Scotch Plains/Fanwood Blasts Governor Livingston 5-2 in Union County Final
Friday, October 26, 2012 • 10:03pm
UNION, NJ - On the backs of three first half goals, the Scotch Plains-Fanwood boys varsity soccer team are back-to-back Union County champions.
The Raiders, who won the 2011 final, defeated Governor Livingston, 5-2 at Kean University Alumni Stadium on Friday for the school's 16th county championship.
"(The title) is for the team," Scotch Plains head coach Tom Breznitsky said. "The title is for the kids. I've coached thru a lot of them. The title is really for the kids."
Scotch Plains started out hot from the opening kickoff.
In the game's first minute, the Raiders' Andrew Leischner found a loose ball in front of the goal and put it past Highlander goal keeper Jacob Tapor, giving Scotch Plains a 1-0 lead.
"You have to think that (Governor Livingston) are thinking they have a big task ahead," Breznitsky said. "You get that early goal, it certainly puts a little bit of doubt in their mind."
Two minutes later, Governor Livingston rallied down the field trying to tie the game. Forward Julian Light caromed a shot off the cross bar that fell just in front of the goal line, then Christopher Moran followed with a header attempt that was picked up by Raider goalie Dan Korduba to save the lead.
Light had another opportunity in the 14th minute, but Korduba scooped up his dribbled shot.
On the ensuing Scotch Plains possession, forward Justin Rodriguez converted on a header off of a cross from Christian Zazzali to put the Raiders up 2-0.
With 15 seconds remaining in the first half, Light had another header blocked by Korduba. The save led to a goal from the Raiders' Jassiem Wahtuse in extra time to send Scotch Plains into halftime with a 3-0 lead.
Governor Livingston broke the shutout in the 67th minute. Light received a pass from the left side of the goal and skipped it by Korduba, cutting the Raider lead to 3-1.
Less than one minute later, Colin Stripling got behind the Highlander defense and dribbled a ball passed Tapor on the breakaway to earn back the three goal lead.
"This field is conducive to us," Breznitsky said. "Playing on a field this size, a little bit bigger than our place at home, we were able to spread them out, which was our game plan with most teams and after a while they're just going to run out of gas."
The Raiders have now won on back-to-back nights going into Monday's NJSIAA First Round tournament game against Franklin High School. However, with Hurricane Sandy's rain due to hit land on Sunday night and last until Wednesday, Breznitsky said the team is looking into other scheduling options, including a game on Sunday before the storm.