Sophomore midfielder Anna Lazur scored the game-winning goal in double overtime to lift the Hanover Park girls soccer team over Whippany Park, 2-1, on Wednesday in a Liberty Division matchup.
With three minutes to play in the second overtime, Lazur managed to get her foot on the ball and took a shot from outside the 18-yard line that found the back of the net for the game-winner.
“They’re our sister school so we wanted to win, we were really determined,” Hornets junior midfielder Courtney Giordano said. “I feel like we were winning our 50/50 balls and having a good first touch, which helped a lot and they were thrown off by that.”
Giordano scored first for Hanover Park (6-3-1) about 12 minutes into the first half. Senior midfielder Shannon Walsh sent a pass to junior forward Janine Laudati, who took a shot on goal that went wide. Wildcats goalie Lynnie Tecza, who was making her first varsity start, came out of the net to make the save, but Giordano managed to get a foot on the ball and sent it over Tecza for a 1-0 lead.
Whippany Park (6-6) almost tied the game in the 52nd minute when junior midfielder Kate Cantrell took a shot, but the ball hit the crossbar. Freshman forward Silvana Poulter finally got the Wildcats on the board in the 65th minute when she took a shot from the far right post that somehow found its way into the left corner of the net to tie the game.
“I think they just didn’t want to lose to us a second time, they were kind of determined to get back at us,” Lazur said of Whippany Park. “I think that (goal) was mostly a break down on our defense, we have some injuries so people are moved around right now.”
In the 84th minute Poulter almost won the game for the Wildcats when she beat her defender and it was just her and Hanover Park goalie Lizzie Kiernan. Poulter shot to the left, but Kiernan came up with the save.
“I was feeling every possible emotion at that moment and all I knew was I had to get that ball,” Kiernan said. “Going into overtime I honestly wasn’t that nervous at all because I knew my team would pull through.”
The Wildcats hung tough with Hanover Park despite a rash of injuries that have swept the team. Coach Marc Dovico said that he has eight players, seven of them starters, on the bench with injuries and that eight freshmen and sophomores started for him on Wednesday, including his goalie. Tecza played in a freshman game on Tuesday, and as she was getting back on the bus she was told that she would be making her varsity debut.
“She played great, Lynnie was fantastic,” Dovico said. “I think the difference in our program is we’re fairly deep and we have a lot of kids contributing now. We started eight freshmen or sophomores today so I think that just shows where we are as a program, we want to get results but it’s a positive sign once we start getting players back we’ll have a little more depth.”
|Whippany Park (6-6)||1||0||0||0||–||1|
|Hanover Park (6-3-1)||0||1||0||1||–||2|
GOALS: (HP) Giordano, Lazur; (WP) Poulter. ASSISTS: (HP) Laudati. SAVES: (HP) Kiernan 8; (WP) Tecza 5.