Maybe Glen Ridge thought that Friday night’s finals of the North 2 Group 1 girls soccer finals would be just like the October 27 game, when they rolled over Verona 5-1. Verona certainly didn’t think so: They made the Ridgers fight for every inch of the synthetic turf of the Verona High School soccer team’s home field.
The Lady Hillbillies made Glen Ridge fight so hard that it was not until the 25 minute mark of the second half that Glen Ridge managed to get anything into the net. And that goal by Liz Hauschild was the one and only goal for the #5 seed team in all of the chilly hours of play.
Time and time again, the VHS defense froze out out the Glen Ridge offense. Kelly Carr disrupted so many plays that the frustration from the Ridgers was palpable, even from the top of the bleachers. In front of a grandstand packed with fellow VHS students, parents and young Verona soccer players–the whole Verona middle school girls soccer program turned out for inspiration–Carr, Sara O’Neil and the Frizzi sisters Emilia and Giuliana made sure that Glen Ridge would have to fight hard for the 1-0 win. And when Glen Ridge did get far enough downfield to be in scoring position, Verona goalie Diane Flores seemed to channel Tim Howard and stretch all the way across the net to keep them from scoring.
Seniors Jackie Brozyna, Julia Tole, Taylor Lavery and Claire Fitzpatrick got Verona in scoring position time and time again, and Fitzpatrick, who got Verona into the finals with an astounding shot against New Providence, shook off several hard plays by Glen Ridge’s defense.
No, it wasn’t Verona’s night for a win. But it most certainly wasn’t a defeat. Oh and one other thing Glen Ridge: Many of the girls on the team you played tonight will also take the field for Verona’s girls lacrosse program in the spring. To paraphrase a certain former governor of California: They’ll be back.
Photos copyright Andy Yeates. Used by permission.