Glen Ridge HS girls’ soccer team seeks to achieve another stellar campaign

The Ridgers work on their skills during a practice session on August 20 at George Washington Field. At far right is head coach Oscar Viteri.
The Ridgers take part in a shooting drill during practice August 20.

GLEN RIDGE, NJ – Since Oscar Viteri took over the program in 2001, the Glen Ridge High School varsity girls’ soccer program has been one of the best in the state in Group 1.

With key returning seniors and a solid incoming freshman group, the Ridgers are poised to continue their great run of success.

“They seem pretty good,” said Viteri of his team during an interview at the end of practice at George Washington Field on Monday, August 20. “They have good chemistry right now.”

Last season, the Ridgers won the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 1 state title for the sixth consecutive year en route to reaching the NJSIAA Group 1 final for the third straight year and fifth in the past six seasons. In each of those six Group 1 finals, the Ridgers faced Shore Regional, who beat Glen Ridge for the third straight year last season. Glen Ridge won in 2012. The two teams played to a tie in 2013.

The Ridgers, who went 15-4-1 last season, will visit West Essex in the season opener September 7 in North Caldwell.

The key returning seniors are Halinka Prussak, Claire McMahon, Jenny Lisovicz and Jessica Muney. Viteri said Muney, a starting defender, will unfortunately miss the season due to a torn ACL suffered in club ball action this past May. However, Muney will support her teammates on the sideline throughout the season.

Another key returning player is junior Tara Feenaghty, who scored a hat trick in the 4-0 win over Verona in the sectional final and had the goal in the 1-0 double-overtime victory over Mountain Lakes in the Group 1 semifinal last year.

The returning players will be aided by several promising freshmen.

“I like the freshmen that have come in,” said Viteri, who guided the Ridgers to the Group 1 state title in his first season. “They are some really good freshmen. They are like seven or eight that can really play.”

The Ridgers have been auditioning for goalies this season, after graduating Victoria Wozniak and Gabby Sanchez. Viteri, however, is confident that whoever mans the net will come up big.

“All the girls that are trying out for goalie are very athletic,” he said.

Photos by Joe Ragozzino