Lady Mustangs struggling to score

Lebedz has team’s only two goals so far

by John E. Powers, Sports Writer
   Manville High School senior midfielder Rhianna Lebedz looked at last Saturday’s game at North Plainfield as a missed opportunity.
   The Lady Mustangs, who dropped a 3-0 decision to Bound Brook Monday night to fall to 0-5, lost to North Plainfield 2-1. Lebedz, who scored in a 5-1 loss to two-time defending North 2, Group 1 champ Belvidere last Tuesday, tied the game at 1-1 with North Plainfield, but the Canucks scored again just past the midpoint of the second half to win it.
   ”There were a few good opportunities,” Lebedz said.
   Lebedz connected squarely from the 18-yard line.
   ”It was a game we should have won,” she said. “I don’t think our heads were into the game early. It was frustrating as a team. We should have beaten North Plainfield. That should have been a win.”
   The team had hopes of beating Bound Brook on Senior Night at Panfile Stadium. The Lady Crusaders were beaten by Delaware Valley 7-1 and Manville lost to the Terriers 4-0 last Friday. So the Mustangs estimated that their chances against the Crusaders would be good. But the team is still trying to settle on a lineup that has been weakened by several injuries.
   Angie Lazur has told the team that she will have surgery on her knee next month because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Becca Burke and Dana Mortensen are at least two weeks away from returning.
   Belvidere had 20 shots on MHS goalie Juliana Andrade in a 5-1 victory. Del Val enjoyed a big advantage in Friday’s game and kept Andrade under pressure.
   Senior midfielder Amy Mesce scored from 30 yards out for Delaware Valley, which raised its record to 4-0. The Terriers outshot the Mustangs 26-4.
   ”We had some chances, but we just weren’t able to finish,” said Lebedz, who played sweeper against Delaware Valley. “We knew they were good, so we really concentrated on playing strong defense.”
   That has been the early problem. Manville has been outscored 21-2 in its first five games.
   ”We’re just not closing out the shots,” said Sam Aichele, the team’s senior midfielder.
   The Manville girls could have taken a lesson from Delaware Valley. The Terriers scored 19 goals in their first four games. The Lady Mustangs, who play in the Skyland Conference Valley Division, won’t see either North Plainfield or Delaware Valley again since both of those schools play in the Raritan Division.
   Manville won’t find any easier dates on the schedule. The girls were scheduled to play host to Somerville – a team that beat Mount St. Mary – Wednesday before having another home game with Bernards Friday afternoon.