By Cynthia Cumming
WEST ORANGE, NJ (updated Sunday Oct. 15, 10:24 a.m.) – For the first time in West Orange High School sports history, the varsity girls’ soccer team has captured the Liberty Division championship of the Super Essex Conference.
The unbeaten Mountaineers defeated Montclair Kimberly Academy, 4-1, Oct. 10 to clinch the title.
In addition, WOHS received the No. 1 seed in the Essex County Tournament. The Mountaineers will host a quarterfinal match on Oct. 21. The semifinals will be held Oct. 25 at Millburn. The championship game is Oct. 28 at Caldwell at 7:30 p.m.
Morgan Clark scored two goals for West Orange, while Emma Mitchell and Vanessa Lettman each scored one. Natalie Nevins had a team-leading three assists and Kaitlyn Charles had one. Goalie Samantha Herbert made two saves. Lily Pryor scored the sole goal for MKA.
The Mountaineers tied Livingston, 2-2, Oct. 12 at home in a SEC non division. Kaylese Gist and Kiara Machuca each had a goal, and Samantha Herbert and Natalie Nevins each had an assist. Herbert made five saves in net.
WOHS defeated Belleville, 4-0, Saturday, Oct. 14, in a SEC non-division home game. Gist had two goals and one assist and Charles also had two goals. Clark, Emma Mitchell and Nevins each had an assist and Herbert made three saves for the Mountaineers, who improved to an 11-0-3 record.
“The girls did a great job and the coaches are very proud of them,” said WOHS head coach Sean DeVore, whose leadership has turned the girls’ soccer team around. “We beat MKA 4-1 to win our conference with a 6-0-1 record. The girls have worked extremely hard and this championship is validation for all of their efforts.”
The No. 2 seed in the ECT is Montclair, while Livingston is the No. 3 seed and Glen Ridge is the No. 4 seed in the 21-team field.
NOTE: Sports editor Joe Ragozzino contributed to this article.