ROXBURY- Roxbury head coach Justin Renna knew what his team had to do differently in its third match against West Morris.
Said Renna, “We need to score this time.”
On their home turf in the Morris County Tournament title game, the Gaels responded to Renna’s request.
Roxbury reversed the results and took down undefeated West Morris, 1-0, to defend its MCT title on Saturday night.
The Gaels took a throw-in on the far side of the field next to the corner flag in the eighth minute. Sophomore forward Ashleigh Sarafin made a beautiful play with her head to pass the ball to teammate Madison Martino. Martino dribbled past a defender and she buried a shot into the bottom left corner of the net past shocked West Morris goalkeeper Ilissa Webb.
“We knew that it is really hard to beat a team three times,” Martino said of Roxbury’s previous two 1-0 losses to West Morris. “We knew we had to come out 100 percent. Having that first goal early really brought out our energy and we just really played well the entire game.”
After Martino’s go-ahead goal, the Gaels reverted back to their strength and played a very physical defensive game against the Wolfpack.
“Defensively we work very hard,” Renna said. “We talk about defending from the front backward. It’s so important that our forwards are not allowing players to pick their head up and making play predictable. As 11 we were very good defensively.”
West Morris’ best opportunity to score came in the second half when freshman Emily Leyson took a shot on goal, and Roxbury goalkeeper Sarah Olivero made a one-handed punch save to clear the ball away.
“It’s fantastic,” Martino said. “Especially after being co-champions last year, the champion title means a lot.”
Staff Writer Dan Canova: (862) 240-2878;[email protected]