Scotch Plains-Fanwood Loses to Bridgewater-Raritan in Section Semifinals

Paige Heiden and Katherine Cunningham playing defense for SPF against Bridgewater-Raritan. Credits: Trevor Skanes

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ - The Scotch Plains-Fanwood girls’ soccer team lost to Bridgewater-Raritan in the NJSIAA North 2, Group 4 Tournament semifinals, 4-2, on Monday afternoon.

Tori Baliatico scored two goals in the game off two assists from Katie Harper.  “Those two goals were for everyone on the team because we are a family,” said Baliatico.

Bridgewater-Raritan scored in the fourth minute of the game to take a 1-0 lead. They continued to put pressure on SPF when they scored a goal in the 19th and 23rd minutes to make the score 3-0 at halftime. The Raiders fought back and Baliatico scored a breakaway goal off an assist from Harper to cut the deficit. Another breakaway goal by Baliatico off an assist from Harper in the 50th minute of the game made the score 3-2. A goal in the 52nd minute extended Bridgewater-Raritan's lead to 4-2.

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“Our team played as tough as we could and gave it 110 percent. We left it all out on the field and unfortunately the opposing team got the best of the game,” said Kelly Yeager.

This game was the last game for all the seniors on the SPF girls’ soccer team. They will never get to put on a soccer jersey for SPF again, but that doesn’t mean the players will forget what it meant to wear the Raiders logo.

“It means the world to me to be a Raider. I wore that jersey with pride and am honored to represent SPF as best as I can. It really is a tremendous feeling to know that when your team wins a game, it’s not just a victory for the team but a victory for our town. I will never forget what it felt like to be a Raider and will forever remember the feeling of putting that jersey on to play,” said Yeager.

The season didn’t end the way the Raiders wanted it to, but it was an incredible season nonetheless. SPF finished with a 20-2-1 record and won the Union County Tournament championship, making this season one to remember.

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