WESTFIELD, NJ — Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School girls varsity soccer triumphed 1-0 over Westfield Saturday, but the Lady Blue Devils didn’t go down without a fight.
As cow bells rang and younger siblings cheered, Westfield dominated the first half, winning 50-50 balls and headers. With multiple shots on goal, the Raiders defense was working hard.
After a series of penalties from both teams, Raider Annie Pierce capitalized on an indirect kick into the Westfield box, beating goalie Liz Brucia and finishing into the net in the 26th minute.
“This game was really intense. We knew that we had to step hard and come with our A game, so scoring was just so awesome,” Pierce said.
Returning from halftime, Westfield attempted three shots on goal within five minutes, one narrowly missing and bouncing off the post. After an aggressive play, Raiders sophomore Erica Muskus was given a yellow card.
When Scotch Plains-Fanwood goalie Caroline Babis caught the ball outside of the box, a penalty was awarded to Westfield. In an attempt to catch the Raiders off guard, University of Alabama commit Taylor Morgan took the kick quickly, but the ball bounced off a Raider player, and Westfield was unable to take advantage of the call.
The rest of the game remained a back-forth battle between both opponents and after two hard-fought halves.
“It’s nice to get a win against a good opponent. Westfield is very good and I thought it was a pretty even game,” Scotch Plains-Fanwood coach Kevin Ewing said.
“This is the best we’ve played against Scotch Plains in my entire time playing on this team,” Westfield co-captain Hailey Reilly said.
“This is the best we’ve ever played any game in my entire time playing on this team,” co-captain Olivia Luzzi said.
“I think that a lot of our goals going into this game we accomplished, and at the end of the day, the scoreboard doesn’t reflect the way we played. And I think the next time we play them, it’s going to be a whole different outcome” Reilly added.
The rivals are scheduled to play again in Scotch Plains on Oct. 15.
Katharine Gillen is a senior at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAP into Westfield.