Wednesday’s matchup at Metuchen between Carteret and the host school will feature the top two teams in The Home News Tribune’s Top 10 in what figures to be a high-scoring affair.
Coming into the game, both No. 2 Carteret and No. 1 Metuchen have scored 30 or more goals this season, with three of the state’s top scorers leading the way.
The Ramblers have a pair of 10-plus goal scorers through Tuesday, in senior Ciara Alston and sophomore Fiorella Doglio, who have each exploded for monster games already this season. Alston leads the team with 14 goals, including a hat trick on Monday against J.F. Kennedy, and Doglio added two to her total of 13 with a pair against the Mustangs. Each has a four-goal outburst in Carteret’s first eight contests, leaving opponents to focus on both of them equally, which is no easy task.
But the Bulldogs have their own ace, with senior Emily Corson leading an offensive attack that has outscored its opponents 36-3 in seven games.
Corson has scored 12 goals, including a two-goal, one-assist performance in the season opener in which Metuchen head coach Val Gazda picked up her 300th career victory. Corson is coming into this one on a hot streak of her own, after picking up a hat trick against Wardlaw-Hartridge on Monday.
With all the attention shifted towards the offensive players on both of these teams, it’s easy to overlook the defense and goalkeepers, two units that rank amongst the state’s best.
Carteret has a dynamic keeper in Aisha Chauhan, who has made 84 saves this season and is a big reason as to why the Ramblers have a plus-32 goal differential.
Emily Buchanan mans the goal for Metuchen, and while she doesn’t have the save numbers that Chauhan has, that is a product of the Bulldogs dominating the possession and not allowing opponents to get quality looks against Buchanan.
Kosa leads Eagles
Cardinal McCarrick, which enters the Top 10 this week for the first time, is off to a hot start behind senior Megan Kosa. The Eagles have won four of their five contests in 2013, with Kosa’s 10 goals a major reason why. There are only 16 players state-wide to be in double digits in goals this early in the season, but Kosa is one of them, ranking fourth in the conference with her 10. The Eagles have also received solid performances from Madison McNally (five goals, four assists) and Nicole Rogan (four goals, two assists).
The area’s five first-year head coaches have gotten off to uneven starts in the season’s first three weeks, but things look up for all of them. Jen Vroman (Piscataway) has seen the Chiefs win three of their first six and Nick Chappell (Mother Seton) has his squad at 2-4. Leanne Rubiano’s Edison squad has been competitive in all five of their games and is currently on a three-match unbeaten streak. Tim Morris (Middlesex) got his first victory on Sept. 18 against New Brunswick and fellow first-year coach Emily Husband. The Zebras are still in search of their first win for Husband, but have had trouble scoring this season. Their last two matches have been much more competitive after a tough stretch to begin their campaign.