By JR Parachini
OAKLAND, NJ – Glen Ridge sophomore Tara Feenaghty added to her already building legacy by slowing the game down and then finishing it.
Almost two full minutes into the second overtime, Feenaghty placed the ball on the 35. There she was all alone and about to send a direct free kick toward the Mountain Lakes goal once the referee sounded his whistle.
Feenaghty, who scored a hat-trick in Glen Ridge’s 4-0 win over Verona in last week’s North 2, Group 1 final at Watsessing Park in Bloomfield, is no stranger to scoring big goals.
Feenaghty sent a perfectly placed shot just over the outstretched arms of Mountain Lakes goalie Lee Credidio. The ball found its way into the upper left corner of the goal.
Ball game over. Time for the Ridgers, who just won a sixth straight North 2, Group 1 state championship, to celebrate once again.
Glen Ridge defeated Mountain Lakes 1-0 in double overtime in Tuesday night’s Group 1 semifinal played at Indian Hills High School in Oakland.
The goal lifted Glen Ridge, which improved to 15-3-1, to its fifth appearance in the past six Group 1 finals and its third straight. The previous four have all been against Shore Regional of West Long Branch, with Shore Regional winning the last two in 2016 and 2015.
Glen Ridge will face Shore Regional (19-4-2) again Saturday, Nov. 18, at 10 a.m. at Kean in this year’s Group 1 final. Glen Ridge has won three state championships, coming in 2001, 2012 and 2013.
With both Glen Ridge and Mountain Lakes continuing to clear the ball it appeared that the match was destined to be decided by penalty kicks. However, No. 10-wearing Feenaghty had other ideas.
“My last two long shots went in, so I was just hoping for the best,” Feenaghty said. “It felt great when I made contact and it looked like I hit it strong.
“When it went in it was the best feeling in the world.”
Like the Pompton Lakes boys’, Glen Ridge has not allowed a goal in its five state tournament wins, outscoring the opposition 24-0.
Glen Ridge senior goalkeeper Victoria Woznick made five saves for Tuesday night’s shutout win over Mountain Lakes.
It was the 11th time Glen Ridge won by shutout this year, including its first three games.
“In the first half we struggled a bit,” Feenaghty said. “In the second half we started to play our game and dominate.”
Mountain Lakes, the North 1 champion, saw its season wrap at 17-4-2.
Shore Regional, the Central Jersey champion, easily defeated South Jersey champ Pitman 8-1 in Tuesday night’s Group 1 semifinal at Paul VI in Haddonfield.
Pitman captured its first sectional title since 1995, winning South Jersey as the 10th seed. Finishing 16-8-1, Pitman defeated the third, second and top seeds along the way, including coming back from two-goal deficits to win its semifinal and final matches.