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Livingston Girls Soccer Dropped By Bridgewater-Raritan in State Semifinal

Tim LeCras

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 • 7:23pm

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Strong defense has been the bread and butter all season for the Livingston girls soccer team. It was no different in Tuesday’s Group 4 semifinal. Unfortunately for the Lancers, Bridgewater-Raritan found a seam one time, handing Livingston a 1-0 loss.

Panther sophomore Hayley Soriano scored broke through the defense in the 69th minute, breaking the scoreless tie and leading Bridgewater-Raritan into Saturday’s Group 4 final.

“I saw two teams that wanted it just as much as each other,” Livingston head coach Paul Raiz said. “We played great defense all year and they got one thr4ough on us. It was two tough teams that wanted it and I give them all the credit. They deserve to go to the state finals.”

The Lancers had their chances in the first half, however the front line could not convert on the early opportunities.

Bridgewater-Raritan picked up their offensive game in final 40 minutes. Showing a lineup of 10 seniors, it was the baby of the group, Soriano, that had the game’s only tally.

After Livingston’s defender came up aggressively to play the forward, the ball bounced off a Panther attacker, allowing them to move up the field and setup Soriano’s game-winning goal.

“Going into this game, we had somewhat of a good feeling,” Soriano said. “I think we went out in halftime, the wind was in our favor. We had a lot going for us, great crowd turn out. To put that shot in, there really is no better feeling.”

The Lancers had a pair of late chances to try and equalize, but came up short on their free-kick opportunities.

Despite the loss in the state semifinal, it is still a very successful season for Livingston. After losing in the section final the last two years, Raiz sees progress for the future.

“To be able to take the next step is awesome, especially with a very young team,” he said. “We only have five seniors, awesome seniors, great leaders. With a young team it teaches them what it takes to get there. I’m very proud of them.”

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