Courier News boys soccer notebook: Raiders looking to get back on top

Courier News boys soccer notebook: Raiders looking to get back on top

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Courier News boys soccer notebook: Raiders looking to get back on top

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The Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School boys soccer team is coming off one of the most exciting games of the season – a double overtime win over rival Westfield in a Union County Tournament semifinal on Friday.

The free kick, scored by James Murphy at the 93:06 mark, sailed 19 yards inside the far post and booked the Raiders’ ticket to the Union County Tournament finals this Sunday at Kean University.

“We thought we had something to prove and we gave away a goal that was a major mistake on our part,” said Raiders head coach Tom Breznitsky, “our kids did a fine job and eventually got the game-winner in overtime.”

Making the finals is another notch for a Scotch Plains-Fanwood team that has been successful all season. After getting through some injuries to several starters, the Raiders are looking to get back on top against a tough Elizabeth team.

“We’re back at full strength and we’ve performed well over the past several weeks,” Breznitsky said, “I think we’re at a good point and hopefully we reach the peak.”

It will be the third time the Raiders face Elizabeth this season, with wins in each contest. A third victory would mean a championship for Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Breznitsky is confident his team will be ready.

“Everybody says it’s difficult to beat a team three times but on the other hand we know what they’re trying to do,” Breznitsky said, “It’s a matter of pride, and I’m sure our guys will be at peak performance come Sunday.”

Central in HWS final

In what should come as no surprise, both top seeds will face each other in the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament final when Hunterdon Central (14-2-3) plays Newton (19-0-1) Saturday, 4 p.m. at Newton High School.

Hunterdon Central opened the tournament with an 8-1 win over Hopatcong as Jared Hernandez scored twice, and six other players scored. A 3-0 win over North Warren put the Red Devils into the semis, and a 1-0 victory over Lenape Valley booked their trip to the finals. They are the defending champion and have won the tournament twice since it expanded to three counties in 2009.

Newton opened the tournament with a 6-0 win over Delaware Valley. A tight 4-3 win over North Hunterdon set the semifinal match up against Phillipsburg, a 3-2 victory.

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