Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Around the Pitch

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Around the Pitch

Article excerpt

* The whistle blew and Old Tappan players started hugging, screaming and leaping on each other. It wasn't so much Thursday's 1- 1 tie with Demarest, as much as what the result meant for the Golden Knights.

The draw clinched the Big North National Division title for Old Tappan. It's the first league title in program history, which gave the players plenty of reason to celebrate.

"It might have been the best [celebration] after a tie I've ever seen," Old Tappan coach Tom Quinn said. "I've never seen a team so excited about a tie. They knew as soon as the whistle blew that they were league champs."

Despite being one of the better programs in Bergen County over the years, Old Tappan has been in leagues with powerhouses such as Ramapo and Northern Highlands. Realignment took both of those teams out of the race this season, but left Pascack Valley and Demarest. It allowed the Golden Knights to at least realistically consider winning the league. That means finally getting a girls soccer banner in the gym.

"We will have a banner put into the gym sometime in the near future. I'll make sure of it," Quinn said. "As someone who teaches here, I'll be able to look at it every day. It's a good feeling."

* The cut-off date for the state tournament was Saturday and the seeds for the sectional tournaments will be announced Thursday. The tournaments will begin play Tuesday.

The seeding used to just rank the teams in order of their records, which was simplistic and misleading. A power points system is now in place, which should more accurately reflect which teams deserve the top seeds based on their records and the caliber of opponents they face.

The top seed in North 1, Group 1 is expected to be either New Milford or Pompton Lakes. Glen Rock should be the No. 1 seed in North 1, Group 2 and Northern Highlands will be the No. 1 seed in North 1, Group 3. Clifton should be among the top seeds in North 1, Group 4.

* The routine was decidedly different for Glen Rock before a 4-0 victory over Pompton Lakes last Tuesday. The Panthers didn't have to rush to catch a bus for one thing. This game was played at home.

That's something Glen Rock hasn't done in about a year. The Panthers played one home game on their JV field last season, but the rest of their games were on the road after early-season storms made their field unplayable. This year, they've been on the road again while the playing fields at Glen Rock are getting an artificial surface.

"It was really overwhelming for everybody. I don't think we played our best because we were so excited," Glen Rock senior forward Sophie Lederer said. "At the beginning of the season, we didn't think we would get any [home] games. It definitely felt weird."

* Lyndhurst midfielder Amanda Nowak returned to the field Monday night after being sidelined for more than three weeks with a sprained left medial collateral ligament, suffered on Sept. …

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