Raiders edge Blue Devils 1-0 to remain undefeated

Raiders+edge+Blue+Devils+1-0+to+remain+undefeated

Matthew Levine

The Scotch Plains — Westfield boys soccer rivalry has had many heroes over the years, and on Thursday Sept. 12, Scotch Plains-Fanwood was introduced to its new heroes: Sophomores Ethan Koseoglu and Nkem Okorie. 
In an intense darby, Scotch Plains-Fanwood (2-0-2) defeated rival, Westfield Blue Devils (1-1-1) in a 1-0 game at Gary Kehler Stadium to remain undefeated. 
In a game that had three goals called offside, the Raiders broke the scoreless tie in the 68th minute off of a go-ahead goal by Sophomore Ethan Koseoglu in his varsity debut assisted by Sophomore Nkem Okorie.
The Raiders goal came off of a quick restart that sent senior midfielder Miles Longo streaking up the left flank where he switched the ball to Okorie who crossed the ball into the 18-yard box onto the head of Koseoglu. 
“I was thinking ‘Nkem play it in,’ and he did — it was a beautiful, beautiful ball and as soon as it came to my head, I just knew I was going to score that,” Koseoglu said.  
Okorie, who saw Koseoglu cut across, was looking to play the ball in to create a goal scoring opportunity. This  lead to the pair of underclassmen connecting on the most important goal of the young Raiders’ season.
“I was just looking to play it, to be honest. Ethan made a good run cutting across and that’s really what led to the goal,” Okorie said. 
Koseoglu, in his varsity debut, came off the bench towards the end of the first half where he made an immediate impact. Koseoglu’s large build and high work rate carried into the second half where he scored the biggest goal of his soccer career.
“I just saw it and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was the best feeling in the world to score and in a darby, it’s amazing,” Koseoglu said. 
After struggling early in games lately, the Raiders made it a priority today to start fast. Owen Murphy, senior captain, drilled the importance of focus as a key to the game. With important stretches of play by seniors Murphy, Alex Levy, and Ryan Widman, the Raiders dominated in the second half. 
“Every guy came out here today and they pounded. Everyone out here wanted to win a 50/50 ball and every 50/50 was one by us. Ultimately, that’s what decided the result,” Murphy said. 
The Raiders look to remain undefeated on Saturday at Wexler Field against East Brunswick who is 0-3.