West Orange HS girls’ soccer team stuns Ridgewood to advance to section semifinals

WEST ORANGE, NJ (updated Saturday Nov. 5, 1:19 p.m.) – The seventh-seeded West Orange High School girls’ varsity soccer team stunned second-seeded Ridgewood in a penalty-kick shootout in the quarterfinals of the state North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 tournament on Friday, Nov. 4, in Ridgewood.

WOHS trailed 2-0 with nine minutes left in regulation. Sophomore Nyah Harper scored off a corner from freshman Natalie Nevins to cut it to 2-1. In the final three minutes, the Lady Mountaineers got a free kick from 45 yards out. WOHS junior goalie Samantha Herbert served the ball and freshman Kiara Machuca headed it in to tie it 2-2.

The game remained tied after two overtimes to force a penalty-kick shootout. Both teams made all five of their shots and it went to sudden death. Sophomore Hannah Villasin scored her attempt and Herbert made a save for the thrilling win.

WOHS second-year head coach Sean Devore was ecstatic for his team.

“One of the best games I’ve been involved with in 15 years,” Devore said.

WOHS, which improved to a 12-5-3 record, will visit third-seeded Montclair in the semifinals on Nov. 8 at Fortunato Field in Montclair at 2 p.m.  The winner will face the winner between top-seeded Livingston and fifth-seeded Kearny in the final on Nov. 11. Montclair, which lost to Livingston in the Essex County Tournament final this year, is 12-4-1. Ridgewood, which lost to Northern Highlands in the Bergen County Tournament final this year, fell to 16-6-1.

Nevins had two goals and sophomore Kaitlyn Charles had one goal and two assists to lead the Mountaineers to a 4-0 win over 10th-seeded Union City in the first round on Nov. 1. Sophomore Morgan Clark had one goal and senior captain Anabella Schuler had two assists. Herbert made one save.

WOHS is 9-1-1 in its last 11 games.