Millburn Millers Defeat Livingston Lancers 2-1 in Soccer Battle
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 • 9:48pm
LIVINGSTON, NJ - It took both the Livingston Lancers and the Millburn Millers some time to find their rhythm on a cool and gray day at the Livingston High School field. As the temperature dropped the action heated up, and, with numerous momentum changes, the outcome was in doubt right up until the final whistle.
The difference in strategy and style was evident throughout the game. Millburn, winner of the Essex County Tournament, played a very controlled game and relied on the counter attack for both of their goals. Livingston, on the other hand, looked to pressure Millburn’s defenders, which enabled them to get ahead early.
With about 5 minutes to go in the first half, Ankush Rakhit was awarded a free kick that led to a Billy Mandl header past goaltender Marc Langendorff and a 1-0 lead for Livingston.
As the lights came on at Livingston field, the tempo and the physical play increased for both squads. “We needed to shift into second gear,” said Millburn senior Spencer Heller. “We know every team in our conference including Livingston is a good competitor and our coach made sure we were motivated. Especially after being down a goal going into the second half,” Heller added.
With 25 minutes remaining, Livingston’s defense was caught too far up field attacking, and Millburn capitalized. Spencer Heller played a through ball to Nathan Nacheff, who seemed to be all alone. Livingston’s left defender, Ryan Chisarick, hustled all the way back to get in front of Nacheff, who got just enough of the ball to chip it over goalie Sean Hunters's head to tie the game at 1.
Livingston held most of the possession in the second half but was not able to score. The amount of pressure Livingston’s forwards Robbie April and Tomer Niv put on the Millburn defense was enormous. With 15 minutes remaining on the clock and the score tied at 1, once again Livingston’s defenders were attacking and Millburn took advantage. Greg Rudman had a wide open breakaway, which he ended up passing to Nick Politan, Millburn’s forward, to tap in and give the Millers a 2-1 lead, which would end up being the final score of the game. Politan had been all over Livingston’s defense the entire game and finally got his goal to secure the victory.
Although Livingston played very well and controlled the ball most of the game, “we are never happy with the outcome of the game when we lose, especially to our biggest rival,” said Robbie April after the loss. “That being said we know we gave it our best effort and hopefully, it makes us better going into the end of this year and next year,” April added.
The loss moves Livingston to 4-11-2 while with the win, Millburn jumps to 13-3-1.