by Rebecca Freer
The stands of Kean University, clearly divided between a sea of black and blue shirts, exhibited the long-standing rivalry between Westfield and Scotch Plains on Nov. 1. Unfortunately, the determined Blue Devils fell short to the Raiders by one goal, with a final score of 2-1.
Since 2010, the boys varsity soccer team has not made it to the UCAIC County Finals and the team appeared committed to generate a victory for the abundance of fans who came to support them. Throughout the first half, both the Blue Devils and Raiders gave it their all, making for a very balanced game.
Senior tri-captain goalie Koryn Kraemer said the team fought hard despite the overall outcome of the game, but indicated that there is always room for improvement.
The Blue Devils opened the game energetic and excited, echoing the fan section that continuously cheered them on. However, the Raiders scored with 12 minutes left in the half, putting Westfield down 1-0. As both teams played aggressively, two yellow cards were given in the first half to senior tri-captain Mike Prosuk and sophomore Owen Prybylski.
Going into the second half, in the twelfth minute, Scotch Plains scored again, leaving the Blue Devils scoreless. The boys did not let this faze them, as Prosuk scored, assisted by senior David LaVelle with nine minutes left in the game, pushing both teams to play harder to fight for victory. As the minutes dwindled down, the Blue Devils could not capitalize, making them second in the county. Prosuk said he “thought that the outcome of the game was overall great, being that [the team] almost came back to tie the game and tried to push it into overtime.”
Going into the state tournament, Prosuk and Kraemer both said they believe that the team is looking strong. Last Monday, they won 3-1, which “will give [the team] more confidence going into the second round of states,” according to Prosuk.
However, the team’s season came to an end last Thursday when they lost in the second round of states to Phillipsburg with a final score of 2-1.