Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Answering the Challenge

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Answering the Challenge

Article excerpt

FRANKLIN LAKES -- The nerves were present. The pressure was on. And the stakes were the highest they've been all season long.

But in the moments just prior to Thursday's North 1, Group 2 girls soccer sectional final against Mahwah, Ramapo's Sarah Scire was on the receiving end of a quick, nerve-settling motivational pep talk from assistant coach Sandy Gordon.

"She jokes with me sometimes before games about how many goals she wants out of me," Scire said with a laugh. "She just goes, 'I want two out of you today.' I just go, 'All right, I'll try my best.' "

Scire's best surpassed even Gordon's wishes Thursday, with the Williams-bound senior forward striking for a hat trick in top- seeded Ramapo's 5-3 win over third-seeded Mahwah to capture its second straight North 1, Group 2 title.

"Sarah's ability to break individuals down and play that single touch like she did ... you saw her at her best today, but we see it every day," Ramapo coach Paul Heenehan said after his team captured its 23rd sectional title in the program's 38-year history. "I think the later into seasons you go, the more the cream rises to the top."

Scire's trio of nifty finishes inside the box -- assisted by Sommer Cochran, Monica Scaglione and Erin Racano -- were sandwiched around Nikki Butler's opening goal off a look from Olivia Kraebel in the seventh minute and Cami Pecore's strike in the 23rd off Racano's second long-range assist.

"I feel like I was in the right place at the right times and kept working and kept my head up even when the game got physical," said Scire, who has 11 goals this season. "I think we were all up for the challenge today."

All the offensive damage was done in an action-packed, near- flawless 16-minute stretch in the first half as the Green Raiders stormed out to a 5-0 lead.

"Things we've been telling them all year, things they understand and things that they believe in all came to fruition in those 16 minutes," said Heenehan, whose team will take on North 2, Group 2 champion Whippany Park in Tuesday's Group 2 semifinals. …

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