GLEN RIDGE – The Glen Ridge High School boys’ varsity soccer team, under head coach Steve Reitberger, had an amazing run this season.
The eighth-seeded Ridgers upset top-seeded Dayton, 1-0, in overtime in the quarterfinals on Nov. 3 before losing to fifth-seeded Brearley, 2-1, in the semifinals of the state North Jersey Section 2, Group 1 tournament to finish with a 7-13-2 record.
The Ridgers boasted a deep and determined squad, led by sophomore midfielder Arran Robertson and senior midfielder/captain Alex Weissman, who have earned Worrall Media All-Area honors.
Looking for more offensive production during the course of the season, the Ridgers turned to Robertson as a catalyst. He scored key goals, including in the state game against Brearley. “Everything went through him,” said Reitberger of Robertson, who had 10 goals and three assists this season.
Weissman served as the anchor of the midfield, notching five goals and six assists. Weissman scored in overtime in the win over Dayton.
The Ridgers dropped a heartbreaker against Brearley on two controversial goals. The game was scoreless at halftime. At the start of the second half, one of the Brearley players ran to the Glen Ridge side of the field and was apparently off-side before play began, said Reitberger. As soon as play began to start the half, another Brearley player took a 60-foot shot that slipped through for a goal. However, the referee didn’t call off-side and allowed the goal.
Robertson then scored on a 30-yard blast to tie it.
But Brearley got the game-winner after getting another break. Off a corner kick, a Brearley player headed a ball over the post. But the referee said it skimmed off a Glen Ridge’s player head. Reitberger vehemently argued, to no avail, that his player did not touch the ball. In fact, the Brearley players were heading up field, thinking the Ridgers received possession, said Reitberger. Brearley was then given another corner kick try, which they converted for the game-winning goal.
The tough loss notwithstanding, the Ridgers have reason to feel optimistic next season, with a strong returning group.
“We had a great run,” Reitberger said. “We have a lot of enthusiasm going into next year. Our numbers are big. We got a lot of young guys who either started or got playing time. We’re looking forward to being as tough in the back. If we can find ways to score goals, we can contend for a championship.”