NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ— The New Brunswick High School Lady Zebras soccer team (10-2-0) are on an eight-game winning streak after a slow 2-2 start to their season.
Having led the Greater Middlesex Conference Gold Division along with South River and Dunellen, it was a fight until the very end for the division title.
In recent games, New Brunswick battled against three other teams, needing to get as many wins as they could muster.
Starting with the Timothy Christian School Tigers, a team they had beaten before, the Zebras were given a run for their money. Timothy Christian still had hopes of winning the division, attacking in full force to put an end to the New Brunswick team's dream.
The game was a nail-biter, as neither team let up an inch in regulation, and the match went into overtime.
Working twice as hard, the Zebras continued moving the ball forward whenever they could.
On the very last play of the game, Abigail Luengas broke free from the Timothy Christian defense and hammered home a cannon of a shot straight past the goalkeeper from inside the box.
A huge sigh of relief could be felt, as the ladies celebrated at midfield after the goal.
The next game was against South River Rams, a squad the Zebras had lost to earlier this season. Showing their improvement from throughout the season, Abigail Luengas was able to muscle out a goal in the first half, propelling the Zebras to a 1-0 win.
Altagracia Rodriguez was superb, recording an impressive 17 saves to shut out the Rams.
Their next was the most important game all season long. The gold division title was either going to them or the Dunellen Destroyers, as both teams only had one loss in the division.
In an absolute slugfest, the teams exchanged blows back and forth like a heavyweight boxing match. The first half ended with the teams tied 2-2.
The Zebras' Lynne Dominguez and Abigail Luengas lifted their team to victory once again, providing two goals apiece, as Luengas assisted both of Dominguez's goals.
This critical three-game stretch was arguably ignited by the Zebras' nonconference match against the Perth Amboy Panthers. A night game in the upper 60's with a slight breeze, it was perfect weather for soccer.
Within the first minute of play, the Lady Zebras took an early lead.
Abigail Luengas worked up the right sideline after receiving a long pass from Lynne Dominguez to brush past defenders in order to create space and deliver a cross into the box.
As the ball traveled, it went over to captain, Odalis Montes, running in from midfield. With wonderful timing, Montes found the ball at her feet and fired a shot into the goal.
Scoring to set the tone of the game early on, it seemed as though New Brunswick was going to have a field day in Perth Amboy.
Despite having about 90% ball possession and an endless amount of shots, Perth Amboy's goalkeeper, Mia Molinas, was outstanding.
Dressed in yellow, she flew around the goal like a canary, stopping 22 shots on target.
Their second goal came in the second half, as Jailinne España scored her first goal of the season.
A play that started once again from midfielder, Luengas, launched a bomb from the Panther center-half.
The hard shot was on target, deflecting off the goalkeeper's hands and onto the feet of Dominguez, who laid off a pass that sliced past two Panther defenders over to España. España caught it in stride and sent it home for the second goal of the match, putting the Zebras up 2-0.
The Zebras were able to feed off the momentum from that goal, and score again shortly thereafter.
Seven minutes later, Dominguez finally found herself wide open on the right wing. From a ball that took a fortunate bounce over to Ochoa, she quickly dished it off to Dominguez.
With one touch, Dominguez booted it away from 18 yards out, sailing too high for the goalkeeper to corral it. Gooooollllaaaazzzooooo!
The back-line of Michelle Gomez and Rosa Veliz was a solid wall for the Zebras, making an easy day for goalkeeper, Altagracia Rodriguez, who rarely saw the ball.