By Andy Loigu
The Warren Hills varsity girls soccer team will not win them all this year.
However, to their credit, there is no quit in the Blue Streaks.
After starting off the season with an impressive five-game win streak, the Blue Streaks finally tasted defeat on Thursday, Sept. 24, by a 3-2 score to visiting Watchung Hills, the state’s 14th ranked team, according to The Star Ledger.
Since the Blue Streaks played competitively and made a spirited comeback against the Warriors, Coach Jen Cavo was able to smile after the game in spite of the loss.
“That was a marvelous game out there this afternoon by both teams,” she said. “We played well against a powerful team. The girls have nothing to feel ashamed about.”
Sami Spurr scored two goals to lead Watchung Hills, a team that was coming off impressive 7-0 and 3-0 wins over Old Bridge and Montgomery.
With each goalkeeper making extraordinary saves, the first half was played without any scoring, even though both teams were passing the ball effectively and moving up and down the field.
But, a counterattacking Watchung Hills squad broke the ice at the 38:24 mark.
Leading 3-0 with goalkeeper Brooke Stanicki on her game, making six saves, the visitors appeared to be on their way to their third consecutive shutout.
Kaeleigh Guth ended the shutout by scoring with exactly 11 minutes left in the game for Warren Hills. She then assisted as Rylie Howey rushed the goal with 2:21 remaining, and suddenly mighty Watchung Hills had to sweat out a tough finish.
Warren Hills goalkeeper Kendal Koch kept the Blue Streaks in the game with 10 saves against a team which kept applying the pressure.
“We are together as a team and the girls enjoy playing a team game,” Cavo said. “The chemistry among this group is wonderful. We focus on possession and passes to the feet, playing it back to each other, trying to take control of the game,” she explained.
“We weren’t able to do that today,” she paused, “Watchung has one of the best mid-field units and defensive sweepers around, but despite that, our hustling play still created scoring chances because we just kept coming. We made them earn their win.”
Fortunately, the Blue Streaks will not have to contend with Watchung Hills, a Somerset County team, in the upcoming Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex tournament.
“I like the way the team is playing. We just have to keep our momentum going, because we have plenty of tough games to play yet. We bounced back after facing some adversity today, and that’s a good sign,” Coach Cavo said.