SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- A victory Saturday afternoon against Mendham vaulted Scotch Plains-Fanwood into the semifinals of the North Jersey, Group 3 state tournament and into the record books. With the 8-5 victory, the Raiders reached the semis for only the second time in program history and the first time since 2013.
Vital to the Raiders win were senior captains David Walker and Riley Guma. Walker won 15 of 17 faceoffs, gaining possession for SPFHS the entire game so they could keep the ball out of the sticks of the Minutemen. Guma was the backbone of the defense, saving multiple attempts by Mendham within five feet or less with his footwork and stick skills. The NJIT commit ended with 11 saves.
Giving the Raiders an offensive boost was senior attackman Robert Gordon. Gordon finished off four of SPFHS’s eight goals with his persistent dodges to get open looks. The other four goal scorers were seniors Richard Nardone and Tyler Malaussena, junior Jack Brady and sophomore Noah Costanzo.
Next up for the Raiders will be No. 1 seed Summit. NJ.com’s No. 11 ranked team in the state comes into the semifinals having beat West Morris, 13-1. This season, Summit lost in the Union County finals 5-4 to Westfield. SPF lost to that Westfield in the semifinals of the UC tournament, 11-10.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood will play Summit on Wednesday.