7_IMG_0871.jpg
Corinne Lyght scored the Raiders' first goal of the season. Credits: Matt Kipp
a35daa5893c87ec79ca3_IMG_0889.JPG
Erika Muskus passes the ball. Credits: Matt Kipp
e48bd4233b67e6746f49_IMG_0860.jpg
Kayla Krutis, left, runs into a Morristown player. Credits: Matt Kipp
6d394ba88960219ef7a9_IMG_0848.jpg
Ashley Vincent competes for a lose ball. Credits: Matt Kipp
741582b491e2de3f30b6_IMG_0908.jpg
Taylor Diggs looks to pass the ball. Credits: Matt Kipp
903f82fc204dc816a309_IMG_0845.JPG
Taylor Diggs controls the ball. Credits: Matt Kipp
91cf3ca0bc45b2f6c06f_IMG_0836.jpg

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD -- You couldn't write a better script for an Opening Day win.

Freshman Corinne Lyght scored a goal seconds into her varsity debut, and senior Kerri McNeely, playing in her final season opener, netted the game-winning goal, as the Scotch Plains-Fanwood girls’ soccer team defeated Morristown, 2-1, Thursday afternoon. 

With the score tied at one and just over 20 minutes left to play, the Raiders’ Danielle Mrozek took control of the ball near the middle of the field. The senior midfielder sent a cross through two Morristown defenders, finding the foot of classmate McNeely, who ran through and open path.

Sign Up for E-News

One of the state’s premier forwards, McNeely took the ball on the left side of the goal inside the box, dribbled closer to center and lifted a shot that soared above the goalie and sunk just before the crossbar, hitting the back of the net and giving Scotch Plains what proved to be the winning score.

“I saw an open pathway, and Danielle Mrozek crossed it right through the two defenders, so I had a wide-open shot,” said McNeely. “We never stopped — we just kept going at them — and we eventually did get the goal, which boosted our confidence again.”

While McNeely is entering her third varsity season with 29 career goals, on the other side of the Raiders’ starting front line Thursday was Lyght, a varsity starter as a freshman. 

And in a sequence almost too unbelievable to be true, Lyght, 20 seconds into the game, provided the Raiders with a 1-0 lead. 

Making her first varsity start in her first varsity game, Lyght found the ball at her feet on a breakaway. Weaving through the Morristown defense, she fired a ball right inside the box that soared past Morristown goalie Sarah Wilson and met the blue netting inside the goal.  

“I was just so happy to be able to get a goal — it meant that all my hard work has payed off,” Lyght said. “It was just nice to be able to get the goal to start the momentum, and to be able to win the game.”

The goal did more than just put the Raiders on the board. As expected, Lyght acknowledged that she was a bit nervous to start her first game at the highest level of high school soccer.

But that all changed after her storybook goal: “Scoring the goal helped me gain more confidence. When I was playing, I was not as nervous on the ball at all,” she said.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, Lyght’s goal was equalized by Morristown early in the second half. The Colonials’ Holly Burns controlled the ball from about 30 yards out, broke the Raiders’ defense and fired off a rocket that eluded Raiders’ goalie Maya Kessler. 

Despite allowing the goal, Kessler, a sophomore, notched three saves on the afternoon, including one game-saver. With under 20 minutes to play, Kessler dived to stop Morgan O’Neil, who was storming towards the goal without any Raider defenders close by. 

With momentum running high from the exhilarating season-opening win, the Raiders now prepare for a showdown with heated rival, powerhouse Westfield, slated for Saturday. 

“We’re so excited [for Saturday], I can’t put it into words,” McNeely said. “That’s the game that we’re hyped about.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

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: FEEDING YOUR FEELINGS

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, ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

What Is Your Bottom Line?

This week's Parshah (Torah reading) is the Parshah of Pinchas the Zealot: the courageous young priest who stood up against idolatry and immorality and, in the end, saved Israel from a devastating plague.

While Pinchas' radical response made him a hero worthy of having a Torah section named after him, we wouldn't necessarily suggest to our children ...

Affordable Housing Hearing In Trenton Needs Your Voice

July 16, 2018

Dear Editor:

Recently Mayor Al Smith of Scotch Plains joined the chorus of ordinary suburban New Jersey voices  who are deeply concerned about NJ overdevelopment in the guise of affordable housing.  Prominent names like Asm. Jon Bramnick, Asw. Holly Schepisi and NJ101.5 radio host Bill Spadea have also expressed concern. 

Unfortunately, I ...

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 ...

Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Encourages Family Fun with Online Fishing Tournament

July 16, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ — The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) is asking families to cast their lines and reel in some quality time this summer as part of the fourth annual Don’t Get Hooked on Drugs Online NJ Family Fishing Tournament.

The competition will be held from July 27 to August 5 as a way to encourage families to enjoy a day of fishing, while giving ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_cc8628f5341384982d39_spfd_formal_photo

Tue, July 17, 6:00 PM

Stage House Tavern, Mountainside

Scotch Plains Fire Department 150th Anniversary ...

Food & Drink Police & Fire

Carousel_image_855652b94dad7cfd1c72_mini_magick20180618-30381-1j0t0jb

Tue, July 17, 6:00 PM

Westfield Presbyterian Church, Westfield

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_8bc24d85ca74db6c7c50_chess_piece

Wed, July 18, 6:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

Youth Chess Club at Scotch Plains Public Library

Arts & Entertainment Education