goleader.com - Union County, NJ Newspapers 97sep11

Scotch Plains NJ Soccer
Golden Eagles Take Third In Piscataway Tournament

The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Intercity Division 4 Golden Eagles Soccer Team, for girls 11 and under, split four games as they opened the season with a third-place finish at a tournament in Piscataway on September 6 and 7.

The Eagles looked impressive in a 4-0 victory over Watchung Hills in the tournament opener. Jenna Balestriere scored first, booting in a centering pass from Elizabeth Elko. Balestriere scored again minutes later, taking the ball at midfield and driving for a score from close range.

In the second half, Karen Gassler stole a Watchung Hills throw-in and fed Kristin Zyla, who scored. Kelly Rigano scored the final Eagles’ goal, booting home a rebound after a shot by Jennifer Villas hit the post. Gassler and Elise DeVries combined in goal for the shutout.

Playing the Rahway A team, the Eagles were unable to mount a strong attack and lost 2-0. Rahway pounded the Eagles’ defense as only a strong effort by the Eagles’ defenders, Shannon Hassett, Erin O’Connor and Tayler Montagna, held Rahway to two goals. Stephanie Sblendorio moved the ball well, driving up the sidelines, but the Eagles’ offense could not produce a score.

In a game on September 7, the Eagles got off to a sleepy start as home town Piscataway grabbed a 2-0 lead. The Eagles soared back to even the game. Balestriere scored first off a feed from Elko, then Rigano tied it on a break-away. Lauren Perrotta stopped several drives by Piscataway in mid-field, digging the ball out of Eagles’ territory and changing the direction of play.

Piscataway scored with a minute remaining to win the game.

The Eagles woke up in the final game with a 7-0 win over the Rahway Twisters. Nina Baker opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a hard line shot from mid-field. Montagna turned back a Twister breakaway and drove to midfield, setting up a fast, accurate throw-in by Carly Wells to Zyla. Zyla passed to Elko for a second Eagles’ goal. Zyla pounced on a rebound from another shot by Elko to make it 3-0.

Jeannette Franzone drove home two hard shots, the second off a smooth pass from Baker on a throw-in, and the Eagles led 5-0. Montagna scored suddenly off a steal. Perrotta closed the scoring as she won a scramble for the ball in front of the Twister net as the half ended.

Rigano played goal in the first half for the Eagles and Franzone tamed the Twister as the second half keeper. Hassett kicked out a rebound from behind Franzone to help preserve the shutout.

Copyright 1997
TheWestfield Leader
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Revised: September 14, 1997.