UNION – Once the Farmers took the lead against their Mountain Division rival they decided that one goal was not good enough.
Union scored again.
After New Providence pulled to within one goal in the second half, the Farmers answered right back.
Union kept attacking and produced one more goal.
Another solid division victory was realized Sept. 29 at Cooke Memorial Field as the Union boys’ soccer team booted New Providence 4-1 to improve to 6-0-2 overall and 4-0-1 in the Union County Conference’s Mountain Division.
Union concluded the September portion of its schedule in sole possession of first place in the Mountain Division.
The Farmers also sought a top 4 Union County Tournament seed, with the event to be put together Oct. 1.
“We started 7-8 freshmen last year and took our punches,” said head coach Lester Lembryk, who is in his 11th season at the helm of the Farmers. “We’re gelling right now and making good progression.”
In the home division triumph over New Providence, senior striker Andre Vieira scored twice and senior Mathew Rocha and sophomore Kerin St. Clair once.
Senior goalkeeper Manny Melendez was busy the entire match. He finished with seven saves, several of them dangerous situations where he had to come out and punch the ball away.
Vieira drilled a shot in the left corner of the goal at the 27:29 mark of the first half to put Union ahead for good at 1-0.
Rocha hit a right-footed shot from the right side into the left corner of the net to give Union a 2-0 advantage with 11:57 remaining before intermission.
New Providence forward Ben Peng scored with a left-footed shot from the left side with 35:03 remaining in the second half to pull the visiting Pioneers to within 2-1.
New Providence goalkeeper Miguel Garcia was credited with eight saves. He also received a yellow card in the second half for unnecessary contact.
Vieira put Union ahead 3-1 with 28:29 to go.
Vieira and Rocha are Union team captains.
St. Clair scored from inside the penalty box with less than 10 minutes remaining for the game’s final goal.
Vieira also hit the crossbar with a shot in the first half and had a point-blank attempt in the second thwarted by a Garcia kick save.
Stats through September show Vieira leading the Farmers with 12 goals, while Rocha and St. Clair are tied for the lead in assists with three each.
“Andre is one of our go-to guys,” Lembryk said.
Melendez finished with 23 saves.
“Manny was honored as the Union County Goalkeeper of the Week by nj.com and he serves in a leadership role for us,” Lembryk said.
Vieira and Melendez, both three-year starters, are looking to play at the next level, with schools such as Rutgers-Newark, Montclair State and Kean showing interest.
“The biggest thing for us now is to go out and continue to play the game,” Lembryk said. “We have a strong sophomore class. They are playing well together with the older kids. It’s working so far.”
2018 UNION BOYS’ SOCCER:
17-Randy Avila, senior
13-Ebenezer Boah, senior
27-Joshua Brito, sophomore
24-Karl Celestin, sophomore
00-Cameron Cole, senior
16-Nicholas Correia, sophomore
25-Kevin Couto, senior
3-Julian Cruz, senior
12-Lucas Diaz, sophomore
18-Lucas Duque, sophomore
15-Joel Genao, sophomore
1-Manny Melendez, senior
6-Justin Novoa, junior
2-Kyle Pereira, senior
11-Mathews Possidonia, junior
7-Mathew Rocha, senior
4-David Sanchez, senior
21-Nicolas Sanchez, sophomore
23-Kodie Sarkodie, sophomore
10-Ulisses Silguero, senior
0-Zach Similia, sophomore
19-Michael Simoes, sophomore
20-Kerin St. Clair, sophomore
5-Michael Tavaras, sophomore
14-Don Telusma, senior
22-Nelson Val, senior
9-Andre Vieira, senior
(A) Union 2, Raritan 0
(H) Union 5, Oratory Prep 2
(H) Union 4, Dayton 1
(A) Union 2, Franklin 1
(H) Union 0, Summit 0 (tie)
(A) Union 2, Johnson 1
Sept. 25 Linden, 4 p.m. – postponed
(H) Union 1, Gov. Livingston 1 (tie)
(H) Union 4, New Providence 1
Oct. 2 at J.P. Stevens, 4 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Oratory Prep, 4 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Dayton, 4 p.m.
Oct. 13 at Colonia, 10 a.m.
Oct. 16 Johnson, 4 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Linden, 7 p.m.
Oct. 20 Essex Vocation, noon
Oct. 23 at Gov. Livingston, 4 p.m.
Oct. 25 at New Providence, 4 p.m.