Sports

Girls Soccer: Scotch Plains-Fanwood Advances to Union County Final, Defeats Union, 4-0, in Semis

8a453e02666ba065af1d_IMG_0946.jpg
Scotch Plains-Fanwood celebrates one of three first half goals. Credits: Matt Kipp
8887c2d81bb402b61094_IMG_0921.jpg
Danielle Mrozek, left, scored the first goal of the match for Scotch Plains-Fanwood. Credits: Matt Kipp
a1e4ad90defafb6251e4_IMG_0999.jpg
Kerri McNeely connects on her penalty kick goal. Credits: Matt Kipp
4934eece9223dedb6f5a_IMG_1019.jpg
Kerri McNeely puts a move on a Union defender and scores her second goal of the game. Credits: Matt Kipp
e3ba55964ba42af471c6_IMG_0933.jpg
Maya Kessler, bottom, dives to stop Union's Kayla Miller-People. Credits: Matt Kipp
32989d3019c235c1a44a_IMG_0969.jpg
Corinne Lyght, #6, added a goal for the Raiders. Credits: Matt Kipp
351779beb28b13e9dbaf_IMG_0941.jpg
The ball gets knocked around the box before Danielle Mrozek (not pictured) sent it through the posts. Credits: Matt Kipp
6b89ab3eb6f001ac0a52_IMG_0945.jpg
Danielle Mrozek, 2nd to right, celebrates her goal with teammates. Credits: Matt Kipp
98d8e4a32b2865dbe671_IMG_1027.jpg
Erika Muskus, left, comes around a Union player to gain possession of the ball. Credits: Matt Kipp
845a4adc65c0c6403700_IMG_1046.jpg
The Raiders line up to block a Union free kick. Credits: Matt Kipp
894dfaad5f1a4f3eeb87_IMG_1036.jpg
Erika Muskus looks to pass the ball. Credits: Matt Kipp
4d535f7de73bddac7d13_IMG_1061.jpg
Raiders' bench erupts after Corinne Lyght's goal. Credits: Matt Kipp
55ed6b8e5e3eaf2bf9e5_IMG_1066.jpg
Gabby Aloe races up the field. Credits: Matt Kipp
c3867ba2cba54624fdbc_IMG_1032.jpg
Gabby Kowalczyk sends a cross. Credits: Matt Kipp
8074b5d083c27a9ccb91_IMG_0942.JPG
Danielle Mrozek's shot touches the net for the Raiders' first goal of the match. Credits: Matt Kipp
72e47ac85cb1733246cd_IMG_1060.jpg
Scotch Plains-Fanwood head coach Kevin Ewing is all smiles during his team's 4-0 victory. Credits: Matt Kipp
8a453e02666ba065af1d_IMG_0946.jpg

CLARK, NJ — If there was any doubt about whether Scotch Plains-Fanwood would have a chance to play for its eighth consecutive Union County title this season, those uncertainties were put to rest quickly Sunday night. 

Behind a first-half scoring onslaught and immense offensive pressure the entire game, the Raiders defeated Union by a score of 4-0 in the Union County Tournament (UCT) semifinals at A.L. Johnson High School to advance to the UCT finals. The Raiders will play Westfield for the title next weekend.

It didn’t take long for Scotch Plains-Fanwood to make known its intention to play for the championship. Ten minutes into the game, Danielle Mrozek finished a set piece sent from Ashley Vincent, and Kerri McNeely added two more scores — one on a penalty kick — in the Raiders’ three-goal first half. Corinne Light later added a goal in the 75th minute to seal the deal.

Sign Up for E-News

“It felt awesome to come out and score like that, especially since we lost to this team just last week,” McNeely told TAPinto.net. “We came out with a lot of energy today and we made sure we got on our marks, and marked correctly. Moving the ball — like 1-2 touch passes — really helped us.”

McNeely scored her first goal on a penalty kick in the 26th minute, after the Raiders were rewarded the kick as a result of hard contact initiated by a Union player. The senior chose the right place to aim the ball — perfectly in the lower left corner of the goal. Six minutes later, she won a physical battle with a Union defender in front of the goal and got enough on her strike to push it passed goalkeeper Caitlyn Finnerty. 

“Coming out and scoring two goals in the first half felt really awesome,” said McNeely, “[especially] because I haven’t scored a goal since the Johnson game [last Saturday].”

The Raiders first got on the board early in the game when Ashley Vincent lined up from midfield to take a free kick. After Vincent’s boot bounced off of a few heads inside the box, Mrozek got a touch on it and put it past Finnerty, who came out of the box to stop the ball. Like slow-motion, Mrozek’s strike slowly rolled 15 yards before gently cushioning the bottom of the net. 

Usually on the assisting end of goals, Mrozek scored for the first time since Sept. 14. 

“We made a goal in the beginning of the game... It felt good to actually get that goal and actually be up one by then,” said Mrozek. “We definitely wanted to get a couple more in to completely get [Union] out of the game, but scoring the first goal of the game and scoring before they did was definitely a relief.”

The Raiders played nearly flawlessly. In addition to constant pressure on Union’s side, the Raiders played lock-down defense and held a potent Union attack to just six shots on goal. 

“[We were successful] just by tough, aggressive soccer — the way Scotch Plains plays,” said SPF head coach Kevin Ewing. “The girls moved the ball well, just played well the entire game; a complete game by them.”

Corinne Lyght’s goal with five minutes to play put the cap on a statement victory. The freshman broke the Union backline, crossed up the keeper from outside the six-box, and effortlessly buried her strike in front of a wide open goal. 

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Maya Kessler posted her second shutout of the tournament on seven saves. 

For the past seven years, Union County has belonged to Scotch Plains-Fanwood, and the Raiders will look to improve that number to eight next weekend. As the two-seed, they will take on one-seeded Westfield for the title, with date and location to be determined. 

When asked about how the Raiders will prepare, McNeely shared the simple mindset of how the Raiders will prepare: “We’re going to keep doing what we’ve always been doing.”

TAPintoSPF.net is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.

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 ...

The Missing Moses

A seemingly dubious distinction belongs to this week’s Parshah, Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20–30:10). It is the only reading in the Torah — from the first Parshah of the book of Exodus (in which he is born) until the end of the book of Numbers — where the name of Moses is not mentioned. Tetzaveh’s opening words are V’atah ...

Congratulations to UCDC Chairman Nick Scutari

February 23, 2018

Dear Editor:

First, congratulations to Chairman Nick Scutari. I look forward to working alongside him as 1st Vice Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee. 

For the last three weeks, this campaign for UCDC Chair displayed the power we have and the voice we share. You are the leaders, citizens and activists who are helping shape our future. What you do in your hometowns and ...

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 ...

Hypnomarc’s Comedy Hypnosis Show & Purim Dinner - A Different Kind of Purim Sphiel!

February 24, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ -- The Union County Torah Center-Chabad (111 Laurel Place, Westfield) will host a family Purim Celebration on Thursday afternoon, March 1. There will be a Megillah reading at 4:30 followed by a delicious Purim dinner at 5:30 p.m.

Marc Marshall will present his Purim Comedy Hypnosis Show during the dinner. Marc is an award winning, certified stage and clinical hypnotist, ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_2e2e4830042112095f66_94f09724857a937db1ac_d6404e0a-7afd-4279-b56f-19b0f9b2138c

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Open House

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_634983a81e11bd8202e5_2018-0119_-_mountainside_-_hearts_for_hope_-_p376160422__1_

Wed, February 28, 1:00 PM

Mountainside Borough Hall (Recreation Room), Mountainside

Hearts for Hope; Create a moment of joy to those ...

Giving Back