Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

State Soccer Finals Preview

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

State Soccer Finals Preview

Article excerpt

Girls matchups

Saturday at Kean University

GROUP 3

Northern Highlands (22-0-1) vs. Colts Neck (23-0-1), 3 p.m.

How they got here: Northern Highlands def. West Morris, 0-0 (6-5 in shootout) in the state semifinals. Colts Neck def. Toms River South, 2-0, in the state semifinals.

Players to watch: Northern Highlands: Casey Richards, sr., M (18 goals, 17 assists); Eva Hurm, jr., F (14 G, 15 A); Ariel Somple, sr., F (14 G, 3 A); Morgan Busacca, sr., D (6 G, 13 A); Amanda Pook, sr., F (4 G, 9 A); Madison Kahn, sr., M; Joanna Kelly, so., M (5 G, 1 A); Claudia Dipasupil, fr., F (9 G, 4 A); Sarah Kelly, sr., D; Julia Pash, sr. D; Julia Homan, jr., D; Kayla Klatt, sr., G (39 saves).

Colts Neck: Frankie Tagliaferri, jr. (27 G, 19 A); Bridgette King, sr. (24 G, 11 A); Amanda Visco, sr. (10 G); Kayla Lee, so. (5 G, 15 A); Alison Russo, sr. (9 G, 6 A); Tara Walenczyk, jr. (4 G, 4 A); Lauren Feaster, so., G (59 saves).

Story line: The star power will be plentiful in a rematch of last year's final, won by Highlands, 4-0, behind a Hana Kerner (now at Virginia) hat trick. ... Northern Highlands' Richards (committed to Georgetown) and Busacca (Fordham) and Colts Neck's Visco (Rutgers) will be teammates on the East Team on Dec. 5 in the High School All- American Game in Raleigh, N.C. ... Colts Neck's Tagliaferri (Penn State, member of the United States U-17 team) is an All-America type of talent, too, though only a junior. ... Both teams enter undefeated, and Highlands is ranked No. 1 nationally. ... Northern Highlands' defense has posted 21 shutouts in 23 games, while Colts Neck has 17 in 24. ... History is on the line again for Highlands, with the program seeking to become just the third team in state history to win five straight group championships. ... After an emotional and physical battle against West Morris in the state semifinals that was decided by a shootout, the Highlanders must recharge one final time in a game that could potentially earn them a mythical national championship. …

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