2011 Spring Season Recaps
The Monroe Thunder had a very successful Spring Season. If it wasn't for one lost weekend, where we went 0-3, the Thunder would of finished in first place. As it was, we finished tied for third place at 6-4-0. We lost to the 4 top teams (12 goals to 6) and handily beat the bottom 5 teams with a goal differential of 19 (25 goals to 6). We led the league in scoring with 31 goals scored and we were tied in goal differential of 13. We were competitive in every game and had the unfortunate timing to play 3 of our toughest games in one weekend, where we missed some key players.
The Thunder started out 5-1 with a lone 4-3 loss to Woodbridge on a cold blustery day. Monroe almost tied that game late except Ryan Ward had 2 goals turned away late in the game by their goalie. Our lost weekend started out against East Brunswick, we started out shorthanded as we were missing a starting fullback. After a couple of injuries and some awful officiating we walked away with a hard fought 0-2 defeat, dropping us to 5-2 on the season. The effort and level of play was exceptional and I thought we played a very solid game and was not disappointed in the loss at all. The injuries carried over to the Saturday game against New Providence where we lost a game we should of won because we were tired and shorthanded. We played an uninspired first half and had poor execution in the second half. I am convinced if we had a full healthy rested team, we would of won this game on any other day. It was unfortunate that the timing of the makeup games fell on the same weekend. The third game against Union was a very well played game. I was proud of the boys effort and thought we rebounded froma poor effort and played very well against a very good team, unfortunately we came up a little short in a 2-1 defeat. We ended the weekend 5-4 and we were disheartened as a team.
We ended up having a rematch with East Brunswick in East Brunswick. The boys played fantastic and hard and showed great resiliency. We were down 2-1 and came back with a 3-2 win. I was very impressed with their effort and execution and we beat a very good East Brunswick team on the road.
We played some great soccer this Spring and it showed in the Hopewell Valley tournament. I was proud of our team and I thought that we played at a very high level of soccer and the season was a great success!!
Week J - 05/22/2011 - Away vs East Brunswick - Won 3-2 (Record: 6-4-0)
The Thunder were looking to break their 3 game losing streak and also revenge their early season loss to East Brunswick. This time we were playing in East Brunswick and on grass. I was very proud of the team’s efforts this week. After a very tough last weekend, the boys came out motivated and ready to play. They were very aggressive and very solid. We also were healthier then we were the previous weekend. The Thunder staged a huge second half comeback from a 2-1 2nd half deficit to come up with its most impressive victory of the season.
As a team at Saturday’s practice, we worked on set plays both for the offense and defense. We came up with a new corner kick play called diamond, and we worked on set plays and setting up walls defensively. These plays were ran very well. On our first corner kick, we had a good shot opportunity running diamond. On our second corner kick we scored running diamond. It was a perfect corner kick by Eric, and Ryan M came in on the correct angle on the right side, turned and shot the ball into the far netting. An excellent well executed play. Later in the first half, their best player struck a ball from outside the 18 into the side netting on the left side. Ryan made a nice attempt, but it was a great goal by East Brunswick. The boys played a solid first half and we came away with a 1-1 tie at the half.
In the second half, East Brunswick picked up an early second goal to take a 2-1 lead. The defense broke down on the weakside and left 2 players open on the weakside to execute a goal on a nice cross from East Brunswick. After that, the defense really picked up and started shutting East Brunswick down. Monroe started controlling the center of the field. With that, Tyler M was being marked by the left fullback and he was getting shut down. We spoke with Tyler to be more aggressive and confident, and he responded with 3 conseuctive runs on the goal. The first run, Tyler beat the left fullback and went in on the goalie at a tough angle. He shot and the goalie made an initial save and Shawn attacked the goal and put home the rebound for a 2-2 tie. On Tyler’s next run he moved to the center of the field and broke through down the center, affording him a better angle, and he was able to put it down low and past the goalie for a goal and a 3-2 lead. Tyler had another run, where his shot beat the goalie but slid wide right of the post.
The story for the rest of the game was the defense and mid-fielders. Our defensive play picked up and the boys really played well the rest of the half to hold on for a 3-2 victory. I thought Brandon W, Joseph, Drew, and the combination of David S, Ryan M, and David A at stopper played stellar defense in the second half. Especially after regaining the lead at 3-2. Ryan W, Micheal, and David S all played strong at the mid-field position as well. Tyler M really had a strong second half and Shawn once again crashed the goal to get that all important game tieing goal. This was a good team win after a tough 3 loss weekend the week before. I am really proud of the way the boys played.
Week F - 05/14/2011 - Away vs New Providence Sparks - Lost, 4-2 Record (5-3-0)
The Thunder followed a very tough Friday night loss with an early Saturday morning away game. The Thunder coaches were hoping for a rebound game, but we were very shorthanded, we were missing David S due to a family committment, Ryan M and Ethan were injured and David A was slowed by injuries from the previous night’s game. We had to play players out of position and we were missing several defensive players. It was low energy from the start and New Providence took a 2-0 lead at halftime and held on for a 4-2 victory over the Monroe Thunder. The game was a tale of different failures for two halves. The first half was lack of effort, the second half was tremendous effort but lack of execution and the result was a 4-2 loss. It was unfortunate, because New Providence played right into our hand defensively. They played a flat four defense at mid-field, all we had to do was get the ball over the top and we should of had ample opportunities to score. Unfortunately our midfielders did not play very well, especially in the first half.
In the first half, Monroe came out flat, lacked energy and drive. They played uninspired defense, where we gave up 2 quick goals in the first 8 minutes of play and dug ourselves into a 2-0 hole. The defense was caught twice on not committing to the offsides trap and one player left all 3 offensive players onsides and they had two easy runs at the goal. After going down 2-0, the boys still did not control the middle of the field, the boys could not send the ball over the top even though they were not covering Tyler M at all. The midfielders especially were slow to the ball. We rotated players around trying to get a spark, but nothing was working. We ended the half down 2-0.
At halftime, we had a "one sided conversation" about heart and effort. The second half the effort was much better, unfortunately our execution in the front of the goal was not good. Ryan W scored a goal on a penalty kick to make it 2-1. However, Matt K missed 2 headballs into an open net from the 4, Shawn missed a bouncing ball in front of the goal, Eric S hit the post, Tyler missed an opportunity in front, Ryan W mishit a shot on the goal, Ryan W and Mike C both launched shots over the crossbar. We also had 2 corner kicks bounce through the goal area untouched. As you can see, we had plenty of opportunites from plenty of players to score, and unfortunately we were unable to convert. New Providence scored on a breakaway on a defensive breakdown between the stopper and sweeper and New Providence grabbed a 3-1 lead. Ryan W scored again on a wonderful shot on the 6 bending the ball into the side netting. Probably one of the most difficult angles all season to score from. Ironic since we missed so many easy shots. We had several opportunites to score a game tieing goal, but we could not convert, despite dominating play in the second half. We missed the injured players, we missed opportunites, but we did play with alot more passion in the second half. When we pressed at the end of the game to get a tie-ing goal we gave up another breakway goal at the end of the game for a final score of 4-2. This game will probably come back and haunt us in the final standings, because we were probably 4 goals better than this team and if we played them fresh and healthy, we probably would of won easily. However, the schedule it what it is and that is why they play the games. We have the toughest game of the weekend coming up on Sunday.
Week E - 05/13/2011 - Home vs East Brunswick Inferno - Lost, 2-0 (Record 5-2-0)
The Thunder were able to play their only night game of the season on a Friday night at the cage. The game was vs a revamped East Brunswick squad that brought in 4 new players. These players vastly improved the East Brunswick team and made for a very challenging opponent. East Brunswick came in riding a 4 game win streak. The Thunder knew they had their work cut our for them. The team was playing shorthanded as Ethan sustained a concussion the last game and Drew did not make the game. The boys played really hard and tough, they played a competitive game and were unfortunate that they ran into a good team and had several bad breaks occur throughout the game as the refs let things get out of control.
The Thunder midfielders, Ryan W, Michael C, David S, and Shawn played hard and strong to control the middle of the field. At about the 10 minute mark of the first half, Eric launched a corner kick to the far post at the 6 yard line that Tyler M headed into the goal for apparent 1-0 lead. However, after consultation the refs made the call that the ball was out of bounds during flight. A horrible call and the refs took a goal away. The half ended with a 0-0 tie. In the second half, Tyler M who was being double teamed most of the game, switched around from right wing to left wing and back to right wing. He had a nice run on the goalie and was ran off the ball hard for an apparent foul, that would of resulted in a penalty shot...however, that foul was not called.
The defense played especially strong, even through various injuries as Ryan M, David A, David S, and Ryan W all came up with injuries throughout the game. Ryan W kept cramping up and he kept going back in there to play.
East Brunswick eventually scored on a direct kick from about 18 1/2 yards away as the Thunder defensive wall was not setup correctly and EB was able to score on the short side of the goal. Their final goal was scored from about 45 yards out when it hit the crossbar and bounced down, Ryan caught the ball on the bounce and punted it out. The refs did not make the call until the ball was on our offensive side of a field and awarded a goal to East Brunswick.
I was very happy with the way the boys played against East Brunswick. They were awarded 2 goals that they should not of had, and we had a goal taken away. Sometimes life, as well as soccer, just isn’t fair. That was one of those times. I was not upset with the boys, they played hard and they deserved a better outcome. My concern is for tomorrow, because we may only have 10 or 1l players healthy to play New Providence. Rest up tonight.
Week H - 05/08/2011 - Home vs Scotch Plains - Won, 5-1 (Record: 5-1-0)
The Thunder had a couple of streaks coming into this game. In 3 years, we have never beaten Scotch Plains (bad streak) and in 3 years we have not lost on Mother’s day. We wanted to keep the latter streak alive. Well the Monroe Thunder didn’t disappoint the Mothers on their day. They jumped out to a 5-0 lead and ended up coasting to a 5-1 win. This ended up being the Ryan Ward show as he scored a hat trick and then ended up playing goalie at the end of the game. He almost made a brilliant save on the lone goal scored by Scotch Plains, but he just missed the diving save.
The game started out well as the mid-fielders controlled the center of the field and were able to make a few nice opening runs. Tyler M made a couple of nice runs down the right sideline and managed a few nice crosses. The opposing goalie made a couple of nice saves on the his crosses and shots. This kept the score tied at 0-0 for the first 10 minutes of the game.
Monroe broke through as David Sorrentino opened up the scoring from the Center striker position. He patiently allowed a high bouncing rebound to settle low on his left foot and he banged a hard left footed shot past the goalie for a 1-0 lead at about the 10 minute mark of the first half. Tyler M then scored on a breakaway goal off of a nice clear from Michael C. Michael was able to clear the ball over the defense and Tyler was able to chase the ball down and make a nice move around the keeper and strolling the ball over the end line. He didn’t need to punish the ball, a simple end around was all that was needed. It was a nice all around play. The third goal was scored at the end of the first half by Ryan W off of a nice feed from Matt K. Matt made a nice settle and thru ball to Ryan W who launched a shot past the diving goalie. The half ended in a 3-0 lead.
The second half started out strong, as Ryan W took 2 beautiful passes from Shawn G and converted on 2 nice shots to beat the goalie to complete his hat trick. Shawn made 2 almost identical lead thru balls to Ryan W. The first pass Ryan beat the defense and the goalie to the ball and flicked the ball past the goalie and it strolled past the goal line for a nifty finesse goal. On a similar play, Ryan again beat the defense down the field and from outside the 18 on the left side of the ball, Ryan rainbowed a right footed inside out shot into the far right netting. It was a pretty finesse shot that would of scored on any level.
Overall the boys played well. Their passing was strong, they kept their heads up and they really made some nice quick passes that perplexed Scotch Plains. It was nice to be able to get both goalies playing the field in the second half. We were able to get Drew, Ryan S, Ryan M, Joeseph Z, Tyler W all up on offense at the end of the game.
A good win, but the real test is next weekend when we have a triple header against much tougher competition.
Week G - 05/01/2011 - Home vs Somerset Hills Cobras - Won, 6-1 (Record: 4-1-0)
It has been a long time since our last game, as we had 2 rainouts and the Easter week off. I was afraid we were going to come out rusty, however, the Thunder struck quickly within the first 4 minutes of the game. We were a little bit rusty as our passing was a little off and our mid-field attack was sporadic. We led 1-0 until the last 5 minutes of the first half and then we scored 2 goals at the end of the half to take a 3-0 lead into halftime. We scored early in the second half and it allowed us to get some players into positions that they normally don’t get to play. The defense played some offense and Ethan was able to play left fullback, we took a 6-0 lead and ended the game with a nice 6-1 victory.
Matt K scored minutes into the game from just inside the 18 on a pass from Michael C. He one touched a bouncing ball and put it into the far left corner on the ground. It was a great shot and we started out strong. We then played very sporadic for the next 20 minutes of the game. Tyler M had a great opportunity off of a Ryan S pass, but the goalie made a nice save. Ryan W had a really nice left footed shot from the 18 that went just over the upper left 90. The score remained 1-0 until about 5 minutes remaining in the first half. Ryan W made a nice run from the left midfield position beating a couple of players and drawing the defense into the middle. Ryan W then placed a perfect lead thru ball to Tyler M that led to a beautiful goal. It was a flawless and unselfish play for Ryan W. We took a 2-0 lead at that point and Ryan W finished the first half scoring with a penalty shot goal off of a hand ball by the opposing team.
In the second half, we wanted to get a 4th goal early, so we could move some players around. We started Tyler M at left wing to try a cutback move and we put David S at right wing. This worked well as both David S and Tyler M ended up scoring. We then moved Ryan W to sweeper and Brandon W to center midfield. We also put Ethan in at left fullback, Joe Z at right midfield, and Ryan M at right wing. Ryan M was able to put a nice rainbow shot in over the goalies head and under the crossbar for a nice 6th goal. We also put Drew up at Striker for awhile as well.
I thought that Ryan W played his best game to date, Tyler M, Drew M, David S, Michael C all had very solid games. Matt had a really nice shot to open the game. The goalies played solid. A good win. Our real test for the season is coming up as we the top 3 teams still remain on our schedule.
Good win boys - keep on going!
Week D - 04/03/2011 - Home vs Lawrence Panthers - Won, 6-1 (Record: 3-1-0)
The Monroe Thunder looked to defend our home field, and maintain our undefeated record at home. It was another cold and windy day to play soccer. The Thunder maintained the same strategy as the week before, go against the wind in the first half and have Ryan in goal with the wind. Try and maintain an equal score at halftime and have the wind at our back and have Ethan finich up strong in goal. Last week it worked in the first half, but we did not have a good second half. This week it worked like a charm. We came in at halftime with a 1-0 lead and then having the wind at our back. We gave up a goal about 10 minutes into the second half, when Lawrence executed a perfect corner kick to tie the game at 1-1. The Thunder showed some resiliancy and responded with 2 quick goals within the next 3 minutes to take a 3-1 lead, and we ended up winning the game 6-1, scoring 5 unanswered goals. The score was not indicative of how good Lawrence was, they are a good team, we were just finally able to execute in front of the goal, and our guys executed some beautiful shots.
Eric opened up the scoring in the first half. He settled a beautiful cross from Tyler M and put a beautiful hard shot past the goalie. We played back and forth in the first half and ended up 1-1 at the half.
We came out really strong in the second half. Tyler McDonald opened the scoring in the second half with an incredible angle shot off of the right wing. He made a run down the right sideline and beat the goalie short side over his head. It was a nice run. Michael again scored off of a dead ball kick, an unbelievable shot just under the crossbar. He really has a beautiful touch. We then started getting some nice runs, as their defense started to break down a little bit. Matt K scored off of a nice cross from Ryan W. Matt was able to slide and get the ball redirected into the goal. Tyler scored again on another breakaway on a pass thru from Michael. He was able to beat the goalie 1 on 1 and put in our 5th goal of the day. Ryan W finished the scoring off a beautiful assist from Ryan S.
We played our best half of soccer all year. Lawrence is a very good team and we were really able to break through and play a very offensive second half. It all started with the defense where Drew, Joseph, Brandon, and Ryan M all played great defense. Tyler M had a very solid second half and made a multitude of runs. It was good win after a tough loss last week. The boys showed real composure. Another good win.
Week C - 03/26/2011 - Away vs Woodbridge Thunder - Lost, 4-3 (Record: 2-1-0)
The Monroe Thunder arrived on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon in a battle of the Thunders (Woodbridge Thuder). Monroe decided to play against the strong wind in the first half and then have the wind at our backs for the second half. We were hopeful to come out tied or 1 goal down at halftime and then pick up the wind in the second half. The strategy appeared to work as we were down 3-2 at the half, but felt confident with the wind at our backs. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the kind of energy we had in the first two games, and Monroe ended up falling and notching their first loss of the season, 4-3. This is despite a "Hat Trick" from Tyler M. It was unfortunate, because Woodbridge played a flat defense, and we should of been able to get multiple runs, but we were not able to get the ball over the top, even with the wind.
Monroe scored first as Tyler M scored the first of his 3 goals early in the first half. Tyler made a nice run up the middle and was able to get behind the defense and place a nice shot past the goalie for a 1-0 lead. I believe it was Eric S that provided the lead pass for Tyler to get behind the defense. In an ugly turn of events, we then proceeded to allow 2 unanswered goals on consecutive defensive trap mistakes. Our left fullback kept Woodbridge onsides as they went down on a 3 on none vs the goalie and scored the tieing goal. It was questionable whether Joe made the trap ontime, but it appeared that it was close enough that the offsides was not called. The second goal was a result of our sweeper keeping 4 players from being offsides. After being down 2-1 - Tyler scored a game tieing goal (although it appeared he was also offsides and the linesman did not make the call). He had a breakway down the right side and ended up shooting the ball between the goalie’s legs (unusal), but we will take it. We had another golden opportunity to score again, when Eric S shot a ball off of a cross from Tyler M and hit the crossbar (unlucky). Woodbridge ended up scoring a late goal to take a 3-2 lead going into the half.
In the second half, we felt we were in good shape, the wind was strong and at our back, and they played a type of defense that we should be strong against. Unfortunately, we did not come up with the energy or execution we needed to dominate the play and get multiple runs in the second half. We really didn’t threaten to score at all in the second half until the last 5 desparate minutes. We didn’t show any urgency or energy. Our entire middle of the field was weak, Stopper, midfielders, and Center strikers did not control the play of the game. About midway through the second half, Monroe gave up another goal and went down 4-2. However, Ethan did keep Monroe in the game by making a terrific save on a breakaway. He cut down the angle and made a perfect save. Afterwards, Shawn G had a nice shot from outside the 18 that hit the crossbar, again very unfortunate. Tyler M was able to tie it up after a nice cross from Eric S at about the 5 minute mark. Ryan W had a couple of nice opportunites to score in the last 5 minutes where there goalie made several beautiful saves. We didn’t up our energy level until the final 5 minutes left in the game.
It was an unfortunate loss, we played ok at times, but a couple mental errors in the first half and a lack of energy in the second half was our downfall. Woodbridge was a good team and overall it was an exciting game, but we dropped our first game of the season. Hopefully, the weather will warm up and we can go get a win next week.
Week B - 03/20/2011 - Home vs Westfield Parana - Win, 3- 2 (Record: 2-0-0)
The Thunder looked to keep their modest early winning streak rolling. As we faced the Westfield Parana, the last time we faced the Westfield Parana we lost 4-3, giving up 4 goals early and then battling back to score 3 late goals. After no practices this week, I was worried if we were going to be rusty. This also marked the first time we had David Anderson this season after off-season surgery. We were alaso shorthanded as we were missing Drew on the defense. We were lucky enough to pull out a victory after scoring 5 goals, but having 2 disallowed, I felt like we were never going to break through with a "W". Thankfully, Michael was able to save us with a beautiful direct kick just under the crossbar from about 25 yards out. A really great play.
The Thunder started out very strong. We had a couple of nice runs and we were dominating the first half for the most part. Tyler had a couple of runs against the goalie, off of a couple of nice passes from both Michael and Ryan W. Tyler started the scoring with a beautiful run in front of the goalie as he sidestepped around the goalie and was able to dribble in a goal. A very nice controlled play and an excellent goal. The lead pass was off of a nice feed from Eric S. On a controversial corner kick call from our friends the referrees, (should of been an obvious goal kick), Westfield scored when we didn’t mark the short corner. The Westfield player kicked a perfect shot over Ethan and under the crossbar, it was a perfect shot. That tied the score at 1-1. Afterwards, Eric had a beautiful cross from the left sideline, that had some serious hang time, where Tyler M made a perfect headball directly down into the goal. Unfortunately, the sideline ref who was an hour late to begin with...inexplicably called an offsides. I didn’t see it, but the half ended in a tie 1-1.
To begin the second half, The Thunder continued to play extremely well. We were able to get a goal off of a corner kick as Ryan W. ran through the ball and made a nice shot with his left foot. Then there goalie started playing unbelievable goal, he stopped Tyler M probably 5 or 6 times on direct runs, holding the post on the breakaways. The last run for Tyler, he even held the ball extra long to try and get the goalie to committ and he did not and he made 5 or 6 beautiful saves. He also made a save that hit his legs and stayed there for no rebound. Shawn G had a nice run off of a Tyler M cross that he slid a ball wide of the goal. In addition, Eric S also had a nice run, but hit the side of the net. Westfield then got a nice breakaway and their best player was able to get a one on one with Ryan S from straight on and he put a shot low and into the far left corner to tie the game at 2-2.
Monroe had another chance to score off of a direct kick, which Matt and Ryan W executed perfectly and Matt touched the ball to Ryan and he executed a perfect shot. Unfortunately, the ref wasn’t done setting up the other team’s wall and he disallowed another goal....needless to say Coach Steve was not happy. This gave Westfield enough time to setup their entire team in the goal and then they blocked our next shot.At about 3 minutes remaining, Michael was awarded a direct kick justs outside the 18 and he launched a perfect shot to win the game. Justice was served and we definitely deserved to win that game. I was happy with the effort and we definitely had plenty of opportunities to score, so I am glad we were able to get the "W".
Week A - 03/13/2011 - Home vs Bridgewater Rangers - Win, 3- 0 (Record: 1-0-0)
Bridgewater is a solid team and I think we were lucky to play them in the first week of the season. They are a strong passing team, but they looked a little rusty. Having a few practices on the turf plus a scrimmage we were more prepared to start the season (for a change). I noticed that the winter futsal training made a big difference with Drew, Matt, Michael, Tyler M, Ryan M, Eric S, and Ryan S. I thought all of the players showed much better ball skills and quicker releases of the ball. I am glad to see the individual skill sets improve so much. It showed throughout the game.
We dominated the first half of play, however, it was tough to score because we were against the wind and they dropped all 10 field players into the defensive zone. We had several nice runs, Tyler M showed much improved ball skills and made several runs and crosses that went through the box. Both Eric S and Shawn had opportunites to score on the far post. Bridgewater broke into our goalie box on only a few occasions, Ethan played well and made a couple of saves. The defense played well. Brandon and Drew were able to break up several runs by Bridgewater. Although we dominated play in the first half, we were unable to get a goal. Ryan M had a nice rebound shot from just beyond the 18 that sailed just over the cross bar. Eric S also had a nice shot from inside the 18 that the goalie made a nice jumping save on...another 6 inches and that probably would of scored.
I was disappointed in our set plays in the first half, because we did not run them correctly, even though we dedicated a full practice to set plays. We talked about this at halftime.
The second half was more of the same for the Monroe Thunder. We dominated play again in the second half, keeping the ball in Bridgewaters penalty box for most of the half. Drew made 2 nice plays on defense, turning one breakaway ball to the outside took two extra touches and cleared down the sideline. He also broke up a play when the Bridgewater offense broke past Brandon and he broke up the play. This was Drew’s best game to date, and he did a good job.
After two more crosses from Tyler M that went thru the goal box... and another cross from Eric that went past Tyler M untouched. We finally broke through when Eric had a perfect cross and Tyler M nailed into the back of the net. It was a great goal to open the spring season.
Afterwards, The coaches called a new corner play that Shawn quickly set the team up and Shawn executed a perfect pick play to free up Ryan W on the corner kick and he converted the corner from Eric S. It was a perfect execution of the corner kick play. I was very happy to see the good execution.
David S picked up our 3rd goal on a beaautiful shot from the right side. He created the proper space and put a strong foot on it just strong enought to get past the goalie. That gave us the 3-0 final margin.
I thought we had alot of good plays today, especially since we were shorthanded. The defense was solid, Ryan M played well at times, after he calmed down a little bit. Ryan W was solid, Michael was great, Tyler M had a very impressive game and is starting to incorporate more individual ball skills. The defense had a key offsides play in the first half, that was executed perfectly. Eric played decent at times, Shawn had a very good game. Matt K was very good at the center striker position. The goalies although not tested much, played well. A good 1st game effort!!
The boys were still playing We worked on getting more players coming from the weakside to get a better possibility of shooting the ball. we came up with a new diamond The Thunder had a couple of streaks coming into this game. In 3 years, we have never beaten Scotch Plains (bad streak) and in 3 years we have not lost on Mother’s day. We wanted to keep the latter streak alive. Well the Monroe Thunder didn’t disappoint the Mothers on their day. They jumped out to a 5-0 lead and ended up coasting to a 5-1 win. This ended up being the Ryan Ward show as he scored a hat trick and then ended up playing goalie at the end of the game. He almost made a brilliant save on the lone goal scored by Scotch Plains, but he just missed the diving save.