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(Central New Jersey) Thursday, May 30, 2024—Real Central NJ (RCNJ) beat the Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals-Liberty (PHI) at Rider University’s Ben Cohen Field, 6-0, for their second win of the season. With the first half ending at 1-0, the game looked like it would be a close one; however, a five-goal second half broke the game open. The fans were full of energy as Next Level SA’s girls teams showed up to cheer the RCNJ women on to victory.

Player of the Match, Josie Stockett making her way to the ball deep into Philadelphia's back third.
Photo Credits: Lukas Courtney

“The team played well in the first half through controlling possession, creating many scoring chances, and continuing to get comfortable with our playing strategy,” said Head Coach Brian Thomsen. “Early in the season, it’s all about figuring out who works well together and how we can secure results like tonight. The players responded well to our halftime adjustments, and I was proud of how quickly we started scoring once we got back on the field,” continued Thomsen.

“Tonight was definitely a feel-good game,” said Coach Kim Maurer when asked about the win. “Things are starting to gel, and it’s great to see tactics we focus on in training carried over to our WPSL games.”


  • RCNJ - Victoria D’Imperio (Ava Curtis) 18th minute: Ava sent a corner kick into the box, finding her TCNJ teammate, who cleanly headed it in. RCNJ 1, PHI 0

  • RCNJ - Josie Stockett (Morgan Kotch) 49th minute: Morgan Kotch drove down the left side, maintaining possession through a number of defenders, then found Josie in the 18, who calmly placed the ball in the back of the net. RCNJ 2, PHI 0

  • RCNJ - Josie Stockett (Riley Hayes) 52nd minute: Riley split the center backs, playing a beautiful ball for Josie to run onto, securing her 2nd goal through a crafty 1v1 with the keeper. RCNJ 3, PHI 0

  • RCNJ - Phoebe Merrigan 56th minute: Phoebe dribbled down the side from the right back spot and played a strong ball across the goal box that deflected into the net. RCNJ 4, PHI 0

  • RCNJ - Nicola Mosionek (Sophia Berman) 68th minute: Sophia placed a perfect pass to Nicola at the top of the box, who then one-timed the ball into the left corner. RCNJ 5, PHI 0

  • RCNJ - Sophia Berman (Sophia Miller) 73rd minute: Miller played a beautiful ball over the top to Berman, who beat the keeper one-on-one. RCNJ 6, PHI 0

The player of the match was forward Josie Stockett, whose two goals early in the second half started the scoring drive. The NLSA players in attendance celebrated the win by singing Happy Birthday to Coach Brian, who appreciated all of their cheering and revelry.

The game started out slow, with both teams getting looks at goal. However, nothing was too threatening for either team until the seventeenth minute. The RCNJ attack began with a powerful shot from Riley Hayes from distance that was saved by the Ukies. 

But it didn’t end there; a minute later, Real Central NJ was awarded a corner in the eighteenth minute, resulting in a Nicola Mosionek header deflected out of bounds by the Ukies’ keeper, giving the RCNJ women another chance at a corner. 

This time, RCNJ was able to capitalize. Deep into the eighteenth minute, Victoria D’Imperio scored a header off a cross sent deep and to the far post from Ava Curtis. The beautiful link-up put Real Central NJ up 1-0 in the eighteenth minute. RCNJ 1, PHI 0 

The game remained stagnant until the thirty-fourth minute when RCNJ got another look at a goal. Phoebe Merrigan's shot came after a lot of back-and-forth in the box. The shot was low and toward the near post but saved by the Ukies’ keeper. 

Again, in the thirty-sixth minute, Real Central NJ attacked off some nice dribbling around the outside of the box from Ava Curtis, who ripped a shot that was knocked out of bounds by the Ukies’ keeper. 

Only a minute after halftime, in the forty-sixth, RCNJ found another shot at the goal after a nice ball that was played toward the penalty arc. Riley Hayes controlled the pass and tried to take a ball to the far post, but it was saved. 

In the forty-eighth, Real Central NJ’s Morgan Kotch had a shot just inside the penalty area, but it was saved. The shot was just the beginning of an attack for them, as it set up a goal a minute later, in the forty-ninth minute. As the ball was cleared, RCNJ gained possession and moved it down the field. Morgan Kotch passed the ball across the box, where it met Josie Stockett, and Stockett directed the ball past the keeper to push the game to 2-0. RCNJ 2, PHI 0

Just three minutes later, in the fifty-second minute, Real Central NJ scored their third goal. It came from a counterattack down the middle of the field. The attack was started at the back line with a nice pass from Riley Hayes. The ball met Josie Stockett again, and she dribbled from just shy of midfield and into the box, where she beat the keeper in a one-on-one situation and put the ball in the back of the net for her second goal of the game. RCNJ 3, PHI 0

“She played fantastically,” Coach Ben Chrnelich commented on the play of Josie Stockett. “It played out really well to have her play striker.  She was able to be really dominant in the first fifteen minutes of the second half and capitalize on the opportunities.”

The RCNJ women continued their seemingly endless offense with three more quick attacks. The first came from Morgan Kotch in the fifty-third minute after some fancy footwork in the box - the shot was narrowly saved. 

The second ended in a goal in the fifty-sixth minute from Phoebe Merrigan. Merrigan found the ball on her foot at the end line, dribbled her way farther into the box, and finished a shot at a seemingly impossible angle. Her goal pushed the Real Central NJ women’s league farther away. RCNJ 4, PHI 0

The last was in the sixtieth minute, as Morgan Kotch received a cross from just outside the 18-yard line and attempted a header that was saved. 

The Ukies put their first shot of the second half on the board, sending the ball high of the goal in the sixty-fifth minute. 

Even with the Ukies attack awakening, RCNJ kept on the offensive pressure and got yet another goal in the sixty-ninth minute. This time, it came from Nicola Mosionek off a long driven cross on the ground from the left side of the field from Sophia Berman. Mosionek put her foot through the ball and sent it to the back of the net to extend their lead. RCNJ 5, PHI 0

The Ukies had a couple of fruitless attempts in the seventy-and-seventy-first minutes. The first was a low shot on goal, which was saved by a diving Morgan Murphy, RCNJ’s keeper. The second was taken from inside the box but was sent high and off-target. 

In the seventy-third minute, RCNJ scored their sixth goal of the match off a Sophia Miller long ball placed over the shoulder of Sophia Berman. The Sophia-to-Sophia connection allowed Berman to dribble the ball into the box and beat the keeper one-on-one with a low shot into the back of the net. 

The game ended with two more Ukies shots in the ninetieth minute, both saved by RCNJ’s Morgan Murphy to secure her and Rachel Quigley’s combined shutout and 6-0 win. 

“In the second half, you can either see a lot of action or you don’t see any,” Coach Jamie Skarupsky said. “So, we were lucky that we have two great goalkeepers who can see any side of the field with any level of action.” 

The RCNJ men play next against the Reading United AC on Saturday, June 1, 2024, at Alvernia University. Stream it here on the Real Central NJ website. 

The next women’s match will be away against the Delaware Ospreys on June 4, 2024. Stream it here on the Real Central NJ website.

The next home match will be a men’s USL2 match against Lehigh Valley United on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, at Rider University’s Ben Cohen Field. Purchase Match-day tickets and season passes on the Real Central NJ Soccer website.



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