10 Things to Watch at the Girls Soccer State Tournament

By Conrad, Jj | The Record (Bergen County, NJ), November 2, 2015 | Go to article overview

10 Things to Watch at the Girls Soccer State Tournament


Conrad, Jj, The Record (Bergen County, NJ)


1. Will Northern Highlands cap its perfect season?

As star-studded a cast as there is in New Jersey -- -- with Casey Richards, Morgan Busacca, Eva Hurm, Ariel Somple and Julia Pash, the Highlanders know they're closing in on perfection. They'll open as the top seed in North 1, Group 3 and also be chasing their fifth straight Group 3 state title.

2. Who are the Highlanders' biggest threats?

One of Highlands' toughest challenges could come in the sectional quarterfinals, should ninth-seeded Roxbury get past eight-seeded Morris Hills in the preliminary round today. Roxbury just won the Morris County tournament title and played Highlands to a scoreless tie in a scrimmage in August. Other challengers: No. 4 NV/Old Tappan; No. 2 Wayne Hills; West Morris, the No. 1 seed coming out of North 2, Group 3; and Colts Neck, the No. 1 seed coming out of Central, Group 3.

3. What to make of North 1, Group 1?

Park Ridge, led by scoring machine Mikaela Heyboer, earned its No. 1 seed by going through regular-season play undefeated (16-0- 2), with one of those ties coming against Paramus Catholic in the Bergen County tournament (lost in shootout). But No. 2 Waldwick, No. 3 New Milford, No. 4 Midland Park and No. 5 Pompton Lakes (undefeated in its last eight) all pose viable threats to the Owls' sectional title hopes. And then there's Kinnelon, the reigning Group 1 champion, lurking at No. 6.

4. Is Ramapo ready to make another run at the Group 2 state title?

The top-seeded Green Raiders' road to redemption after falling in last year's Group 2 state final begins today. Ramapo has shown a championship-caliber defense all season, one led by Abby Adams and Monica Scaglione, but its road to Group 2 glory won't come easy in a particularly Bergen County-loaded bracket. No. 2 Ramsey, No. 3 Mahwah and No. 7 Lakeland are all at the bottom of the bracket, posing as possible sectional final opponents and Ramapo could see No. 4 River Dell in the sectional semis.

5. How will Immaculate Heart respond?

The Blue Eagles' lost Saturday to Northern Highlands in the Bergen County final. It snapped their 12-game unbeaten streak this season and 35-game unbeaten streak against New Jersey opponents. But now IHA must regroup as it seeks its second straight Non-Public A state title. With Sophia Gulati and Erin Spillane in the midfield and Shannon Burns anchoring the defense (and a Rebecca Jarrett return from a concussion possible), the Blue Eagles are the favorite in the section, though they could meet a talented, second-seeded Paramus Catholic squad in a North, Non-Public A sectional final. …

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