WEST ORANGE, NJ—West Orange head coach Doug Nevins has built a state powerhouse during his tenure. However, his Mountaineers came out of the gates struggling as they started the season with a record of 1-3-1. As of late, the Mountaineers have played like the dominant Essex County program that all are accustomed to. Since the slow start, West Orange has gone 4-1-1 as they defeated the 12th ranked team in the state, Seton Hall Prep 3-2, and drew with 9th ranked Montclair Kimberly.
West Orange earned the fourth seed in the prestigious Essex County Tournament and continued to roll today as they handily defeated Verona 3-1 to advance to the Essex County quarterfinals.
“We had some early season bumps,” junior defender Michael Zarro said. “Lately, we’ve been one of the hotter teams in the county and been playing pretty good soccer.”
Zarro was a major contributor to West Orange’s victory Sunday as he netted the first goal in the 5th minute.
The Mountaineers owned most of the possession in the first half and outshot Verona seven to two. However, a defensive breakdown in the 27th minute led to a Hillbille goal. Matt Braschi beat two defenders and gave a beautiful touch pass to Troy Carrington who put it in the top left corner of the net.
That goal did not daunt the Mountaineers as they continued to put the pressure on Verona and in the 37th minute Matt Wilson gave West Orange a 2-1 lead heading into half.
West Orange came out in the second half and, like the first half, continued to dominate in all facets of the game.
Mike Vargas would seal the game in the 65th minute when head beat the keeper giving the Moutaineers a two-goal lead, 3-1.
West Orange would go on to outshot Verona 14 to five in the game.
“We have to continue to play smart and scrappy soccer. If we do that we will be able to make a run for the county title,” Zarro concluded.