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What Causes Menopause?

The most common reason for menopause is the natural decline in a female's reproductive hormones. However, menopause can also result from the following situations:

Oophorectomy: This surgery, which removes a woman's ovaries, causes immediate menopause. Symptoms and signs of menopause in this situation can be severe, as the hormonal changes happen abruptly.

Chemotherapy: Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can induce menopause quickly, causing symptoms to appear shortly after or even during treatment.

Ovarian Insufficiency: Also called premature ovarian failure, this condition is essentially premature menopause. It happens when a woman's ovaries quit functioning before the age of 40 and can stem from genetic factors and disease. Only 1% of women suffer from premature menopause, but HRT can help protect the heart, brain, and bones.

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Depression

If you're a woman going through menopause and find that you have become increasingly depressed, you're not alone. It's estimated that 15% of women experience depression to some degree while going through menopause. What many women don't know is that depression can start during perimenopause, or the years leading up to menopause.

Depression can be hard to diagnose, especially during perimenopause and menopause. However, if you notice the following signs, it might be time to speak with a physician:

  • Mood Swings
  • Inappropriate Guilt
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Too Much or Too Little Sleep
  • Lack of Interest in Life
  • Overwhelming Feelings

Remember, if you're experiencing depression, you're not weak or broken - you're going through a very regular emotional experience. The good news is that with proper treatment from your doctor, depression isn't a death sentence. And with HRT and anti-aging treatment for women, depression could be the catalyst you need to enjoy a new lease on life.

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Hot Flashes

Hot flashes - they're one of the most well-known symptoms of menopause. Hot flashes are intense, sudden feelings of heat across a woman's upper body. Some last second, while others last minutes, making them incredibly inconvenient and uncomfortable for most women.

Symptoms of hot flashes include:

  • Sudden, Overwhelming Feeling of Heat
  • Anxiety
  • High Heart Rate
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Typically, hot flashes are caused by a lack of estrogen. Low estrogen levels negatively affect a woman's hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls body temperature and appetite. Low estrogen levels cause the hypothalamus to incorrectly assume the body is too hot, dilating blood vessels to increase blood flow. Luckily, most women don't have to settle for the uncomfortable feelings that hot flashes cause. HRT treatments for women often stabilize hormones, lessening the effects of hot flashes and menopause in general.

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Mood Swings

Mood swings are common occurrences for most people - quick shifts from happy to angry and back again, triggered by a specific event. And while many people experience mood swings, they are particularly common for women going through menopause. That's because, during menopause, the female's hormones are often imbalanced. Hormone imbalances and mood swings go hand-in-hand, resulting in frequent mood changes and even symptoms like insomnia.

The rate of production of estrogen, a hormone that fluctuates during menopause, largely determines the rate of production the hormone serotonin, which regulates mood, causing mood swings.

Luckily, HRT and anti-aging treatments in Watchung, NJ for women work wonders for mood swings by regulating hormone levels like estrogen. With normal hormone levels, women around the world are now learning that they don't have to settle for mood swings during menopause.

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Weight Gain

Staying fit and healthy is hard for anyone living in modern America. However, for women with hormone imbalances during perimenopause or menopause, weight gain is even more serious. Luckily, HRT treatments for women coupled with a physician-led diet can help keep weight in check. But which hormones need to be regulated?

  • Estrogen: During menopause, estrogen levels are depleted. As such, the body must search for other sources of estrogen. Because estrogen is stored in fat, your body believes it should increase fat production during menopause. Estrogen also plays a big part in insulin resistance, which can make it even harder to lose weight and keep it off.
  • Progesterone: Progesterone levels are also depleted during menopause. Progesterone depletion causes bloating and water retention, while loss of testosterone limits the body's ability to burn calories.
  • Ongoing Stress: Stress makes our bodies think that food is hard to come by, putting our bodies in "survival mode". When this happens, cortisol production is altered. When cortisol timing changes, the energy in the bloodstream is diverted toward making fat. With chronic stress, this process repeatedly happens, causing extensive weight gain during menopause.
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Low Libido

Lowered sexual desire - three words most men and women hate to hear. Unfortunately, for many women in perimenopausal and menopausal states, it's just a reality of life. Thankfully, today, HRT and anti-aging treatments Watchung, NJ can help women maintain a normal, healthy sex drive. But what causes low libido in women, especially as they get older?

The hormones responsible for low libido in women are progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.

Progesterone production decreases during perimenopause, causing low sex drive in women. Lower progesterone production can also cause chronic fatigue, weight gain, and other symptoms. On the other hand, lower estrogen levels during menopause lead to vaginal dryness and even vaginal atrophy or loss of muscle tension.

Lastly, testosterone plays a role in lowered libido. And while testosterone is often grouped as a male hormone, it contributes to important health and regulatory functionality in women. A woman's testosterone serves to heighten sexual responses and enhances orgasms. When the ovaries are unable to produce sufficient levels of testosterone, it often results in a lowered sex drive.

 Hormone Replacement Watchung, NJ

Vaginal Dryness

Often uncomfortable and even painful, vaginal dryness is a serious problem for sexually active women. However, like hair loss in males, vaginal dryness is very common - almost 50% of women suffer from it during menopause.

Getting older is just a part of life, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for the side effects. HRT and anti-aging treatments for women correct vaginal dryness by re-balancing estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When supplemented with diet and healthy living, your vagina's secretions are normalized, causing discomfort to recede.

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Fibroids

Uterine fibroids - they're perhaps the least-known symptom of menopause and hormone imbalances in women. That's because these growths on the uterus are often symptom-free. Unfortunately, these growths can be cancerous, presenting a danger for women as they age.

Many women will have fibroids at some point. Because they're symptomless, they're usually found during routine doctor exams. Some women only get one or two, while others may have large clusters of fibroids. Because fibroids are usually caused by hormone imbalances, hysterectomies have been used as a solution, forcing women into early menopause.

Advances in HRT and anti-aging medicine for women give females a safer, non-surgical option without having to experience menopause early. At Global Life Rejuvenation, our expert physicians will implement a customized HRT program to stabilize your hormones and reduce the risk of cancerous fibroid growth.

 HRT For Men Watchung, NJ

Endometriosis

Endometriosis symptoms are much like the effects of PMS, and include pelvic pain, fatigue, cramping, and bloating. While doctors aren't entirely sure what causes this painful, uncomfortable condition, most agree that hormones - particularly xenoestrogens - play a factor.

Endometriosis symptoms are much like the effects of PMS and include pelvic pain, fatigue, cramping, and bloating. While doctors aren't entirely sure what causes this painful, uncomfortable condition, most agree that hormones - particularly xenoestrogens - play a factor.

Xenoestrogen is a hormone that is very similar to estrogen. Too much xenoestrogen is thought to stimulate endometrial tissue growth. HRT for women helps balance these hormones and, when used with a custom nutrition program, can provide relief for women across the U.S.

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What is Sermorelin?

Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.

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Benefits of Sermorelin

Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.

  • Benefits of Sermorelin include:
  • Better Immune Function
  • Improved Physical Performance
  • More Growth Hormone Production
  • Less Body Fat
  • Build More Lean Muscle
  • Better Sleep
 Hormone Replacement Watchung, NJ

What is Ipamorelin?

Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.

Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.

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Benefits of Ipamorelin

One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies. Ipamorelin can boost a patient's overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life.

When there is an increased concentration of growth hormone by the pituitary gland, there are positive benefits to the body. Some benefits include:

  • Powerful Anti-Aging Properties
  • More Muscle Mass
  • Less Unsightly Body Fat
  • Deep, Restful Sleep
  • Increased Athletic Performance
  • More Energy
  • Less Recovery Time for Training Sessions and Injuries
  • Enhanced Overall Wellness and Health
  • No Significant Increase in Cortisol

Your New, Youthful Lease on Life with HRT for Women

Whether you are considering our HRT and anti-aging treatments for women in Watchung, NJ, we are here to help. The first step to reclaiming your life begins by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation. Our friendly, knowledgeable HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!

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Hunterdon County Girls Tennis Season in Review, 2022

Hunterdon County Girls Tennis Season in Review, 2022Hunterdon CentralThe Red Devils had themselves another great season on the tennis courts. Hunterdon Central went 7-3 on the season and reached the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 4 semifinals. That’s where it fell to top-seeded Marlboro, which eventually went on to win the section as well as the overall Group 4 title for the second straight year.Central beat West Windsor-Plainsboro South in the quarterfinals, 3-2, behind three singles wins by Faye Mallo...

Hunterdon County Girls Tennis Season in Review, 2022

Hunterdon Central

The Red Devils had themselves another great season on the tennis courts. Hunterdon Central went 7-3 on the season and reached the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 4 semifinals. That’s where it fell to top-seeded Marlboro, which eventually went on to win the section as well as the overall Group 4 title for the second straight year.

Central beat West Windsor-Plainsboro South in the quarterfinals, 3-2, behind three singles wins by Faye Malloy, Elle Catanzarite, and Kyla Malloy.

Central finished in second place in a loaded Skyland Conference Delaware Division that also featured No. 1-ranked Pingry, Group 3 champion Montgomery, and another ranked team in Hillsborough. Bridgewater-Raritan is no slouch either. The Red Devils finished with a 5-2 mark within the division.

At the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament, Hunterdon Central had finalists at all five flights. it won three of them. First singles was won by North Hunterdon’s Kavya Famolari by way of a walkover. Faye Malloy had to withdraw due to illness. Ashley Ferraez and Reena Verma were also made the second doubles final.

Brianna Campbell and Maia LiSanti at first doubles joined Catanzarite and Kyle Malloy in being HWST champs. The team title for Hunterdon Central was its third in a row dating back to 2019 and 13th all-tie. Catanzarite, who won four individual crowns during her career, was also named the tournament MVP for a second time.

All three singles players won a match at the NJSIAA state singles tournament. Faye, a 17-32 seed, won in the first round, 6-0, 6-0, while her sister, Kyla, won 6-3, 6-4. Catanzarite took down her opponent, too, 7-6(7-5), 6-1. However, they were all beaten in the next round.

LiSanti and Campbell also played in the second round of the state doubles tournament, defeating their opponents on Day 1, 6-1, 3-6, (14-12).

In team matches, Faye and Kyle Malloy each went 8-1, Catanzarite posted a 6-4 record, and LiSanti and Campbell had five wins.

Faye Malloy, Catanzarite, Campbell and Farraez are all seniors.

North Hunterdon

North Hunterdon notched its first winning campaign since 2017 as the Lions went 8-7 on the year. North Hunterdon took a close third place in the Raritan Division of the Skyland Conference. North went 7-4 in divisional play.

After an 0-2 start, North won three matches in a row against Watchung Hills, Phillipsburg, and Rutgers Prep. It endured a rough patch after that, but the Lions ended the season strong with four-straight wins to get over the .500 mark.

North Hunterdon made the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 state tournament, although it fell in the opening round to Middletown North, 4-1. The Lions were missing starters in the match.

First singles Kavya Famolari, third singles Evelyn Chuo, and second doubles Sophia Finiguerra and Jennifer Sell helped North Hunterdon to a second play finished at the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament. It tallied 20 points, just three points behind Hunterdon Central’s 23.

Famolari won by default at first singles and Finiguerra and Sell put together a first place finish as well as they topped Central’s Ashley Ferraez and Reena Verma in a tiebreaker, 3-6, 6-2, (10-4).

Second singles Aasha Page and first doubles Sofia Kafarski and Amelia Chapman reached the semifinals of the tournament, too.

Famolari won nine matches from her first singles spot, Chuo came out on top in seven, Chapman and Kafarski together won six, Page won three, and Sell and Finiguerra reached double digit victories with 10.

Voorhees

The Vikings also took third place in the Skyland Conference Valley Division. Voorhees went 9-5 overall and 6-3 in division action.

Voorhees, with a 5-3 record up to that point, got a home match to begin its North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2 tournament run, however the appearance was short lived as it fell to a solid Mendham squad from Morris County, 3-2.

Nonetheless, it bounced back to win the next four matches.

The Vikings also came in third place at the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament. It was a Hunterdon County sweep for he top three spots. Hunterdon Central won with 23 points while North Hunterdon was next with 20. Voorhees tallied 16 points.

Abby Rambo was a finalist at second singles as was the second doubles duo of Keira Scott and Ella Wilhelms. Third singles Grace Rogan and Natalie Fry and Alex Abeshaus at second doubles were semifinalists as well.

Kirstyn McKee at first singles recorded five wins. She mainly played second singles last season. Rambo was a superb 11-1 in team matches, and her lone loss was in a 10-point tiebreaker to Bernards. Rogan at third singles won eight matches, too, while Wilhelms and Scott won eight matches together and Fry and Abeshaus came out on top six times total.

Voorhees was one win shy of having a fifth year in a row with double-digit victories. The Vikings will have to do some re-tooling next fall as Abeshaus, Fry, McKee, and Scott are all seniors.

ALL-AREA TEAM

S-Faye Malloy, Hunterdon Central, Sr.

S-Kyla Malloy, Hunterdon Central, Jr.

S-Elle Catanzarite, Hunterdon Central, Sr.

D-Brianna Campbell, Jr., and Maia LiSanti, So., Hunterdon Central

D-Sophia Finiguerra and Jennifer Sell, North Hunterdon

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Girls Soccer: Westfield Delivers Through Adversity, Expectations

WESTFIELD, NJ – For the last few seasons, the Westfield High School girls soccer program has proven it is the team to beat.The Blue Devils have not lost in over two seasons. A 44-match unbeaten streak has been certainly noteworthy. The Blue Devils, this year’s Union County Tournament champions, reached the North Jersey, Section...

WESTFIELD, NJ – For the last few seasons, the Westfield High School girls soccer program has proven it is the team to beat.

The Blue Devils have not lost in over two seasons. A 44-match unbeaten streak has been certainly noteworthy. The Blue Devils, this year’s Union County Tournament champions, reached the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 final this year following a state title run a season ago.

This season, Westfield once again was going to be a tough out, and the Blue Devils concluded the season with a 15-0-4 record, falling to Watchung Hills in penalty kicks, 3-2, after the teams played to a 1-1 draw in the sectional final.

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“Fighters – the first word that pops into my mind when I think of the 2022 team,” said Westfield head coach Alex Schmidt. “Never has a team that I’ve coached had to overcome more challenges than this team. Losing Alyssa Martinez, the 2021 New Jersey Player of the Year, the first game of the season was a huge blow to the team. No one would have questioned the team if they lost that first game or subsequently any games after the first.”

Westfield found ways to win all year, similar to the 2021 campaign where it finished a remarkable 21-0-1. The Blue Devils escaped a major test in the sectional semifinals against Hunterdon Central, winning in PKs, 4-2, to advance to the North 2, Group 4 final. The Blue Devils did the same in the county final against rival Scotch Plains-Fanwood, winning in a shootout to claim the title. It was the third straight county crown and the 23rd overall.

Through all the adversity and expectations, the Blue Devils just kept winning.

“The team played in five overtime games this season and still they kept fighting, never dropping one of those games in the overtime periods,” Schmidt added. “Unfairly, the heaviest obstacle to carry around was the fact that they were in the shadow of last year’s state championship team. At the end of the year the final ranking of No. 1 is great, but when you’re preseason No. 1, and you have an entire season to navigate as that No. 1 team is extremely tricky and tiring.”

While the quest for another sectional and state title fell just short, the Blue Devils still ride one of the state’s most impressive streaks. They have not lost a match since Oct. 15, 2020. Westfield defended the No. 1 ranking all the way up until the sectional final.

Senior goalie Sutton Factor was tremendous in net all season, and other key contributors were senior Cat Angel, junior Ella Cadigan, senior Chiara Cosenza, senior Emma Kelesoglu, senior Bridgett Morrison, sophomore Brooke Morrison, junior Marisa O’Connell and sophomore Audra Toth.

For Westfield, through the expectations and adversity, the team continued to produce results and win titles. The team repeated as conference champions, won a third straight county title, had 15 shutout wins in 19 games, gave up only five goals all year and had a 760-minute shutout streak.

“When you look back at 2022, you realize just how much the team accomplished and how they earned everything they achieved every step of the way,” Schmidt said.

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MORE: Westfield Council Set to Vote on Controversial $9M Turf Fields Plan MORE: Westfield Green Energy Fair: People Explore Ways to ‘Green’ Their Rides MORE: Boys Soccer: Westfield Wins Sectional Title, 2-1, Over Hunterdon Central in Double OT

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Softball Tournament of Champions: No. 3 Watchung Hills holds off No. 10 Roxbury in semis

A pitchers’ duel turned into a battle of rallies, which became an apparent runaway that evolved into a potentially amazing last-inning comeback.All Amanda Medina had to do was take the pitcher’s circle after six and a half innings of watching, plus a full week of not having thrown a pitch in a game, to face a bases-loaded situation with the tying run at the plate and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning.Two batters, two strikeouts and the junior put the exclamation mark on a mostly strong outing by Juliana Ra...

A pitchers’ duel turned into a battle of rallies, which became an apparent runaway that evolved into a potentially amazing last-inning comeback.

All Amanda Medina had to do was take the pitcher’s circle after six and a half innings of watching, plus a full week of not having thrown a pitch in a game, to face a bases-loaded situation with the tying run at the plate and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Two batters, two strikeouts and the junior put the exclamation mark on a mostly strong outing by Juliana Raymond when Watchung Hills, No. 3 in the NJ.com Top 20, defeated No. 10 Roxbury, 7-3, in the semifinal round of the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions in Roxbury.

“They started hitting a little bit later on, so they deserve credit for that,” said Raymond, who allowed just two hits over the first five innings, then three apiece in the sixth and seventh but did not allow an earned run. “But I know that I always have Amanda to clean up.”

Watchung Hills (27-1), the Group 4 champion and third seed in the T of C, still had a four-run lead after Natalie Otto’s single brought home Lia Milson with the second run of the seventh, but the bases were also loaded.

That meant that Roxbury (24-5), the second seed after winning the Group 3 title, had the tying run at the plate and was one big swing from staging an amazing comeback.

But Medina, who had last pitched May 31, calmly struck out Ryan Mullen and Haley Erichello, who had been on base four times combined in the game.

“She is another phenomenal pitcher,” Watchung Hills coach Dominique Ocello said. “She has a bright future. She has that spin and she trusts her power. Her mental game is super strong because she knows how to close out any game.”

That certainly appeared to be the case, because this was not just any game.

Watchung Hills, making the program’s first T of C appearance, advanced to Friday’s final to face No. 18 Haddon Heights. The Group 2 champion stunned No. 1 Donovan Catholic, 6-1, in the other semifinal, snapping the Non-Public A champ’s 48-game winning streak.

The final is set for Friday at 7 p.m. at Seton Hall University’s Ivy Hill Park.

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The semifinal was an interesting ride that started with Raymond, who struck out seven and walked two in 6 2/3 innings, battling Geals ace Haley Erichello, who faced the minimum number of hitters over the first three innings. Watchung Hills held a 1-0 lead at that point thanks to a third-inning run by Erichello, who reached on a dropped fly ball and, after a dropped pop up, scored on an infield single by Milson.

But four hits in the fourth made it 2-1 for Watchung Hills, which scored on a fielder’s choice by Ella Stevinson and a double by Tia Shikar, who finished with two hits apiece and combined for five RBI.

The lead reached 5-1 in the sixth on four more Watchung Hills hits, including one of three in the game by second baseman Morgan Bobrowski, who scored one of her three runs in the inning.

Bobrowski said her team just remained confident it could break through against Erichello, who finished with eight strikeouts and two walks but surrendered 11 hits.

“Between innings we talk a lot about the pitchers and the pitches,” Bobrowski said. “Working together and trusting our offense, trusting our defense and our pitchers, really just brings us together.”

“We just did what we had to do,” Raymond said. “We started to hit the ball. We saw her pitches and we did a good job of laying off the bad ones and hitting the good ones.”

Meanwhile, Raymond found ways to defuse rallies, leaving runners in scoring position in the second, fourth, fifth and sixth innings, the last of which was a bases-loaded jam that the junior hurler solved by getting Mariah Rimas to swing way ahead of a perfect changeup.

When the lead reached 7-1 in the seventh, it appeared Raymond could coast home. But three singles and two errors by Watchung Hills, which had four defensive miscues overall, made it a 7-3 game when Natalie Otto singled home Milson.

Medina came in to send her team on to the T of C title game one year after the program lost in the sectional semifinals.

“Just getting there (to the final) is so super special,” Ocello said. “And honestly, I knew all season we were going to get to that point. And if a coach believes in their team so much and gives all the positivity, all the girls have to do is play with no worries. As long as we believe in each other, in our skills and our chemistry, we got this all the way.”

All the positive energy of Roxbury’s season for the school record books provided plenty of consolation for the players and coaches in the Morris County program, which won its first sectional title in 30 years.

“Our whole town is so proud of us for how hard we worked and how much we accomplished this year,” Erichello said. “We made history for our school and I am so proud of everyone on this team.”

Roxbury coach Paul Critelli echoed those sentiments.

“I think we just ran out of gas today,” Critelli said. “It’s been an emotional season. That Nutley game (in the sectional semifinals) was draining. Thirteen innings. That was an incredible game. Played another great team. We’ve been doing that all year and been very successful. To play so long, and, in a short amount of time in all these pressure games? These girls had never been in that situation.

“But they’ve handled this so beautifully. They have the perfect perspective. Sure they’re sad, but I just hope they take the time to reflect on how they elevated the program.”

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Watchung Hills girls soccer captures sectional title on penalty kicks

CorrespondentWATCHUNG – Watchung Hills High School’s girls’ soccer team could have collapsed after a late Westfield goal in regulation Saturday night in the North 2 Group 4 title game. The Warriors could have allowed the Blue Devils a sudden death victory.They could have fallen in the penalty kick stage of the game against a relentless defending state champ with a 43-game unbeaten streak.But this is a completely different Watchung Hills season, a group expecting great things and Saturday ...

Correspondent

WATCHUNG – Watchung Hills High School’s girls’ soccer team could have collapsed after a late Westfield goal in regulation Saturday night in the North 2 Group 4 title game. The Warriors could have allowed the Blue Devils a sudden death victory.

They could have fallen in the penalty kick stage of the game against a relentless defending state champ with a 43-game unbeaten streak.

But this is a completely different Watchung Hills season, a group expecting great things and Saturday night the Warriors found a way to Tuesday’s NJSIAA state semifinal.

The Somerset County Tournament champs (20-1-1) advanced with a 1-1 (3-2) penalty shootout triumph at Tozier Field.

“You just never ever know if you’re going to have a season like this, a team like this, you just don’t know,” Watchung Hills coach Brian Figueiredo said. “They have taken me on the most incredible ride this year, it’s beyond words. I’m so unbelievably happy for these kids.”

Watchung Hills (20-1-1) scored five minutes into the game as Clemson-commit Jenna Tobia crossed to senior Ava Prisco for the goal. The Warriors pressed on and threatened several times, but Westfield keeper Sutton Factor and the defenders in front held strong. It remained 1-0 until Westfield junior Ella Cadigan tied the game 1-1 with a goal with 6:45 left in regulation.

What does it mean

Watchung’s sectional title is its first since 2010. The Warriors hadn’t been in a sectional final since 2018 when they lost to Bridgewater-Raritan in penalties.

Westfield is 15-0-4, the Blue Devils still haven’t lost since 2020, but it’s Watchung Hills that moves on.

Game balls

Senior Bella DeGiovanni made a couple of saves in the penalty stage to key the victory. Juniors Paige Thomas and Julia Oliveira and Prisco scored for Watchung. DeGiovanni earned special praise from her coach.

They said it

Figueiredo, in his ninth season with Watchung Hills after eight seasons at Woodbridge, said, “Bella DeGiovanni for three years waited her turn – for three years – she split the games last year and the first two years she played primarily a backup role and when you win a game like this and that kid who bought her time on the varsity for four years makes two big saves, you feel so great for the kid. It’s a great story of perseverance.”

What’s next

Watchung Hills plays Tuesday at North 1 champ Ridgewood in the Group semifinals.

Boys soccer: Group 4 semifinals preview

GROUP 4 SEMIFINALS PREVIEWNo. 5 West Orange (17-3) at No. 3 Westfield (18-1-1), 1:30These two teams will face off for the first time in four years as West Orange, ranked No. 5 in the NJ.com Top 20, travels to No. 3 Westfield to battle for a berth in the Group 4 final on Wednesday afternoon.West Orange, the North 1, Group 4 champion, has been one of the strongest teams in the state this season. The Mountaineers have only three losses this season - to Millburn 2-1 in the third game of the season, then a 3-2...

GROUP 4 SEMIFINALS PREVIEW

No. 5 West Orange (17-3) at No. 3 Westfield (18-1-1), 1:30

These two teams will face off for the first time in four years as West Orange, ranked No. 5 in the NJ.com Top 20, travels to No. 3 Westfield to battle for a berth in the Group 4 final on Wednesday afternoon.

West Orange, the North 1, Group 4 champion, has been one of the strongest teams in the state this season. The Mountaineers have only three losses this season - to Millburn 2-1 in the third game of the season, then a 3-2 loss to No. 1 Seton Hall Prep on Sept. 28 and a 2-0 loss to a ranked Newark East Side team in the Essex County Tournament semifinals.

In the North 1, Group 4 sectional tournament, second-seeded West Orange defeated No. 15 Bloomfield 1-0, No. 10 Columbia 2-0 and then knocked off then-No. 3 Kearny in the semifinals 1-0 to advance to its second-straight sectional final. The Mountaineers then defeated top-seeded Clifton 2-1 to win its first sectional title since 2015.

Senior forward Mason Bashkoff leads the team with 12 goals and six assists, including a goal against Clifton in the sectional final. Junior midfielder Jack Dvorin has contributed nine goals and 13 assists, including the game-winner over Kearny in the semifinals and one goal and one assist against Clifton in the final. While Bashkoff and Dvorin have been the go-to playmakers for the Mountaineers this season, junior defender Arthur Rosu (seven goals, eight assists), senior midfielder Jared Charles (three goals, six assists) and Marcus Jackson (five goals, two assists) have helped to lead a strong core of offensive threats. Senior goalie Justin Scavalla has anchored a defense that has allowed 10 goals and posted 14 shutouts, including three-straight during the sectional title run.

Westfield, the North 2, Group 4 champion, has been one of the toughest defensive teams in the state this season, allowing just eight goals through 20 games with 12 shutouts. The Blue Devils opened the season on a six-game win streak, allowing only one goal before a 1-0 loss to rival Scotch Plains-Fanwood on Sept. 22 at Red Bull Arena. They haven’t lost a game since and have been on a 12-0-1 streak that culminated with their first sectional title since 2001.

Along the way Westfield also won its second-straight Union County Tournament title with a 1-0 win over Elizabeth and won the Union County Conference Watchung Division title. Westfield, the No. 1 seed in North 2, Group 4, defeated No. 16 Watchung Hills 2-1 in the opening round, ninth-seeded Edison 1-0 in the quarterfinals, No. 4 Scotch Plains-Fanwood 2-1 in the semifinals and sixth-seeded Hunterdon Central 2-1 in double-overtime to win the sectional title.

Led by junior forward Benedict Nematadzira leads the team with seven goals and two assists, including three goals during the sectional tournament run, while senior forward Anthony Buoscio has six goals and two assists, including the game-winner against Elizabeth in the UCT final and one goal and one assist against Scotch Plains-Fanwood in the sectional semifinals. Senior forward Ian Schultz leads the team with five assists and has contributed four goals, while senior defender Noah Fischer leads the back line with three goals and two assists, including the game-winner over Hunterdon Central in the sectional final.

This game will be another battle for both sides, and the winner should be a clear-cut favorite to win the Group 4 title this weekend.

The pick: Westfield 2-1

Freehold Township (14-6) at Cherokee (15-2-2), 4

This will be the first meeting between these two teams in over a decade as Freehold Township and Cherokee last met in 2010.

Freehold Township, the Central, Group 4 champion, will go on the road for the first time this tournament after playing all four sectional games on its home field. The Patriots enter on a four-game win streak after ending the regular season on a three-game losing skid. The No. 3 seed in the sectional tournament, the Patriots defeated No. 14 West Windsor-Plainsboro South 3-2 in double-overtime to open the tournament before No. 6 Marlboro 3-0 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals they defeated No. 15 South Brunswick 3-0, then took down fourth-seeded Monroe 1-0 in the final to win their second-straight sectional title.

Freehold Township opened the season with a 2-1 loss to Middletown South then went on to win its next eight games before back-to-back losses against Christian Brothers and Howell. The Patriots then went 2-3 in their next five games before the sectional tournament run in which they allowed just two goals and posted three-straight shutouts.

Senior midfielder Tim Bertscha, who scored the game-winner against West Windsor-Plainsboro South, leads the team with seven goals and five assists, while senior forward/midfielder Aidan Englander has contributed seven goals and three assists. Senior forward/midfielder Jake Visco, who scored the game-winner against Monroe in the final, has six goals and one assist, while junior forward/midfielder Victor Torres (two goals, six assists), senior midfielder Noah Jones (three goals, five assists) and junior midfielder Alesandro Principato (three goals, five assists) have all been dangerous playmakers for an offense that has scored a total of 40 goals this season.

Senior goalie Jack Goldsmith anchors a backline that has allowed 16 goals with 10 shutouts.

Cherokee, which won the South, Group 4 title as the No. 2 seed, gets to enjoy home field advantage for the fifth-straight game in this tournament. The Chiefs, which only have two losses this season - back-to-back against Shawnee and Cinnaminson - have gone 8-0-1 in their last nine games and have allowed only three goals during that span with six shutouts.

Cherokee opened the tournament with a 6-0 win over No. 15 Camden Tech, then defeated seventh-seeded Cherry Hill East 1-0 in the quarterfinals and No. 6 Toms River North 2-1 in overtime in the semifinals. It needed overtime again in the final when it took down top-seeded Rancocas Valley 1-0 to win its first sectional title since 2011.

Senior forward Miguel Graterol leads with 13 goals and eight assists, with four goals and two assists coming during the sectional tournament, including the game-winner against Cherry Hill East. Senior forward Chris Meder has 12 goals and nine assists, including the game-winner over Rancocas Valley, and senior midfielder Brandon Michael has contributed nine goals and 11 assists, with one goal and three assists coming during the sectional tournament.

Senior goalies Logan Gebhart and Cole Kurzawa have combined for 113 saves and have allowed 12 goals with nine shutouts.

The pick: Freehold Township 1-0

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