BOONTON _ Although there were more than 30 minutes left, an all-too-familiar feeling - queasiness - creeped in as Morristown-Beard got closer to halftime.
The Crimson had a 1-0 edge over Boonton going into the break on Monday, Sept. 26 yet it definitely was not enough considering the way things have been going.
"It was too close," said junior center back Katie Wright, who was responsible for Morristown-Beard's opening-half score. "One was not going to be enough. We didn't want overtime again. We had to get some more goals and seal the win early. We knew Boonton wanted to tie us and try to win."
Morristown-Beard, which has gone to OT three times this season, losing twice and playing to a deadlock, put its attack into overdrive in the second half, scoring four more goals to register a 5-0 shutout over the Bombers, down three players due to injuries and illness.
Wright, a three-year starter, had the Crimson's fifth goal. Sophomore center midfielder Sam Hutchinson connected 5:40 into the second half and added her second goal four minutes later. Nicole Borowiec put Morristown-Beard up, 4-0, with 14 minutes remaining.
Kate Alderman was overjoyed that the Crimson (2-4-1) stepped up. Prior to clashing with Boonton, Morristown-Beard tied Governor Livingston and was disappointed by setbacks to Mountain Lakes and Millburn. The game versus the Lakers went to an extra period. The Crimson, who graduated seven starters, held back Governor Livingston in the first half and were blanked, 2-0.
"We've been right there," Alderman said. "We just haven't been able to finish. The girls have been positive and continued to work hard. We kept saying we'll have a breakthrough. I think today was it. We've been waiting for this moment. We needed a little bit of luck, too. I think everyone said 'We're done with this. It needs to change.' This should be a big boost."
Hutchinson attributed the scoring outburst to Morristown-Beard's strong, accurate passing. The Crimson most definitely took their game higher.
"We really didn't do much that was different," Hutchinson said. "There was more energy, great passing and we stayed positive. We kept working. We made smart passes and looked up before making them."
Boonton went into Monday's action without Kristen Gallo, who was sick. Forward Nicole Krozser was hit in the collarbone and left the game. Michelle Tolochko, another forward, was in for the first half but sat for the second because of a nagging knee injury.
"Morristown-Beard beat us to the ball," Bombers coach Cindy Tserkis-Schlitt said. "That's how they got one up on us. We were back on our heels after that. To be without three starters is tough. After the second goal was scored, we were deflated. The third was the beginning of the end."
Sophomore midfielder Leah Durkin had a solid showing for Boonton (2-5). Durkin carried the ball and made on-target passes to her teammates. Before having to exit, Krozser turned in a fine all-around effort. Goalie Charlie Wagner ended with 15 saves.
Wright was a force in the middle for Morristown-Beard and showed why Alderman refers to her as the "backbone of the team." Two more top-notch performers were backs Leila Curtis and Ali Palazzetti, both first-year starters.
"Leila and Ali stepped up to the plate," Alderman said. "They've become a cohesive unit."
The Crimson feel they are finally headed in the right direction.
"We showed what our team has," Wright said. "We complement each other. We have camaraderie. We're a team, not individuals. We've had a tough time lately. Now we can start fresh."
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