Girls soccer wins counties; boys soccer falters in final


Peter Warren

photo by Sarah Spitzer
Raider fans experienced jubilation and heartbreak on Friday night during the Union County soccer finals doubleheader.
In the first game of the night, the girls soccer team defeated Oak Knoll 1-0 in an overtime thriller.
Six minutes into the first extra period, senior Captain Christina Rodgers got her head on a cross from fellow senior and Captain, Sophie Brause and put it into the back of the net.
The goal secured the Raiders their seventh straight Union County Title.
Throughout the game, the Raiders had chances to open up the scoring, but had a tough time getting shots to hit the target.
Defensively, the Raiders did a good job stifling the Royals attack as the backline and senior goalie Andrea Leitner refused to let any shot get past them.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the boys soccer team fell to Westfield 2-1, halting their UCT championship streak at five.
Westfield scored first when Owen Prybylski headed a shot past Sean Murray, and then added another after a Raider mishap led to a Pierre Titti goal.
The Raiders had a chance to cut the lead to one early in the second half. After a Westfield foul inside the 18 yard box, the Raiders were awarded a penalty. Senior captain Ryan Peterson stepped up to the spot, but had his PK saved by Westfield keeper Cullen Birkel.
Peterson would get on the scoresheet with about eight minutes left in the game when he got on the end of a Tommy DeVizio free kick and put it past Birkel.
However, the Raiders could not equalize in the last few minutes and Westfield earned their first County title since 2010.
The boys soccer team next plays on Monday against North Hunterdon at 2:00 while the undefeated girls play Franklin on Tuesday at 2:00. Both games are state tournament games.