SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ — Before embarking on the grueling rounds of the state tournament, Scotch Plains-Fanwood began the postseason with a 6-0 girls soccer victory over Bayonne in the sectional first round over Bayonne Monday afternoon at Wexler Field.
The fourth-seeded Raiders received a barrage of scoring from five different players to eliminate the 13th-seeded Bees of Bayonne. The girls advance to host fifth-seeded Watchung Hills in the sectional quarterfinals Thursday.
Corinne Lyght — fresh off an equalizing goal to propel the Raiders to a Union County championship Saturday — scored twice to lead the charge for Scotch Plains-Fanwood. She opened up the scoring early in the first half, then started the second half by finishing a cross from Danielle Mrozek in the 42nd minute. Just a freshman, Lyght now leads the team in goals with 16.
Lyght’s goal in the second half began a stretch in which the Raiders scored three times in a five-minute span. Two minutes following it, Sabrina DiLollo netted her second goal of the season after being set up by an Erika Muskus pass. Then in the 34th minute, Maggie Traina scored the first goal of her varsity career, assisted by Katie Mrozek.
Leading by a commanding score, the circumstances were perfect for Scotch Plains-Fanwood to give its reserves plenty of playing time in the second half. This equated to a Raider goal in the 63rd minute, when Bella Corsaro came through and sent Maria Del Sordi’s corner kick to the back of the net. The score provided Corsaro and DelSordi with their first goal and assist of the season, respectively.
Katie Mrozek pumped in the second goal of the first half for the Raiders, who led at halftime, 2-0.
If not evident by the final score, Scotch Plains-Fanwood controlled every single aspect of the game Monday — including possession. Bayonne did not cross midfield once during the second half, and the Raiders limited the Bees to just a single shot on goal and no corner kicks for the entire afternoon. Comparatively, the Raiders fired off 20 shots and booted five corners.
While Scotch Plains-Fanwood didn’t have to worry too much Monday, things change in a very large way from here on out. The Raiders’ section of North 2, Group 4 is regarded as “the powerhouse” in New Jersey, and in order to make a deep run, the team will experience this first-hand. In what should be a great match Thursday, Scotch Plains-Fanwood will host Watchung Hills. The winner of that game would then likely have to get by No. 1 seed Westfield in order to reach the sectional finals, where’d they’d almost certainly see either second-seeded Bridgewater-Raritan or the defending sectional champs, third-seeded Ridge.
It won’t be an easy task, but Monday’s win proved the Raiders are ready and will look to keep the momentum during Thursday’s match, which starts at 2 p.m.