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***Veteran QB A.J. Schmitz led Madison offense as the Dodgers impressed in win over Jefferson while their sights remained set on landing a berth in N2G2 playoffs!

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***West Essex's boys soccer team won program's first title since '04 by capturing SEC-Liberty crown. Read more in "Feature Articles"

***Jon Miller has been a clutch goal scorer for Madison's soccer team this season and he sparked the Dodgers in 2-0 MCT semifinal win over Kinnelon to earn a berth opposite Delbarton in Saturday night's title tilt. Read "The Buzz"

Second-seeded Seton Hall Prep, with key veteran performers such as senior forward Mike Hall (11), hosts Orange in a first-round Essex County Tournament soccer match on Wednesday as action is set to continue at full blast in 2014 ECT. (Photo by Richard Morris/SHP)

Plenty Of Intrigue Ahead In ECT Soccer
As First Round Action Gets Into Full Gear
By Aaron Matthews
For SidelineChatter.com

The first round of the Essex County Tournament kicked off Monday with ninth-seeded Belleville advancing past eighth-seeded Newark Academy in penalty kicks by a 5-4 margin. If Monday night's theatrics are any indication, it should once again be a tournament full of drama and possible surprises.

Weather permitting, the other seven first round matchups are set for Wednesday. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Saturday with the semifinals on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at Belleville and the final on Saturday, Nov. 1 at Millburn.

Below is a look at Wednesday's first round matchups:

16-Newark Tech (9-5-1) at 1-Millburn (10-2), Wednesday, 4 p.m.

The top-seeded Millers may be entering on a two-game losing streak, but this is a veteran squad with plenty of experience on the big stage.  Kirk Willens and Jeff Plump have led a balanced offensive attack while Peter Kost and Jack Westlake have been solid defensively. After a rough start to the year, Newark Tech has won six games in a row, including a 1-0 shutout over Columbia in the preliminary round. Jhonatan Orellana and Emmanuel Cudjoe have been a formidable one-two combination up top for the Terriers.

21-East Orange (8-3) at 5-Livingston (9-3-3), Wednesday, 4 p.m.

After a winless season a year ago and a 21-seed this year, East Orange might be the most unlikely participant in this year's Round of 16, but the Jaguars are here after impressive victories over Science Park (3-0) and Verona (5-2). East Orange is averaging six goals over its last four games but offense should be difficult to come by against a Livingston squad, which has posted three straight clean sheets and has allowed just 12 goals in 15 games. The Lancers' offense is probably playing its best all season, in particular senior Robbie April, who has a point in each of the last five games.

20-Glen Ridge (7-10) at 4-West Orange (9-4), Wednesday, 4 p.m.

Glen Ridge's Jeremy Wessel has been red-hot, scoring six goals in the Ridgers' ECT victories over Technology and Irvington. Nathaniel Johns is an experience keeper in net. West Orange hasn't always been the most consistent of squads, but can play with anyone in the state. Only a sophomore, Diego Pedrido has established himself as a big-game goalkeeper. The Mountaineers received a boost recently with the return of Kamsi Udodi from injury.

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