Boys Lax Ousted from Union County Tournament


Robert Fallo

Scotch Plains-Fanwood fell to No. 1 seed Summit in the Union County Tournament under the lights Thursday night at Arthur L. Johnson (Clark) High School, 8-2. In addition to being the No. 1 seed in the tournament, the Marauders are ranked as the 12th best team in the nation according to

Although Summit came being the presumed favorites to win the contest against the Raiders, SPF wasn’t afraid of the name on the front of their opponent’s jerseys.

Coming in with a fearless attitude, the Raiders battled Summit in a stout, defensive first half. Only on four occasions did the ball cross the pipes, causing the game to be tied at 2-2 going into the half.
The reason why the game had not yet picked up offensively was because of the goaltenders.
“Fantastic,” Raider head coach Nick Miceli said of senior goaltender Chris Duffy’s performance. “He played like a senior. I thought he was great tonight.

Senior Jordan Belford sets up a Raider attack
Senior Jordan Belford sets up a Raider attack

On the opposite side of Duffy was Marauder senior goaltender Teddy Cranley, who did his best impression of a brick wall.
“I thought we had a lot of good opportunities to score,” said Miceli. “[Summit’s] goalie was phenomenal.”
After the second half started, Summit began to finish on opportunities they missed out on in the first half. Shots earlier in the game hitting the posts were now hitting the back of the net.
Once the Marauders scored on a goal by senior Andrew Chase with eight minutes left in the quarter to bring the game to 3-2, they kept rattling off more goals to end the period up 7-2.
The barrage of goals came for Summit once they began to capitalize on the Raider turnovers.
“You can’t give [Summit] second or third chances,” said Miceli, “They’ll take advantage of it.”
Even though Summit began to score, SPF was unable to generate any kind of offense as it became harder and harder to penetrate the Marauders defense as the game went on. Senior Scott Nizolak, who is tied 10th in the state in goals with 46, was unable to continue his recent streak of dominance, finishing with just one goal.
The Raiders huddle during a timeout
The Raiders huddle during a timeout

Miceli remains content with the offense, noticing that the mistakes that were made can be erased for future games.
“We are very happy with the way our offense played,” said Miceli. “I thought we just made too many errors between the lines and a lot of offsides, which are more mental errors and not physical errors so those can definitely be fixed.”
The valiant fight by the Raiders showed the program is ready to take the next step and contend well once the postseason hits.
“I told the guys a couple years ago if we played Summit this tight it would have been a moral victory,” said Miceli. “I’m proud of them, but I want them to realize this is one of the top teams in the state and one of the top teams in the country and you just went toe to toe with them, and I just want them to realize and know we can do this.”
SPF will next play away at Voorhees on Tuesday while Summit will challenge No. 2 seed Westfield for the Union County tournament title on Saturday night.