SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- It took some time, but Coach Alex Passucci finally got his first win as the Raiders head coach as Scotch Plains-Fanwood topped Summit, 5-2, on Saturday, October 17.

After having to suspend all activities for two weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak and coming up short vs. Elizabeth on Thursday, the boys were able to put up their first win against the Hilltoppers with an impressive performance. 

“It feels good,” Coach Passucci said. “It's always nice to get a win. We’re taking small steps, and I think the guys today had a solid performance.”

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The Raiders had difficulty offensively in the early part of the game, but the defense managed to control Summit’s push down the field. Midway through the first half, the Raiders took control. In his first start, senior Gabe Bachman rewarded his coach's faith in him, as he scored the opening goal to put the Raiders up by one. Unfortunately, Bachman is dealing with a hamstring injury, and the coach subbed him out just minutes after scoring.

After the Raiders conceded a free kick goal, bringing the score to 1-1, they caught a break when Dylan Dombrowksi lobbed the ball into the box for someone to potentially head it in, but the ball went through the hands of the goalie and went into the back of the net. Scotch Plains-Fanwood went up, 2-1, and Summit never seemed to gain momentum after that.

The Raiders benefited from performances off the bench from Chris Colasanti and Isaac Tu, who enabled the Raiders to dominate in the second half and score three goals.   

“We continue to evaluate,” Passucci said. “We have guys that are working hard and are doing well during the training sessions. I thought Isaac Tu was the man of the match for us. Chris did well and found the back of the net, and that's what we need --we need everyone to contribute.” 

Although the Raiders pulled off a significant win, they must improve some areas of their game. Summit’s two goals came from free kicks. These were key moments that Passucci mentioned the Scotch Plains-Fanwood had to make greater efforts towards throughout the game. 

“Summit is dangerous on set pieces,” Passucci said. “So we are going to have to prepare and do a better job with that.”

Captains Eric Watt and Joey Linder were dealing with minor injuries after the loss to Elizabeth and it showed today against Summit. In the first half, Watt didn’t look 100% as he was dealing with minor cramps early on. Also, captain Linder was on the sideline for the majority of the game, which Passucci attributed to soreness from the Elizabeth game on Thursday. During the second half however, Watt’s leg cramps disappeared, as he delivered two goals and an assist to Colasanti.

“We needed to play through all 80 minutes,” Summit coach Ben Stuart said after the game. “We were good through parts of it, but they (the Raiders) took over in the second half.”

Scotch Plains-Fanwood hopes to see similar production when they face Summit in a rematch on the road on Tuesday, Oct 20, at 7:00 p.m. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily local news source. Sign up for our free daily eNewsletter and “Like” us on Facebook and Twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.

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