As the fall sports season continues, the Ridgewood High School boys and girls soccer team are fired up; both groups have accumulated tremendous wins against notorious rivals. For years, the soccer program has been a well respected group of athletes who have achieved immense success and a myriad of titles for the school. With experienced coaches like Mr. Peter Kay and Mr. Aidan McCluskey, the teams were bound for victory before the season even began. The players have brought truth to their positive image. They are a force to be reckoned with, not only in Bergen County but also in all of New Jersey.
As of November 11, the boys team had an impressive record of 17-2-2, which explains their first place position in the Big North Freedom Division and their #2 spot in the Big North Conference. They were set to play Northern Valley Old Tappan in the quarterfinals of counties, and with a big win against them, they moved on into the semifinals with a win of 2-1 against Don Bosco prep. The team is full of talented players, but one aspect that separates them from other teams is their strong offensive line-up. With athletes like Davis Flusche, Kwame Grant, Cyrus Nasseri, Colin Roche, and Terrence Chun, the group has proven to be an impenetrable force. One of the teams biggest comebacks of the season was their win over Tenafly, as they were down 2-1, but with only two minutes left, they tied the game and won 3-2 in overtime. Junior Jack Smilon spoke to the team dynamic and stated, “we have worked hard together since July to create a solid, tactical plan and play with our own style of soccer.” The boys team fought their hardest until the end, falling short by just one goal against the Bergen Catholic team in the County Final. They fell against Clifton by the same margin in the State Sectional Final.
As of November 11, the girls team had a record of 15-6-1 in the Freedom Division. Their 3rd place spot in the freedom division and overall spot of #15 in Big North conference is a result of their continuous efforts to be the best. With their huge win in the quarterfinals of counties, they moved on into the semifinals against IHA with high hopes, and won 2-0. Their team is also full of immensely talented players, like their newest addition, Junior Ashley Blaka. The Dartmouth commit shook up the soccer community as one of New Jersey’s most impressive players of the year, as seen in Nj.com’s “Top 80 Juniors.” A big success for the team was their win over Northern Highlands, which is recognized as one of Ridgewood’s top competitors. Despite their devastating loss against Ramapo, the team took this as an opportunity to reflect and refocus, putting their energy towards counties. Junior Caroline Loscalzo explained the team’s close bond by saying, “our team dynamic is amazing. On the field we push each other to be better, and off the field we love being together.” The girls team has demonstrated that they are capable of doing amazing things. Even though they lost 3-1 against Bloomfield, the score does not take away from their impressive run.
Overall, the girls and boys soccer program have proven that they can become one of the best teams in not only the county, but the state. Their efforts and attitude both on and off the field have greatly contributed to their success, and with such a positive dynamic in each group, they are bound for greatness.
Graphic: Caroline Loscalzo