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Livingston's Robbie April, who has found the back of the net three times so far this 2014 boys soccer season, heads ball during Super Essex Conference-American Division action at Al Jacobson Field. (Photos by Aaron Matthews)
Livingston's Alex Sugerman (5, right) looks to take control of the ball. The Lancer standout has emerged as one of the key playmakers for his team.
Veteran coach Roger Rubinetti continues to do solid job guiding Livingston
Livingston Seeks To Find Place
By Aaron Matthews
When talking about the elite programs within Essex County and the state, teams such as Seton Hall Prep, Millburn, Montclair and West Orange immediately come to mind. Even after making the Essex County Tournament semifinals last year, Livingston isn't always mentioned with that group.
After taking their lumps in the unforgiving Super Essex Conference at times over the past two years, the Lancers are poised to regain their place among the County's elite. The next week will tell a lot as Livingston (6-2-1) rides a four-game winning streak as it prepares for a stretch which includes games at Seton Hall Prep on Thursday and at home on Monday against Montclair.
A stingy defense has once again been the strength for this veteran club under long-time head coach Roger Rubinetti. Livingston has allowed just eight goals so far this season and a big reason is keeper Garrett Meinhardt, a three-year starter who has proven to be one of the best in the County. Ryan Chisarick, Dan Kaltman and Ben Neyer have all been key defenders as well.
Consistency on offense has been an issue at times for the Lancers, but Jack Wasserman (four goals, three assists), Jacob Haaker (three goals) and Robbie April (three goals) along with playmakers Alex Sugarman and Cole Charney give Livingston more scoring options than it has had in the past.
In its first foray against Essex's upper echelon, Livingston proved it can play evenly with them, despite suffering a pair of 1-0 defeats to West Orange and Millburn. Now is a chance for them to show it is a team to be reckoned with, both in Essex County and in North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4.
Stock Rising: Newark Central (4-4) earned its biggest win in recent memory with a 3-2 victory over Verona on Monday afternoon. Hubermann Ermeus scored two goals, including the game-winner with 6:42 left in regulation. Djiba Kourouma has six goals and two assists, Etienne Drisse has five goals and an assist and El Hadji Yade has added six assists.
Monday's victory was a win that Central head coach Carmelo Dorselus felt was coming after suffering one-goal losses to Newark East Side, Belleville, West Essex and Glen Ridge.
Top Performance: Mauricio Cruz has enjoyed a breakout season for Newark East Side. The senior forward has already set career highs in goals (four) and assists (five) in the season's first month. Last week, Cruz scored once in a 2-1 victory over Central, then unloaded for two goals and two assists in a 4-0 triumph over Montclair Kimberley. Cruz's emergence combined with fellow senior Luan C. Souza up top, could make East Side a team, few will want to play in next month's county tournament.
FIVE GAMES TO WATCH THIS WEEK
1. Livingston at Seton Hall Prep (Thursday, 4 p.m.)
2. Newark East Side at Millburn (Thursday, 7 p.m.)
3. Newark Central at Bloomfield (Friday, 4 p.m.)
4. Seton Hall Prep at West Orange (Monday, 4 p.m.)
5. Montclair at Livingston (Monday, 7 p.m.)
SIDELINE CHATTER'S ESSEX BOYS SOCCER RANKINGS
(Records through Sept. 29)
1. Seton Hall Prep (8-1)
2. Millburn (6-0)
3. Montclair (6-1)
4. West Orange (6-1)
5. Livingston (6-2-1)
6. Belleville (7-1)
7. West Essex (7-1)
8. Bloomfield (5-2)
9. Newark East Side (3-3)
10. Verona (6-3)
Dan Katzman begins to approach the ball on set piece for the Lancers
Ryan Chisarick (24, right) is one of the top defenders for Livingston
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