WEST CALDWELL, NJ — A dominant first-half effort for the James Caldwell Lady Chiefs soccer team yielded positive results in an 8-0 victory over Cedar Grove on Saturday.
“This team is a little more up to our speed—maybe not up to our quality but it’s always good to play well and get a victory,” said Caldwell head coach Mike Teshkoyan.
After a feeling-out period, Caldwell eventually turned on its offense, which has seemingly clicked over the last few games. Utilizing pressure from two of its leaders in Leanna Rebimbas and Emily Blankenship, Caldwell ultimately drew a penalty kick opportunity. Leanna Rebimbas connected on the chance in the 10th minute for the game’s first and decisive goal.
“Our two frontrunners Emily [Blankenship] and Leanna [Rebimbas] are two really good players in the area and they help each other score goals,” said Teshkoyan.
Rebimbas was electric on the day, scoring the game’s first two goals en route to a phenomenal four-goal performance. For Rebimbas, an early commit to Purdue, this has been status quo as of late, as it’s her ninth goal in her last three games for the squad. She attributes her success to a passion to play and the highs of scoring a goal.
“I love playing soccer, it’s my passion,” she said. “Scoring goals is what keeps me going. I would say it gives me the adrenaline to keep playing. I’m kind of proud that I’m scoring goals for my high school.”
While Rebimbas took center stage on Saturday, a number of underclassmen were also able to make an impact on the game. Sophomore Sarah Blankenship connected on her third goal of the season in the first half to curb any chance of a Cedar Grove comeback. Fellow sophomore Kate Champion and freshman Victoria Rebimbas, who tallied the Chiefs’ first goals of the season in the contest, joined Blankenship as youthful standouts.
“It’s always good as a coach to get the whole team in,” said Teshkoyan. “We have a good group of kids and they all work hard at practice and to me those kind of games where we can get everyone in are my favorite. [They] played productively—I think three of our subs scored today, which is pretty good.”
Caldwell’s victory improves the team to 2-3 on the season, while dropping Essex County counterpart Cedar Grove to 2-2. The Lady Chiefs will look to get back to .500, as they’ve now won two of their last three games and have the opportunity to produce their first winning streak with a game against Newark East Side on Monday.
“We’ve used the early season as a gauge of how we can play against really good teams and we found out we’re a really good team so I expect more of the same,” said Teshkoyan.