SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ --Christina Layden scored her fourth goal of the game and Alaina Frederique scored the first goal of her varsity career in the second half when Union Catholic rallied for a thrilling 5-4 victory over Camden Catholic in the opening round of the NJSIAA South Jersey, Non-Public A Tournament on Monday in Scotch Plains.
Union Catholic, the sixth seed, advanced to play at third-seeded Mt. St. Mary in the second round on Thursday at 2 p.m.
Trailing 4-3 with under 12 minutes to go in the game, Layden, a junior, headed in a perfectly placed free kick from Caroline Morgan with just over 11 minutes remaining in the game to tie the score. Then with 6:30 left in the game, Frederique, a junior, came up with the game-winner with a right-footed rocket into the back of the net.
Morgan and Kacey Brennan each had two assists for UC.
UC, now 10-8-2 on the season, got off to a great start in the game when the Vikings grabbed a 3-1 lead early in the opening half. But Camden Catholic answered back to tie the game at 3-3 at halftime, and then took a goal lead in the second half.
Layden said the Vikings didn't panic after seeing their 3-1 lead turn into a 4-3 deficit.
"This team never stops fighting back,'' said Layden. "Everyone has a lot of heart, and we always believed we could come back and win.''
On her game-tying goal, Layden said Morgan set her up perfectly.
"Caroline put the ball it in a perfect place,'' said Layden. "I could see that the ball was going to take a big bounce, and when I saw the goalie out of the corner of my eye and I kind of knew that I could get to the ball first and get my head on it. "This is such a great win for us, and shows how tough of a team we are.''