MONTVILLE The Montville girls soccer team sprinted over to midfielder Gianna Coppola at the top of Morristown’s penalty box. The freshman had just scored to lead the undefeated Mustangs to a 2-1 overtime win over the Colonials on Wednesday afternoon.
The goal, Coppola’s fifth in Montville’s first three games, came three minutes into OT.
“It was definitely our hardest game so far,” Coppola said. “In the beginning we weren’t doing our best, but we didn’t put our heads down, and we never gave up.”
In the first half, Coppola played the role of distributor. The Mustangs controlled the ball in the midfield, which allowed their forwards to make runs downfield. Their first goal came from Allison Yu when she received a cross in the box and one-timed it into the back of the net.
Morristown came out strong in the second half after falling down 1-0. All game, the Colonials relied heavily on the counterattack, and eight minutes into the second half, the plan worked to perfection. Holly Burns received the ball in the box and put it high into the goal, scoring the equalizer.
Despite Morristown’s attempt at a comeback, the overtime period belonged to Coppola and the Mustangs. Three minutes into the extra period, Coppola took control of the ball near midfield, dribbled past two defenders and ripped a shot inside the top of the box past the goalie and into the back of the net.
“Our chemistry is just better this year,” Mustangs head coach Dana Bertoli said. “I have four freshmen that I have brought up to varsity this year, and our chemistry is just really good.”
The Mustangs are 3-0, and expectations among the players are growing with their early season success. Montville wants to add the NJAC-United title to the empty banner in the high school gym.
“It’s very important to me,” Coppola said. “I want to win the whole thing.”