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The Westfield Leader and The Scotch Plains – Fanwood TIMES
D. Blair Corbin’
Blue Devils
Walk Down Memory L
From the archives of The Westfield
Leader and The Scotch PlainsFanwood Times
October 29, 2011: Postal workers
and their bosses would have been very
impressed when the Blue Devils football team faced off with the Linden
Tigers in what could be considered the
2011 “Snow Bowl” in Linden.
Before the game could begin, lines
had to be shoveled to determine where
the goal lines and sidelines were. Additionally, lines were shoveled every
10 yards to give the refs an idea of
where to mark the ball. Even measuring to determine whether or not a team
pushed far enough for a first down was
an adventure.
For the most part, speed was taken
out of the equation, but the Blue Devils
persevered and used their wits to trudge
out a 12-0 victory and to up their record
to 6-1 and to strengthen their position
Probitas Verus Honos
for the upcoming playoffs.
October 9, 2009: No! It was not a
soccer score, but a fundamental part of
that game came into play when sophomore Jon Gribbin booted a 43-yard
field goal with nine seconds remaining
in the first half, and with superb efforts
from its defense and special teams, the
Westfield High School football team
halted North Hunterdon’s offense to
claim a 3-0 victory in Annandale.
October 8, 2008: The Blue Devil
boys soccer team were in total control
in a 2-0 victory over Newark East Side
on the grass field at Tamaques School
in Westfield. Midfielder Matt Isabella
and senior Kevin Murphy each scored
first-half goals.
October 5, 2007: Blue Devil sophomore Jenna Rodrigues won the allaround title for the second straight year
as the eighth-ranked Westfield High
School gymnastics team successfully
defended its title at the Cougar Invitational meet in Cranford. The Blue Devils had their best performance of the
year with a 107.875 to easily top last
year’s total of 105.575 at the meet
October 5, 2006: Raider freshman
Gina Pelosi took first in the vault with
a score of 9.1 and senior Natalie
Capoccia took top honors on the balance beam with a mark of 8.5, but it was
the visiting A. L. Johnson Crusaders
who nipped the Raider gymnastics team,
99.2-98.7, in a Tri-Meet.
October 8, 2005: The Raiders football team fumbled a snap in the end
zone that proved costly as the Raiders
fell to Malcolm X Shabazz, 16-14, on a
sloppy, soggy field in Scotch Plains.
Colin Weber hit senior receiver Chris
Nilson with a 10-yard TD pass. Weber
added a one-yard TD run in the fourth
October 6, 2004: Raider boys soccer
Head Coach Tom Breznitsky sent in his
reserves against visiting Plainfield and
watched his team come up with a 5-0
shutout. Three senior veterans, however, Casey Hoynes-O’Connor (one
assist) and Sean McNelis each scored
two goals and backup goalie Chris
Huether rammed in a goal.
October 9, 2003: The Westfield girls
tennis team advanced to the semifinal
round of the North Jersey, Section 2,
Group 4 Tournament by blanking
Kearny, 5-0, in Westfield. Senior
Danielle Coleman, who is also playing in the New Jersey State Singles
Tournament, won at first singles. Freshman Nikki Reich won at second singles
and sophomore Jessica Bender won at
third singles.
October 9, 2002: Stepping up the
pace, the Raider boys soccer team
Alex Lowe for The Westfield Leader and The Times
POSITIONING THEMSELVES...The Cranford Cougar defenders and goalkeeper Katarina Polyviou, No. 77, position
themselves for the upcoming penalty corner play from the A.L. Johnson Crusaders in Clark on October 3.
Cougars Battle ALJ Crusaders
To Scoreless Field Hockey Tie
[Cranford] did get the better of it in
the overtime. I think we were getting
a little tired. They had several chances
to score, but fortunately we got some
solid play from our goaltender and
we were able to salvage the tie.”
After a first half in which sustained
offense was almost non-existent, the
two teams continued the trend in the
second half. Cranford had one good
opportunity for a score with just over
12 minutes remaining when Samantha
Colucci got ahead of the defense and
raced into the offensive third of the
field with the ball. But at the last
moment, Johnson defender Samantha
Cimbolic knocked the ball away before Colucci could get a shot off at
pointblank range.
Later, with a little over two minutes
to play, Cranford had another scoring
opportunity when senior Kristin Leu
moved the ball down the left sideline,
showing great stick control as she
passed Johnson defenders. However,
as she moved into scoring position,
Leu lost control of the ball in front of
the net. It was like that for both teams
throughout the game.
“We need to capitalize on our opportunities when they present themselves,” said Coach DiPaolo. “I don’t
David B. Corbin (Noivember 3, 2011 files) for The Westfield Leader and The Times
Page 15
More photos at
Ballyhoo Sports
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
STRUGGLING IN THE SNOW…Blue Devil running back James O’Rourke, No. 2, trudges forward as a Tiger defender
tries to tackle him. The Blue Devil offensive line tries to set up blocks. Westfield won, 12-0, on October 29, 2011. O’Rourke
had a rushing TD and David Kane had a TD reception.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
It may not be said that the game
played between the Cranford High
School field hockey team and A.L.
Johnson on October 3 in Clark was a
thing of beauty. But when all was said
and done, the two schools with rebuilding programs walked away with
a hard fought 0-0, overtime (OT) tie
that left neither team any the worse
for wear.
If any team had cause to walk away
feeling shortchanged, it could have
been Cranford (3-6-2) as the Cougars
had three solid shot attempts in the
final five minutes of the OT period
but could not get one past Johnson
goalkeeper Emma Francisco.
“We definitely picked it up after a
slow start,” said Cougar Head Coach
Danielle DiPaolo. “I think they
[Johnson] controlled the game early,
but we came on and started pressing
their defense in the second half. We
did some good things out there, just
not enough of them to get the win.”
Crusader Head Coach Katrina
Poskay saw things a little differently.
“I felt like we dominated the game,”
said Poskay. “We possessed the ball
throughout much of regulation. They
think we are firing shots soon enough.
We need to put more shots on goal
than we are doing right now. I think we
are hesitating when we are in scoring
position, waiting for the perfect shot
opportunity rather than attacking the
net. You’ve got to shoot to score.”
For their part, Johnson could do no
better. The 4-5-1 Crusaders’ best
chance to score came in the final 10
seconds of the OT period when Cougar goalkeeper Polyviou swatted
away a shot attempt by Danielle
Nugent on the left corner of the net.
“This has been the story of our
season,” said Coach Poskay. “We’ve
had trouble scoring all year. This was
expected in some ways. We have a
very young team this year. We have
six freshmen and three sophomores
playing significant roles for us. That
is not usually the way things go here.
We lost a huge senior class from last
year’s team, so we just have to go
through these growing pains for now.”
Polyviou finished with five saves.
Overall, the Cougars managed 11
shots on goal and had six penalty
“We have a pretty strong defense,”
said DiPaolo. “Jeannie Padden is a
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