LBD secures Union County Championship

Tate Fallon, R3 Features Editor

On Oct. 25, 2019, the WHS girls varsity soccer team, better known as the Lady Blue Devils, became 2019 co-champions of Union County, after ending their double overtime game against Cranford in a draw.

Going into the game, Westfield was the lower seeded team. This was exemplified in the first half as LBD was down 0-2 at halftime. However, through drive, determination and the right mindset, LBD crawled their way out of the deep hole they found themselves in and scored two goals in the second half to tie the game. Rutgers commit and WHS Senior Captain Faith Dobosiewicz scored an impressive first goal in the 43rd minute followed by Junior Striker Julia Weinstein with the second goal midway through the second half.

In recounting her goal, Weinstein said, “I didn’t really think much about the shot and just stayed calm and hit it into the goal.” 

“All year we’ve been preaching this idea of ‘Day 1.’ To us, ‘Day 1’ means that every day is a new day to prove yourself to your teammates, to the coaching staff and for our team to prove themselves to the county and to the state,” said head coach Alex Schmidt. “The first half was certainly not our best and this ‘Day 1’ mindset was crucial to us believing that we could come back from being down 0-2.” 

There were an impressive amount of fans at the game. Weinstein said: “Everyone was so energetic on the team and in the stands. The crowd definitely brought a lot of energy that translated onto the field in our play [for the second half].” 

“[It] was surreal,” said Senior Goalkeeper Erin Harris, “everyone who goes through the program dreams of getting to be on the field in a big game like that. It was electric.”

After the second half, the score was tied at 2-2 and the teams were set to head into overtime. The two teams ended the game after double overtime, without any goals scored, declaring Westfield and Cranford as the 2019 county co-champions.

“The county will call us co-champions, but never in my 19 years of coaching high school soccer have I ever witnessed a performance more indicative of a champion than the performance our team put forth during the second half and OTs,” said Schmidt. “No matter the label, we are county champions and the 2019 team will always be remembered as such.”

LBD look to continue with their momentum and work their way to a state title.“We feel really good going into states because we are playing some of our best soccer right now and we are going to continue to bring that energy into the state tournament,” said Dobosiewicz.