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Montclair's senior midfielder Sammy Masur heads home her first of two goals vs. Scotch Plains with just under 21:00 remaining in the second half during Wednesday night's Group 4 semifinals at Somerville. The Mounties won 2-1 in overtime and will now face Hunterdon Central, 10 a.m., on Saturday in the overall Group 4 final at Kean University. (Photos by James Lattanzio/sportzdrop- see www.sportzdrop.tumblr.com)
Scotch Plains keeper Andrea Leitner goes up to make save as Montclair becomes more and more dangerous in front of the Raiders' net in Wednesday night's semis.
The Mounties celebrate Sammy Masur's game-winning goal in OT vs. Scotch Plains
Montclair head coach Rob McOmish has had first-hand view of team's success
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Scotch Plains actually found the back of the net first as its speedy star striker Tori Baliatico scored with 21:14 left in the second half. But, just 15 seconds later, after Montclair was awarded a free kick, Ewersten sent a strong ball into the 18-yard area that found Masur about six yards out and she headed it home to tie matters, 1-1.
The game winner in OT was produced as Ewertsen came up the right wing and sent a high cross over Scotch Plains goalkeeper Andrea Leitner that found Masur, who alertly kicked the ball home as a Montclair soccer celebration commenced.
“It was great to see Sammy and Lindsey combine twice for us in such big spots,” said McOmish. “It was the seniors’ night in many ways, but our younger kids have been sensational for us as well, and the combination of experience and youth has worked wonders for us this season.”
Senior defender Erin Silverman, who has marked some of the top players in North Jersey in recent weeks, shaded Scotch Plains’ Baliatico and did a solid job. She may very well perform a similar role against Hunterdon Central’s sensational sophomore Luciana Zullo, who scored two quick goals in the first 13:00 of her team’s 3-0 win over a strong Lenape side on Wednesday at Neptune’s Memorial Athletic Complex.
Montclair’s outside defender Kelly Crawford has performed well in her role in the back along with Ewertsen and Christina Caruso, while sophomore keeper Gabby Isola (five saves vs. Scotch Plains) has been clutch throughout both the county and state tournaments.
The young guns include freshmen Rebecca Van Siclen and Fiona Tubiana, who have been dangerous scorers throughout the season, and veteran sophomore Jillian Jennings, the team’s high scorer over the course of the campaign.
The Mounties have already won the Super Essex Conference-American Division, Essex County and North 1, Group 4 titles to date, and now have one more crown to achieve – the biggest championship of all – if the Essex County juggernaut can indeed complete its mission by defeating Hunterdon Central in the overall Group 4 final on Saturday at Kean.
“We’re going to prepare to face another very good team, just like we’ve been getting ready for all our opponents, and we will implement in our game plan what we feel can work us and then take it from there,” said McOmish. “I’m proud of our girls because they’ve worked extremely hard to prepare and then perform in order get to this moment; they’ve overcome their fair share of injuries, and have been playing some of their best soccer of the season when it matters most.”
Follow Steve Tober on Twitter @Chattermeister
Montclair's senior midfielde Sammy Masur (5) gets after the ball against Scotch Plains
Scotch Plains players are stunned as Montclair ties match at 1-1 just 15 seconds after the Raiders had taken a 1-0 lead with 21:14 left in second half of Wednesday night's contest.
Mounties Christina Caruso and Amanda Romano celebrate their Group 4 semifinal win
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