GLEN RIDGE, NJ – The fourth-seeded Ridgers, under longtime head coach Steve Reitberger, lost a heartbreaking 2-1 decision to third-seeded New Providence in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 1 state tournament final on Thursday, Nov. 8 at New Providence HS.
Aidan Cusumano scored on an assist from Drew Hiner and Logan Kotronis made six saves for GRHS.
The Ridgers, who entered the final on a six-game winning streak, ended the season with a stellar 12-4-1 overall record, including being the champions of the Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division, which is the second highest division in the conference. GRHS had a 6-1 divisional record. Their lone tie came in the Essex County Tournament round of 16 against ninth-seeded Columbia after the teams played to a scoreless tie through regulation and two overtimes before Columbia won it in the penalty-kick shootout, 5-4. GRHS was seeded No. 8.
For the Ridgers, it was their second appearance in the North 2, Group 1 final in three seasons. In 2016, the Ridgers lost to Dayton, 2-1, in double overtime in the sectional final.
Glen Ridge also lost to Dayton in the sectional quarterfinals last season. But the Ridgers avenged those losses with a 2-1 win over top-seeded Dayton in the sectional semifinals on Nov. 5 in Springfield. Earlier in the tournament, GRHS defeated No. 13 seed West Side, 4-2, Oct. 29, in the first round and defeated No. 12 seed Whippany Park, 3-1, in the quarterfinals on Nov. 1, both at Watsessing Park in Bloomfield.
Indeed, Reitberger was proud of his team’s season.
“We ended 12-4-1. We were the Liberty Division champs. In that division, there are a lot of good teams. I mean, we beat Group 4 schools to win that division. I’m very proud of the kids. It was a great season.”
The Ridgers have won two state sectional titles in program history, coming in back-to-back seasons in 2010 and 2011 both in North 2, Group 1, under Reitberger.
Editor’s note: This article was updated to include details of the scoring plays and a comment from coach Reitberger.
Photos by Steve Ellmore
Glen Ridge vs. New Providence, sectional final, Nov. 8