After being held scoreless well into the second half of their contest Tuesday evening, the East Brunswick High School girls soccer team erupted for five goals in the final 25 minutes, beating Woodbridge, 5-0, on a night where they recognized their nine seniors.
One of those seniors, midfielder Gabby Sachs, scored a pair of goals on nearly identical runs to the far post six minutes apart to put the game out of reach and keep The Home News Tribune’s top-ranked team unbeaten on the season.
“I’ve been the person that’s had to have been there for every cross and I haven’t been able to score, but Sydney Rosa keeps telling me to stay with it and that I have it in me and finally tonight, of all nights, I was able to score twice. It feels great,” Sachs said.
After Kaitlyn Roughan got the Bears on the board in the 54th minute with a perfectly lofted free kick from the left wing that eluded Woodbridge (5-8) goalkeeper Maura Walsh, Sachs went to work. In the 63rd minute, she made a great run to the right post as fellow classmate Ellie DiLiberto muscled her way through the Barrons defense and into the box. DiLiberto delivered a perfect pass right to Sachs’ right foot and she didn’t miss it.
In the 69th minute, Sachs positioned herself in the same spot of the field, out-maneuvering Woodbridge defenders to get free when Roughan’s corner kick entered the box. When it came down from the brisk air, Sachs tapped it home to put her squad up 3-0.
“Gabby was there on those finishes, kind of mirror images of each other down that right flank,” East Brunswick head coach Kevin Brady said. “She’s been so good for us all year. She’s more of a balanced midfielder; she doesn’t score a ton of goals and doesn’t get as many opportunities to score. But on a senior night like this, it was a great moment for her to have a breakthrough moment.”
East Brunswick (11-0-1) could have had five goals in the first 25 minutes of the contest, but kept sending shots just wide of the net. DiLiberto had a golden chance early on when Sachs sent her through on a nice through ball, but the shot sailed high and wide. Rosa worked her way into the Woodbridge box often in the first half, but couldn’t get a solid look at the net, something that didn’t surprise Brady.
“I’ve known (Woodbridge coach) Brian Figueiredo for a long time and he runs a very organized system. They stayed organized and kept numbers behind the ball, which frustrated us and they can be very effective in the counter attack,” he said. “When you’re in a game where you’re getting multiple chances, the toughest thing to do is not get frustrated. When two or three or four go by that you usually get, it tends to defeat the girls a little bit and it starts to grow and the zero on the scoreboard grows larger as the minutes go by.”
Sydney Greenspan and Carla Lee added the fourth and fifth goals for East Brunswick.