The Student News Site of Cranford High School


The Student News Site of Cranford High School


The Student News Site of Cranford High School



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September and October CHS Sports Review


CRANFORD, NJ – After a state football title win in 2021, the Cougars were unable to reach the same glory in 2022, and hoped to reacquire their first position this year. However, injuries decided otherwise, with star senior captains  Sean Riley and Andrew Wozniak suffering leg injuries that would sideline Riley until senior night, and Wozniak the whole year. Other captains who experienced the “injury bug” during this season have been Lucas Caldwell and Ben Fossella. Caldwell has suffered continued head injuries and Fossella injured his ankle against Woodbridge. 

In spite of these injuries, Cranford can boast a 4-3 record, complete with wins against strong teams like Woodbridge, which proved to be quite the competitor against the Cougars. The game came down to the final seconds, in which the opposing quarterback just missed a game-winning, two-point conversion thanks to incredible defensive play by Niko Aloi, junior defensive back. 

Senior night was another game that came down to the wire. Cranford and Linden had been deadlocked all game, with one team taking the lead then the other answering right back. Unfortunately, Linden took the lead with the help of a jump ball win in the red zone, putting Linden in a highly advantageous field position, giving Cranford its 3rd loss. 

The football team’s final regular season game faced them off against North Brunswick. With a win meaning they would host the first round of playoffs, Cranford was rightfully aggressive out of the gate, taking a 7-0 lead. However, their opponents were heavily interested in “playing spoiler,” as North Brunswick responded with 44 unanswered points, giving Cranford another loss and a visiting match against West Essex in the first round of the NJSIAA tournament on 10/27.

Girls soccer dominated their opponents last year, ending the season with a 14-4-3 record. This year, Cranford has not achieved a similar result, largely due to their 0-4 record in  UCC (Union County Conference) opponents. The county tournament was more of the same, with Cranford eliminating Union in the first round, but succumbing to Summit in the second round. The girls’ win against Union ended up one of their better matches, as they held their opponents to a mere 4 shots on goal. Senior Kristina Lowe put the ball in the back of the net twice, assisted by senior Shea Matheson and sophomore Courtney Toy. Along with the previous trio, Vannessa Kelly has been another standout for Cranford, managing 8.7 saves per game in net. Girls soccer also faced off against Franklin and 16-seeded Westfield, the former a much closer loss than the latter. The Cranford girls will look to finish their season with a win against Edison.

Boys soccer has seen similar results to their female counterparts, carrying a 7-6-1 record with a 4-1 record against UCC opponents. The boys boast nine seniors, yet not one of those nine lead the team in any offensive stats. Junior Josh Ketschke stands alone in first on the team with 10 goals and 4 assists. In net for Cranford is senior Matt Goldate who has totaled 4.2 saves per game. Results for the boys in the county tournament were much akin to the girls, as they defeated Union Catholic with ease, but lost to New Providence in a heart-breaking 2-1 loss. Cranford’s most recent two games have finished unlike the girls, as they defeated both Roselle and J.P. Stevens. In their match against J.P. Stevens, the aforementioned Josh Ketschke added to his goal lead with a hat-trick, and topped his day off with an assist for good measure. The Cranford boys will look to finish their season with a 3-game win streak should they defeat their final opponent, Oratory Prep.

After a difficult 0-10 2022 season, girls tennis looked to right itself in 2023, and for the first four meets they did. Not surrendering a match to Johnson, and defeating Elizabeth 3-2 twice, Cranford was 4-0, a stark contrast to their prior season. However, they faced a tough row of tough opponents, which  led the girls to a 4-8 record at season’s end. This, however, was good for 4th in the UCC-Mountain division. Cranford girls tennis will look to build on their success in the 2024 fall season, with hopefully more girls joining the program after their achievements this year. 

Cranford field hockey has always been a strong sport for the fall season, and this year has proved to be no different. Despite a 4-1 record in the UCC, which is good for 2nd in the Blue division, Cranford found themselves the underdog in the first round of the UCT (Union County Tournament). Unfortunately, the girls’ county run ended there, losing to the 5th seed Kent Place. This loss, however, is overshadowed by the dominant performances of seniors Nora Blanche and Lily Goodwin. Blanche leads the team in points by a large margin, and Goodwin has managed 133 saves in net, after 149 and 96 in previous years. Field hockey has three remaining games, one of which is their home finale against Metutchen on 10/24. 

Unlike field hockey, Cranford volleyball has had a more difficult time finding victories, amassing a 4-12 record. During their county tournament performance, they fell 2-0 to Elizabeth in the first round. In spite of all this, juniors Sanaa Wright and Bella Curanovic lead the team with an impressive 52 kills and 28 blocks, respectively. The future is bright for Cranford volleyball, and they will hopefully return to their successes of years prior. 

Cranford gymnastics again hosted the Cougar Invitational, in which sophomore Mia Altobelli totaled a score of 37.45, good for first in the entire open. Along with this success, the team as a whole achieved their season high score of 106.8. The girls hope to carry their success into the county championships before their final meet against Scotch Plains-Fanwood on 10/24.

Cranford cross country has an illustrious history, but has faltered in recent years, competing against programs across the state that have the ability to recruit players from outside their town.. Although, players like Ethan Klapinski have remained loyal and seen success, finishing eighth in the UCC meet. Cranford also finished 10th in the UCC championships, above teams like New Providence and Linden.

With the conclusion of many fall sports, Cranford High School will turn its attention to storied programs like wrestling, as well as rising talents in hockey and winter track. 

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