GLEN RIDGE – The Glen Ridge High School girls’ varsity soccer team’s quest to win the state championship unfortunately fell short.
The Ridgers dropped a tough 2-1 double-overtime decision to Shore Regional in the state Group 1 championship game at Kean University in Union on Saturday morning, Nov. 21.
Despite the heartbreaking loss, the Ridgers, under 15th-year head coach Oscar Viteri, had a stellar season, finishing with a 17-6-1 record, which included winning the state North Jersey Section 2, Group 1 tournament title for the fourth consecutive season.
“It was a tremendous year; it really was,” said Viteri. “The kids were awesome. It was a fun year with these kids, with the leadership.”
Shore Regional took a 1-0 lead on Frankie McDonough’s 20-yard shot in the 13th minute of the first half.
The Ridgers tied it 10 minutes into the second half on a header by junior Galen Lew. The game remained tied at the end of regulation and at the end of the first 10-minute overtime.
But three minutes into the second overtime, Hannah Birdsall scored off a corner to give Shore the championship.
The Ridgers will miss the seniors on the team, particularly forward Tomison Kennedy and starting goalkeeper Ryanne Ege. Kennedy, bound for Princeton University, was one of the most prolific scorers in the area, collecting 25 goals and nine assists this season. Ege also had a phenomenal season in goal with 12 shutouts and 141 saves. For her career, Ege had 40 shutouts and 581 saves.
After beating Hasbrouck Heights, 4-1, to win their fourth straight sectional title on Nov. 12, the Ridgers defeated Kinnelon, 1-0, on a goal by Kennedy with an assist from junior midfielder Colleen Grady in the state Group 1 semifinals on Nov. 17 at Millburn High School, avenging last year’s loss to Kinnelon in the same state Group 1 semifinals.
This marked the third time the Ridgers played Shore in the state Group 1 championship game. GRHS beat Shore, 2-0, in the 2012 title game. The teams played to a 1-1 tie in the 2013 title final.