Senior defender Michaela Tricola scored the game-winning goal in the 62nd minute to lead the Hanover Park girls soccer team to an eventual 3-1 victory over Morristown-Beard in a Liberty Division matchup on Thursday.
“We knew that losing wasn’t an option,” Hanover Park senior midfielder Raquel Mogavero said. “We needed to get our stuff together and figure out the best way to get ahead.”
Junior defender Kristy Cotter gave the Crimson (1-2) a 1-0 late in the first half off a corner kick by sophomore Dani Kabat. At the start of the second half, Hanover Park almost scored on a shot by junior midfielder Gianna Parlavecchio that bounced up into the crossbar and back out into play. Parlavecchio headed the rebound back at the net, but Crimson goalie Liz Sengle made the save.
In the 56th minute, Mogavero tied the game for the Hornets on a direct kick by senior midfielder Shannon Walsh. With Hanover Park leading 2-1, sophomore midfielder Ally DeRiggi capped the scoring on a direct kick in the 72nd minute that went up and over Sengle and into the net for a 3-1 game.
“We started off slow then we knew at halftime we had to pick it up,” Walsh said. “We had some lucky calls, it was a very aggressive game. We got lucky since we practice all the time direct kicks, indirect kicks and corner kicks and Raquel pulled through, our two center backs pulled through and it was just a really good game overall.”
The victory puts Hanover Park at 3-0 to start the season. Last year, the Hornets started 1-3 and finished 8-8-3 after falling in the North 2 Group II semifinals to Caldwell.
“I definitely think that semifinal (state) game against Caldwell last year is helping us this year,” Tricola said. “That was a tough loss for us and we just want to get right back at it.”
Morristown-Beard’s goal was the first goal of the season that the Hornets have allowed after shutting out Parsippany Hills and Whippany Park. The team will face Parsippany, Madison, Dover and meet Caldwell in a rematch of last year’s state tournament on Sept. 30, and the Morris County Tournament starts on the 29th.
“Now that we’re 3-0 we need to realize that not every game is going to be easy,” DeRiggi said. “We’ve got a big target on our backs now.”
GOALS: (HP) Tricola, Mogavero, DeRiggi; (MB) Cotter. ASSISTS: (HP) Walsh 2; (MB) Kabat. SAVES: (HP) Lizzie Kiernan 5; (MB) Sengle 7.