The two seed overcame No. 1, as Scotch Plains-Fanwood beat top seeded Elizabeth 4-2 in the Union County Tournament boys soccer final at Kean University.
The goals came easy for the Raiders, who held much of the possession for the game and kept the ball in Elizabeth’s half of the field.
“We have a very talented group and we play pretty well as far as possession goes,” said head coach Tom Breznitsky, “they came out with what you would expect a championship team to come out with.”
The first goal of the game came late in the first half, as Raiders senior Brian Rubin found himself in the middle of the box. As the shot was saved, Rubin headed the ball into the back of the net.
The Raiders came out firing in the second half, and just two minutes in a second goal was on the board.
The Raiders were awarded a free kick, and a laser shot was deflected off the keeper’s hands. Luckily for Scotch Plains-Fanwood, senior Michael Walsh was there for the deflection, and headed the ball in for a 2-0 lead.
“(James) Murphy took a free kick and it bounced off the goalie,” said Walsh, “it hit off the top of the crossbar and it was a good feeling.”
It wouldn’t be much longer until the Raiders were celebrating again. With 28 minutes to go in the game, the Raiders drove down the field with authority. A crossing pass was centered to sophomore James Murphy, who slipped the ball past the goalie into the back of the net.
“It started with another build up of good possession,” said Murphy, “Brian Rubin came down on the right wing and set me up exactly where I wanted it and I put it away.”
A fourth goal was added as Christian Zazzali headed in a deflection with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
The Minutemen showed some fight towards the end of the game, as two late goals were added before the final whistle sounded.
Wilmar Rusinque took a cross-field pass and volleyed the ball past Raiders goalie Dan Korduba. Not even a minute later, Maximiliano Acosta added a second goal with a shot from just outside the box.
The Raiders focus will shift to the state tournament, as they have now capture their third straight Union County Tournament championship.
“I think today really sparked a movement for states,” said Walsh, “I think that this effort will help us go far.”