Sports

Scotch Plains-Fanwood Girls Soccer: Bridgewater-Raritan Stuns Raiders in Last-Minute Semifinal Upset

10e23f8680738d85db02_IMG_0019-1.jpg
Jezlyn Jimenez (23) celebrates with her team after scoring the game winning goal. Credits: Michael Bruchert
f103082e246399b04977_IMG_0001-1.jpg
Kerri McNeely (white) takes on two Bridgewater-Raritan defenders in Monday's matchup. Credits: Michael Bruchert
54d8059548e77eb82bc9_IMG_9991-1.jpg
Sophie Brause was without a doubt the Raiders key player on Monday, nearly scoring from 20 yards in the games final moments. Credits: Michael Bruchert
2495c7959973ec770d32_IMG_9995-1.jpg
Samantha Orecchio hugs Jezlyn Jimenez after scoring the first goal of the game. Credits: Michael Bruchert
98bffd383a3a494a0f6e_IMG_0006-1.jpg
Annie Pierce advances the ball during the Raiders' second half attack. Credits: Michael Bruchert
9df54afdac14f5f7269c_IMG_0012-1.jpg
The Raiders celebrate the tying goal with less than two minutes to play. Credits: Michael Bruchert
10e23f8680738d85db02_IMG_0019-1.jpg

SCOTCH PLAINS-FANWOOD, NJ – After mounting a last-minute comeback, the Scotch Plains-Fanwood girls soccer season came to an abrupt end as Bridgewater-Raritan severed a 1-1 tie with less than a minute to play on Monday afternoon.

The NJSIAA North 2 Group 4 semifinal was truly a back-and-forth battle between two of the best teams in the state, as both were denied scores within the first 40 minutes of play.

The Panthers would change that just eight minutes into the second half when Samantha Orecchio beat Andrea Leitner on a centering pass from Addison Reilly to take a 1-0 lead.

Sign Up for E-News

Bridgewater-Raritan would hang on to a one-goal advantage for the next 31 minutes, fending off a merciless Scotch Plains-Fanwood offense. Countless opportunities arose for the Raiders, and after Christina Rodgers was denied point blank by Alexa Barbagallo, it seemed as though it would only be a matter of time before they knotted the score.

“Alexa’s been tremendous all season, but today was the game of her life,” Bridgewater-Raritan head coach Chris Gerber said. “We needed her to come up big, make the big saves and today she was spectacular.”

Just as the game reached its final two minutes, Raiders’ forward Kerri McNeely got just enough of a loose ball within the six-yard-box to tie the game 1-1, electrifying the home crowd.

“Teams get down a goal and they press, we had to deal with it. It got scary a couple times,” Gerber said. “They scored, and good teams do that, but we just had to hang in there.”

Awaiting a final whistle and overtime, the crowd was stunned, however, when the ball was jostled loose from the grasp of Raiders goalkeeper Andrea Leitner and sent into the back of the net by Jezlyn Jimenez with less than a minute to play.

“I knew we could push through and we were stronger than them,” Jimenez said. “I knew we were going to win this.”

The 2-1 lead would prevail as the Panthers locked a position in the NJSIAA North 2 Group 4 Final, eliminating the Raiders from the tournament.

“Overall, we had our chances, we just decided to play the way we were capable of, and that’s what the kids started doing,” Scotch Plains-Fanwood head coach Kevin Ewing said. “We had some opportunities we didn’t cash in on, made two mistakes and it cost us two goals.”

The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Raiders finish 20-2-1.

“We only have a few seniors on the team, a lot of new faces, so you’re unsure what the season holds, but the seniors and underclassmen stepped up,” Ewing added.

The North 2 Group 4 final is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m., where Chris Gerber’s Panthers will look to upset the No. 1 seed Ridge Red Devils.

“These kids have been there before. They’re ready for it, they’re prepared.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 21, 2018

Dear Editor:

After Bruce Patterson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County Freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting Freeholder, I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered.

At the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union ...

Helping Teenagers Deal with Prom Night Stress

April 18, 2018

Prom can be one of the most exciting times for your teenager but at the same time one of the most stressful. 

It can also be very stressful for parents as they prepare themselves to accept that their teenager is graduating and soon going away to school, while planning a weekend away after prom night. Going to the Shore for the weekend or somewhere overnight has become more of the ...

Track and Field: Union Catholic Girls Qualified for 3 Finals, Ran Fastest NJ Times in 3 Races at Penn Relays

April 26, 2018

PHILADELPHIA - The Union Catholic girls have a history of making their presence felt on the biggest track and field stages.

The opening day of the 124th Penn Relays on Thursday proved to be no different as UC once again showed everyone that even without Olympian Sydney McLaughlin (now starring at the University of Kentucky) the Vikings are one of the best programs in the ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, April 28, 11:00 AM

Prominent Properties Sotheby's International Realty, Westfield

Dog Adoption

Other