Johnson Girls Soccer Wins One For #19
This victory meant even more than usual.
Background: The Johnson girls varsity soccer team is handling a lot these days. Though their cleats were on the field for this crucial States sectional quarterfinal game, their hearts were with teammate Eryka Underwood. Underwood, a star player who suffered a season-ending injury last game, incurred third-degree burns in a backyard bonfire accident on Tuesday and remains in the hospital. Shirts emblazoned with "#19," Underwood's number, lined the field. Julianne Juzefyk was already set to fill in for Underwood and played a great game.
The Records: Johnson (11-6-1) met Delaware Valley (7-7-3) on Friday at home.
The Final Score: The Johnson girls got off to a fast start, leading 4-2 until midway through the second half when they saw their lead diminish to 4-3. Almost immediately, the Lady Crusaders responded with a goal from Cat Hanley to make the score 5-3. Delaware Valley added a late goal to cut the deficit to 5-4, but ran out of time to match Johnson's five. Also scoring were Kelly Loalbo, Gianna Popola and Kelsey Pinkham.
The Hero: Cat Hanley made two of Johnson's five goals this game, the second of which came just a minute after Delaware Valley cut the Johnson lead to 4-3.
The Quote: When we asked Coach Santiago Velasco what he thought his team could improve going into the semifinals, he said, "I think that if we finished our chances it would have been a 10-4 game. We had a lot of chances that we just could not finish. They scored on some counter attacks and caught us by surprise."
Who's Next: Johnson takes on the Rumson Bulldogs at home in the sectional semifinals on Tuesday at 4 p.m.