VERONA, NJ - The Verona girls soccer team stumbled for the first time this year after a 4-1 loss to Montclair Kimberly Academy on Tuesday afternoon.

    “MKA is notoriously a great team.  The last time we played them was two years ago and the only time we got a goal on them was on a free kick from five yards out so I view this as a success,” said Verona Head Coach Kerrin Goosman. 

    The Cougars pounced on the Hillbillies early in the contest. Marisa Shel scored off of a cross in the fifth minute for the game’s first goal. The two teams exchanged chances back and forth for the majority of the first half until Sarah Hobbs scored for MKA with 89 seconds remaining in the half. 

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    “It didn’t really set us back, I think they felt it and there were residual effects to it,” said Goosman.

    The Hillbillies showed their resilience in the beginning of the second half. Just 40 seconds into the half the Verona squad rebounded with a goal by Grace Madigan off a gorgeous cross from Karen Andre. 

    “In the halftime we came back with a goal within the first forty seconds and scored our first goal so I don’t think it really took them out.  We talked about having a 2-0 lead is one of the scariest leads to have and they proved that,” said Goosman.

    Madigan’s goal continued what has been a phenomenal start for the sophomore attacker. Madigan has now collected four goals in the team’s three games this season. 

    “[Madigan]’s speed is killer, she’s got a great touch on the ball and she’s hungry,” said Goosman.

    Ultimately MKA would not let their lead go to waste. The Cougars added two more second half goals to pull away with the victory on the road.

    “We’re young and we’re still learning a tough tactical formation so we still have a lot more learning to take place,” said Goosman.

    Verona’s loss drops the squad to 2-1 on the season as they continue to grow. The Hillbillies will look to get back into the winning column with a game against Newark Academy on Thursday.

    “We’ve got work to do in practice.  We’ve got to get our head on straight, we’ve got to take it seriously, we’ve got to work hard.  We talk about it all the time that we play how we practice and we have to take it seriously,” said Goosman.

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