SOMERVILLE, NJ -- A seventh minute goal from Justin Rodriguez proved to be the difference on Wednesday night at Somerville High School, as the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Raiders knocked off the Morristown Colonials 1-0.
Despite the below freezing temperatures, Raider fans came out in numbers to watch the boys advance to their first state final since 2005. After Rodriguez scored the opening goal, the Raiders continued to pressure the Colonials defense. They had many good opportunities throughout the game, including a shot from Jake Longo that bounced off the crossbar. The Raiders were able to control the midfield, and they allowed few chances for Morristown.
Sean Murray recorded his 17th shutout of the season, recording two saves in the game. He was able to tip a free kick from Morristown over the crossbar as time expired. Murray and the Raiders defense have not allowed a goal in all five state tournament games. The last goal Murray allowed was the county final against Westfield on Nov. 1.
The team is overjoyed to reach the state final. “Getting to this game has been the goal since we started in August,” said Connor Danik. “We are very excited to achieve our goal and are ready to give it our all against Washington Township.”
This transitions into the game that everyone is looking forward to. The Raiders (22-3) will take on the Washington Township Minutemen on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Kean University. The Minutemen come in with an impressive record of 25-1 this season with their only loss coming early in the season against Eastern. They are the number one ranked team in the state, and the number three ranked team in the country.
The game will take place at 100 Morris Ave in Union (Kean University football field). NJSIAA charges three dollars admission.