"It's the one about it being hard to beat a team three times," he said.
Although Rossi might not have let the Wolfpack in on it prior to the game, he was right. Third-seeded West Morris erased the memory of two shutout losses to Parsippany Hills, trimming the sixth-seeded Vikings, 1-0, on the turf at Mount Olive High School.
Freshman center midfielder Kristy Cotter, back in action after being sidelined with a broken nose, provided the lone goal. Cotter scored 8:48 into the second half with an assist from Kelly Kavanaugh.
The victory sends the Wolfpack (11-6-1) into the sectional semifinals, where they will play host to seventh-seeded Chatham, a 2-1 winner over Cranford in overtime, on Monday, Nov. 7.
"I went with the cliche," Rossi said. "It's usually true. The girls wanted to get back to the semis."
Of course, West Morris had to put in a solid all-around effort, one that featured plenty of hustle and aggressiveness, to get the win. Parsippany Hills, which blanked the Wolfpack twice, 2-0 and 1-0 earlier this season, did not put forth its typical showing.
"We got outplayed in every aspect of the game today," Parsippany coach Gia Rosamilia said. "That was the bottom line. West Morris wanted it more. They won the 50-50s and beat us to the ball."
Sweeper Allie Ketzler, a senior, said the Wolfpack were "out for revenge and had the mindset of winning."
Ketzler and fellow defenders Amanda Pakutka, Julie Shields and Amy McQuaide did their best to thwart the Vikings (10-7-2). Kendall Ballotti, a field player before being moved to goalie, aided in the shutout, making five saves.
Cotter, wearing a mask to protect her nose which was broken when she went to head a ball and the back of an opposing player's head hit her in the face, snapped the scoreless deadlock with a goal off a corner kick. Cavanaugh initiated the scoring play. Cotter received the ball, got over a defender and headed it to the back post.
No one questioned Cotter's willingness to use her head. Ketzler wasn't surprised at all.
"Kristy's not afraid," Ketzler said.
The goal was Cotter's third this season. She was thrilled to return to the field. Cotter said the mask she had to wear was annoying.
"It was kind of in the way," Cotter said. "I'd rather play with it, though, than not play."
At halftime, West Morris, which made it all the way to the sectional final in 2010 before falling to Millburn, made adjustments that enabled it to move the ball better against the Vikings, a familiar foe because the two squads compete in the National Division of the NJAC.
"We talked about sending the balls wide so the midfielders could run onto them," Ketzler said. "And we won the 50-50s in the back."
Parsippany Hills was unable to get its attack going. The Vikings, normally hard-charging and able to connect its passes, seemed to be a bit sluggish.
Rosamilia moved senior midfielder Berta Carmo to defense in order to replaced an injured player. Late in the game, Carmo was brought back up as Parsippany Hills pushed to pull even.
Carolyn Warner stood out for the Vikings, holding the midfield together and winnings 50-50s.
West Morris, shut out in three of its first five games, has picked up steam in recent weeks and is aiming for another shot at a sectional title. Cotter said the younger players have been extra motivated of late.
"The underclassmen want to help the seniors," Cotter said. "We want to keep winning. We know that any game could be their last game ever."
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