SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Soccer Association (SPFSA) will present its SPFSA 40th Anniversary Soccer Festival on Sunday, April 22, at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School.
The festival will feature a special NCAA women’s soccer exhibition between 2016 national semifinalist and perennial Big Ten Conference power Rutgers University versus instate rival and Big East Conference power Seton Hall University as both schools close out their spring season. The 2017 Scarlet Knights roster included former SPFHS star and Rutgers senior Christy Monroy, a team captain.
The festivities will begin at 3:00 p.m. at Wexler Field with pre-game music and soccer festivities presented by the New York Red Bulls. Attendees will be able to challenge themselves in a number of soccer skills challenges that usually appear outside of Red Bull Arena on match days. Coaches will also be invited to a special pre-game Q&A session with Rutgers Head Coach Mike O’Neill on coaching, training, and player development topics. The match will kick off at 5:00 p.m. There will be a number of giveaways and special events to continue the year-long SPFSA 40th Anniversary celebration. Numerous SPFSA Travel and SYSL teams will also be in action.
“We are thrilled to be able to host such a great event with some of our great soccer partners in the area,” said SPFSA President Andrew Bondarowicz. “With so many Rutgers and Seton Hall alumni in the area, this is such a great way to showcase what college soccer is all about to our players and having the Red Bulls involved in the event ensures we will have such a great soccer “match day” atmosphere”
The Scarlet Knights roster will also feature four players who can had exposure with the US Women’s National Team program. Freshman Amirah Ali recently participated in the U-20 training camp as the team prepares for this summer’s FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup in France. Ali, from Vorhees, NJ, where she was the 2016 NCSAA National High School Player of the Year, collected numerous accolades in her debut season, claiming the honor of Big Ten Freshman of the Year. She also picked up All-Big Ten Third Team, Big Ten All-Freshman Team, and United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region Second Team recognition. Sophomore back Chantelle Swaby and incoming freshman Meagan McClelland were also called up to the U.S. Soccer Under-19 and Under-18 Women's National Team camps respectively. Rising senior goalkeeper Casey Murphy has also participated in the Under-23 national team pool in addition to numerous Big Ten honors. Between the Scarlet Knights and Pirates, over half a dozen former Union County stars will be in action.
“We have been able to host several professional exhibition matches here in the past with Sky Blue FC, but having Rutgers and Seton Hall here adds a special flavor,” added Bondarowicz. “Many local players aspire to play soccer in college, so to bring this game to town gives them a chance to see what it is all about right in their backyard!”
While pregame tailgating is welcome to allow fans to enjoy the pre-game atmosphere, all attendees are expected to be respectful of local ordinances including no open grilling or alcohol.