(Central Jersey) - The Real Central NJ Soccer (RCNJ) WPSL women’s team put their all into a challenging match at home against Torch FC, securing a 1-0 win, on Sunday, June 26th. Real Central NJ dedicated last night’s match to breast cancer awareness with help from Presenting Sponsor, Capital Health, whose representatives attended to answer questions and provide insight on detecting breast cancer.
The first period saw a lot of transitional play as both teams were working to determine playing styles and game strategy. While both teams created exciting scoring opportunities in the first half, the defensive units and keepers kept a clean sheet for both sides.
Sydney Watson and Stella Kahn were paired for the first time as RCNJ’s center backs and both were crucial in saving RCNJ from sticky situations in the 18 through winning 1v1 challenges and maintaining defensive shape. It was clear that the two were gelling in the second half, as the improved defensive performance led to many transitional scoring opportunities.
“As a team, I think it took us a little bit longer than we would’ve liked to get on the same page. But once we got it, it clicked but obviously, any player or coach wishes that it could’ve happened a little faster,” Watson commented about RCNJ’s performance.
The RCNJ women found themselves with more opportunities to shoot on goal as the first period came closer to an end but against a resilient Torch defensive line, plays continued to be interrupted. The first period ended in a 0-0 deadlock.
The second period saw more aggressiveness and immediate reactions from Real Central NJ with players being more creative in attacking open space and creating chances. Torch FC was finally able to set up for a shot in the 59th minute but RCNJ’s second-period goalkeeper,
Ashley Maribo, had an incredible diving save to the right. Midfielder Becca Margolis was seen leading RCNJ’s defensive mid-field going toe-to-toe with Torch FC attackers, winning the ball and leading the transition forward.
As the half progressed, there were several opportunities to take shots on Torch FC’s goal, but none prevailed, keeping Real Central NJ from scoring a go-ahead goal. Finally, after Ava Curtis won the ball and drove forward, she found Kelli Collins out wide, whose cross connected with “Player of the Match,” Brooke Steel who hammered home the ball in the 81st minute. The first goal of the match being in RCNJ’s favor seemed to exhilarate the women and increase their hustle to the ball even more for the last 10 minutes. Steel and Curtis continued to try for another goal with some great touches to one another but couldn’t close the deal. Nonetheless, the match ended with a 1-0 victory for Real Central NJ which the team and fans celebrated happily.
“I thought they were a really good team, it was really solid. I felt it was very even but we didn’t really start getting chances until the end of each half,” Steel commented.
In addition to Steel, Sydney Watson was also recognized as a “Player of the Match, recognizing her success in preserving the clean-sheet.