SPF Boys Soccer Captures Third Straight Union County Championship

SPF sophomore James Murphy looks to move the ball upfield in the win over Elizabeth. Credits: Michael Romano
SPF senior Brian Rubin gets around the defender and looks to cross. Credits: Michael Romano
Scotch Plains-Fanwood won their third consecutive Union County Tournament on Sunday.  Credits: Michael Romano

UNION, NJ – The Scotch Plains-Fanwood boys’ varsity soccer team are champions again. The No. 2 Raiders defeated No. 1 Elizabeth, 4-2, in the 2013 Union County Tournament on Sunday at Kean University.

SPF’s Brian Rubin and James Murphy each recorded a goal and an assist to lead the Raiders to their third straight county title.

“Tonight was something special,” Raider head coach Tom Breznitsky said. “They just came out with a tremendous amount of energy from the beginning. Thank goodness we got one, because they way we played in the first half, we certainly deserved one.”

Sign Up for E-News

Despite a dominating first half, where Scotch Plains-Fanwood controlled the pace and the offensive flow, both sides were held scoreless until the 36th minute. Deep in Elizabeth’s defensive zone, Rubin ripped a shot off the crossbar then the Minutemen goalkeeper before it trickled into the net.

“We were dominating in the beginning and getting a lot of chances,” Rubin said. “We just needed to capitalize on one of them. The ball kind of just hit me and went in the goal.”

Leading 1-0 after halftime, the Raiders exploded for two more goals in the opening 12 minutes to blow the game open.

Less than two minutes into the second half, Michael Walsh scored on a header off a free kick from Murphy to put the Raiders up 2-0. 10 minutes later, Rubin connected with Murphy on a cross for a quick goal and a 3-0 lead.

Christian Zazzali put the game out of reach in 67th minute when he finished a short rebound with a header, sending the Raider bench and crowd into a frenzy.

Elizabeth scored two late goals to prevent the shutout, however it was not enough to take away the Raiders third win of the season over Elizabeth.

“There’s an old adage that when you play a team three times, its tough to win, but it doesn’t say that you can’t win,” Breznitsky said.

Scotch Plains does not have long to celebrate the win. The No. 3 Raiders are back in action on Tuesday when they host No. 14 Perth Amboy in the opening round of the NJSIAA North 2, Group 4 state tournament. Kick-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Wexler Field.

“Today really sparked a movement in states. I think it will help us go far,” Walsh said. “[Tonight’s win] shows us personally that we’re a good team and anything is possible. Seeds don’t mean anything. That’s what today shows us.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

New Ice Rink Gets Green Light from Westfield Town Council

May 23, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — A standing room-only crowd cheered and booed Tuesday night after the town council, with a 6-3 vote, passed a resolution granting Mayor Shelley Brindle the authority to negotiate a lease agreement with Arena Realty Partners for a temporary ice rink at Gumbert Park this winter.

Brindle made her case for testing out the public-private partnership.

“I don’t ...

Capitalist or Communist?

Karl Marx may have been the pioneer, but many other Jews were also involved in the struggle for communism, particularly in the early days of the Russian revolution. Personally, I don’t think that we have any apologies to make for this phenomenon. Having suffered unbearably under successive oppressive regimes, many of those political activists genuinely thought communism would be better ...

The Facts About Vaping

May 13, 2018

Dear Editor:

The recent public discussion about vaping and “Juuling” that occurred at our high school really opened the eyes of a lot of parents who may have been clueless about what their kids are doing to themselves. There is a lot of conflicting and confusing information available online, on YouTube and social media about the so-called benefits of vaping vs. smoking ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Students Shine at Spring Concert

May 23, 2018

EDISON, NJ -- Lower School students at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison showcased their vocal and instrumental talents in the Grades 2-5 Spring Concert on May 10.

Highlights of the concert included two vocal selections from The Sound of Music - My Favorite Things by the third and fourth grade and Do Re Mi by the third grade, the Hebrew lullaby Numi Numi by the second and fifth ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, May 24, 7:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

The Great American Read Kickoff Celebration

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, June 1, 8:00 AM

Royce Brook Golf Club, Hillsborough Township

Liam's Room 5th Annual Charity Golf Outing

Giving Back Sports