Girls Soccer has Impactful Stretch of Games


by Michael Steiner

Senior Olivia Rutigliano fights for the ball against a Carteret defender.

Nick Holt and Will Shokoff

After a successful road trip at Carteret, the Raiders took on the Watchung Hills Warriors for their annual Pink Out game on Oct. 10.  In promotion of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the girls wore alternate pink jerseys, showing their active support. In a tight contest, the score was tied 1-1 after junior Ashley Nitschke’s goal in the first half, assisted by senior Madison DeLucia. 

The Raiders had all kinds of opportunities, posting 16 shots on goal, but unfortunately, fell to Watchung Hills after a late goal by the Warriors, giving them the win, 2-1. However, the girls couldn’t keep their heads down for long as they had another very important game in the county tournament right around the corner.

The team was able to pick up a huge victory last Saturday at home versus Franklin to kick off the 2nd round of the Somerset County Tournament. The girls have now improved their record to above .500, being 7-6. The game began as a defensive showdown on both sides. The first half was scoreless with impressive saves by Hillsborough’s senior goalie Jill Stanton. Each side was battling it out on the defensive end. 

“The first half was a little rough but in the second half we came together as a team,” senior Olivia Rutigliano said. “This was one of our biggest games and we had to win.”  

The second half was much more exciting as both teams were able to score. Franklin scored 1 goal early on, but with junior Ava Curtis’s elite offense, she put in 2 goals paving the way for victory. With 5 second half saves by Stanton, Hillsborough was able to hold on for a 2-1 victory.

The county games are the most important of Hillsborough’s season, so it was a turning point for the Raiders. The team will travel to face undefeated and third-seeded Rutgers Prep on Oct. 19 for the quarterfinals. The girls are looking for a big upset and a chance to advance to the semi-finals. 

Hillsborough looks to capitalize on their last win, as they take on 4-5-3 Morris Knolls at home on Oct. 16 at 4:30 p.m.