MENDHAM _ Allie Lutz fired a hat trick, including the game-winning goal with four minutes left, to lift Mendham to a 3-2 victory over Montville in the opening round of the Morris County Tournament on Sunday, Oct. 2.
Emma Schact set up the decisive score for the second-seeded Minutemen (7-2) with a breakaway shot that bounced off Montville goalie Victoria Scarratt.
Mendham will face seventh-seeded Mountain Lakes, which defeated Hanover Park 2-1 on Saturday. Gianna Coppola and Lauren Measly scored for 18th seeded Montville 3-5-1.
No. 18 Montville (3-5-1) tied the game on goal off a rebound in the 48th minute. The Minutemen put pressure on the Mustangs for much of the second half and missed several opportunities before pulling ahead one last time.
Mendham connected seconds after Minutemen goalkeeper Rose Ritger kicked the ball away from a Montville player in a wild scramble at the top of the box. Dana Seavey pushed the ball past midfield to Schact and it became a footrace to the Montville goal.
"We knew we needed to get something and we were running out of time," Schact said . "I had a great opportunity. It just hit the goalie and Allie followed through."
"Their goalie was very good and she was deflecting our shots so we had to follow through,'' Lutz said. "Emma was running right with me. She shot it, it came out and I just happened to put it in.''
Lutz, who had not registered a hat trick since last season, scored in three different ways during the game. She gave Mendham an early lead when she headed the ball in off a Seavey corner kick five minutes into the contest.
"We've been working on our headers,'' Lutz said. "It's a big goal of ours. Dana hit it and she is very solid.''
The girls were thrilled about the goal, especially since it's a tradition that Mendham coach Mark Lahey do 10 push-ups when one of his players scores on a header. It was the team's first header of the year.
Mendham's second goal came on a well-placed shot just outside the box that Lutz put inside the left crossbar and past the Montville keeper.
"I was at the top of the 18 and I hit it along the ground,'' Lutz said. "It hit off the goalie's hands and slipped into the post. When it is wet and (bouncing on) low ground sometimes they slip through.''
Lutz got a late start this season and she has been rounding into form in a big way for the Minutemen offensively.
"If Allie keeps scoring like that, we are going to be really tough to beat,'' Lahey said. "She had a back injury during the summer and couldn't condition. She is kind of working herself into shape and every game she is getting a little better. If she keeps going like that, we are going to be dangerous.''
Despite being an 18th-seeded team, the Mendham players were not surprised with Montville's tenacity. Coppola, in particular, proved to be a dangerous player.
"They were 3-0-1 in their last four games,'' Lahey said. "They were scoring a lot of goals. I think if the seeding meeting was held later, they would have been No. 8 or 9. This was a really tough first-round match up and I'm glad we got through it.''
The Mustangs rallied to tie on goals by Coppola and Measly. Montville's second goal came on a rebound from a shot by Halle Fiedler that Mendham goalkeeper Rose Ritger deflected. However, the ball bounced to Measly who was following the play. The goal tied the game 2-all in the 72nd minute.
However, Mendham did not want to see an overtime. Lutz and Schact made sure it didn't happen.
Last modified onFriday, 07 October 2016 05:40
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