SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Joint Motion Physical Therapy will once again sponsor the Athlete of the Week on TAPintoSPF.net for the 2018-19 school term.
Following a disappointing season last year, the Raider boys soccer team has started the 2018 season with a perfect 4-0 record, including victories over North Brunswick, Plainfield, New Brunswick, and arch rival Westfield.
The most surprising performance of the young season belongs to Thomas Rodriguez, a freshman, who scored both goals -- the first two of his varsity career -- in Scotch Plains-Fanwood's 2-0 home opening victory over Plainfield on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
The speedy forward scored on nearly identical one-time redirect chips into the goal in the 42nd and 78th minute off feeds from Zidan Abella and Alvaro Furfaro, respectively, to lift the Raiders.
“You’re not going to find one freshman player in New Jersey — or anybody — I think that is as quick as [Rodriguez] is,” said Scotch Plains-Fanwood head coach Tom Breznitsky. “He’s lightning with his feet, quick with his feet, and it’s not North-to-South running.”
Though Scotch Plains-Fanwood threatened countless times in the first half, its shots weren’t falling and the Raiders’ opportunities were being wasted. That all changed two minutes after halftime when Rodriguez took a perfect pass from Abdella and put the ball well beyond the reach of Plainfield keeper JP Rodriguez. The goal ended a scoreless deadlock.
“I just let it hit my foot and go to the goal,” Rodriguez said. “I felt like it gave us a boost to really stay in the game and keep on trying to punch in shots.”
On a strikingly similar play with under two minutes left, Alvaro Furfaro came down field and played a ball high up in the air and into the box. Rodriguez was standing in the same exact spot as his previous goal, got right foot on the ball, and sent it straight past the goalie.
Rodriguez is no typical freshman, Coach Breznitsky says. During scrimmages, he began providing offensive sparks off the bench, and despite not having a high school pedigree yet, earned the start based on preseason performance that was consistently exceptional.
Joint Motion Physical Therapy is located across the street from the Stage House Tavern and shares a free, handicap accessible parking lot with the Scotch Plains Public Library. Joint Motion can be reached for an appointment by phone 908-322-3202, or email email@example.com. You can also learn more at www.facebook.com/JointMotionPT.
Joint Motion Physical Therapy
373 Park Ave.
Scotch Plains, NJ 07076