After a dominating 5-0 performance against John P. Stevens High School, the Old Bridge High School girls’ soccer team’s confidence is sky high.
“We’re going to be Red Division champs and conference champs,” Nichole Adams, a senior forward, said about Old Bridge’s drive to win titles in the Greater Middlesex Conference this fall.
“I support that 100 percent,” Mackenzie Willis, another senior forward, said. “I think we got it this year.”
Head coach Robert Lozzi said the confidence comes from the past few performances by the team. The team had a 4-0 record after the victory.
“We just had a great win against East Brunswick,” Lozzi said, referencing the Knights’ 3-1 victory over the Bears on Sept. 12. “We just wanted to pick up where we left off. We didn’t want to come into the game with any particular game plan, but we were just working on something that we were doing in the last game. We came in with the attitude of getting better today.”
Old Bridge previously secured 4-0 victories against Woodbridge High School its season opener on Sept. 5 and against South Brunswick High School on Sept. 7.
Against J.P. Stevens on Sept. 14, the Knights dominated time of possession and had a 25-6 advantage in shots on goal. Lozzi stated that the team’s depth was a major reason for its dominance.
“We have a great group of players on the team,” Lozzi said. “We have a deep bench. This is something that we haven’t had in a while, and that tends to wear teams down, and it’s just a matter of time. Even if we’re not clicking at the beginning of the game, obviously, it will happen. The girls have patience. I understand that they have the skill level and the ability to break another team down, and that’s what they did today.”
Lozzi said that adjustments will still need to be made in upcoming games.
“If we’re making mistakes out there, the one thing that we said is that we need to make adjustments,” Lozzi said. “If you play and you think you make a mistake, you know you need to make the adjustment. Obviously, it’s early in the season, and nobody’s perfect. We just try to get better every day.”
Adams scored a hat trick against J.P. Stevens, but she stated that the goal was a group effort.
“I just wanted to play as hard as I could for my team,” Adams said. “I saw that they were all playing hard, so I wanted to match their effort.”
Adams’ assists all came from three different teammates. Adams was grateful for the support her teammates gave her.
“It’s incredible, honestly,” Adams said. “Just knowing that I have such supportive teammates and that I can give them the same support, it’s just amazing.”
Willis scored her first goal of the year and added two assists in the game. Willis also thought the the team’s strength was its teamwork.
“I felt like we work as a team really well,” Willis said. “We have all the support that we need. We all just work very well together, and we knew we had this game.”
Willis admitted that her confidence went up once she was able to see her shot go into the net.
“It felt good,” Willis said. “I haven’t scored this season yet, so it felt good to get this confidence booster. Just to finally get it and know in the back of my head that even though it took this long, I know I can still score at this level.”
Old Bridge defeated South Plainfield High School at home, 10-0, on Sept. 16 to improve to 5-0 on the season.
Old Bridge is scheduled to play Piscataway Township High School on Sept. 19. The Knights travel to Monroe Township High School on Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.