VERONA, NJ - The Verona girls soccer team dominated Newark East Side 8-1 on their home field to take a victory on the squad’s ‘Senior Night’.

    “It was nice to get a victory and it was a nice game for the seniors and they got to see a lot of playing time,” said Verona Head Coach Kerrin Goosman. 

    The Hillbillies drew first blood in the contest and never looked back. Senior captain Gabi Montagna took a direct kick from 10 yards out and connected for the game’s first goal. 

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    “It feels so good because last year a lot of my friends were seniors and we lost and it was a terrible feeling so I was so happy that we won,” said Montagna.

    A pair of assists followed Montagna’s goal from Madison Gallagher. Gallagher’s back-to-back assists gave the Hillbillies a 3-0 lead with 11:03 remaining in the first half. She later added a goal of her own to cap off a solid senior night.

    “[Gallagher] was knocking on the door all night.  We talked about it at halftime that we’ve got to keep playing it to her…I’m happy she finally got the foot on the ball and followed it into the net,” said Goosman.

    While the two seniors got to bask in the spotlight in front of their friends and family it was the underclassmen who inevitably shined as well. Four goals would come off the feet of sophomores and freshmen, which included Brooke Reinecker, Emma Hogan, Emily Bosco, and Alana Holton. The quartet shows a bright future for the program.

    “I think the future of the program is going to be even better than it is right now because we have so many talented girls like Brooke [Reinecker] and Amelia [Niziolek] who are going to take over next year,” said Montagna. 

    Verona has been red hot as of late, winning three of their last four contests. The Hillbillies have outscored their opponents 21 to five in that four-game span.

    “Our communication on the field is really solid and I think the fact that we’re such good friends helps.  If you don’t have a good connection on the team I feel like nothing really works…I feel like we’re kind of like a family and that’s what’s been working,” said Montagna.

    Verona’s victory improves the squad to 5-3 on the season. The Hillbillies will have their work cut out for them as they take on nationally ranked West Orange on Friday looking to continue their solid play.

    “The speed of play for a night like that as opposed to a game like tonight is completely different.  It changes the game that we play -- typically we play better against teams like that…my girls have to play smart…it’s going to be a more tactical game for us and we’ll see how we do,” said Goosman.

TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove  is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

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