In her first season, Glen Ridge field hockey coach Christine Villaruz has seen a young team play very well.
The Ridgers were 2-3 heading into a game at Columbia of Maplewood, on Oct. 21. On Oct. 26, the Ridgers host West Essex. Both of those games start at 4 p.m.
While it's a Group 1 school, Glen Ridge's schedule features plenty of bigger schools which are also known to be state powers in field hockey.
"We're playing well against some good schools," said Villaruz. "The girls are enjoying the season. They're glad to be out there playing and we want to keep getting better."
The Ridgers have already played state powers in Oak Knoll and Kent Place. The team opened with a 5-0 loss to Kent Place, then won back-to-back games against Montclair Kimberley and Summit, each by 1-0 counts. A 2-1 setback to a strong Scotch Plains-Fanwood squad was followed by a loss to Oak Knoll.
"Playing teams like Oak Knoll, Kent Place, West Essex and Westfield will only help us improve our game," said Villaruz. "We don't get frustrated by that, we learn from it."
Abby Carlucci scored the game's only goal, in the fourth quarter, against Montclair Kimberley, on Oct. 7. Glen Ridge goalie Ashley Woertz turned back four shots to preserve the shutout.
Versus Summit, the Ridgers were led by Mia Manzo's goal in the first period and Woertz had a marvelous game, with 24 saves.
In the Scotch Plains game, a 1-1 tie was broken in the fourth quarter by the Union County school. Carlucci scored Glen Ridge's goal and Woertz had 10 saves.
Woertz had another solid game against Oak Knoll, with 37 saves.