GLEN RIDGE, NJ--The record speaks for itself.
Eight straight state sectional championships, a record nearly 100 games over .500 in the past decade, and back-to-back Group 1 championships.
So, as the Glen Ridge High girls' soccer team prepares for the 2020 season, the expectations are once again high.
"We've had some tremendous seasons," said head coach Oscar Viteri, who is beginning his 20th season at the helm this fall. "We're hoping the season will be played. It's going to be different."
The season has been shortened, in that the Ridgers will not start playing regular season games until October and will play mostly league games, in the Super Essex Conference's top division, the American.
"We'll have some games against the SEC Liberty, too," said Viteri. "But there won't be as many games, so if you think about it, every game will be important."
The team begins practice on Aug. 17, in the 'Phase 1' process. There will also be a gap between practices and scrimmages, when the players return to school.
Glen Ridge won its eighth straight North 2, Group 1 title last year and finished 16-8 overall. The Ridgers won 15 of its last 17 games after a slow start. The team was eliminated in the Group 1 semifinal, marking the first time in five years it didn't play in the Group 1 championship game.
Viteri noted that this year's players have been working on their game, with some playing club soccer.
"They know what has to get done during the summer," the coach said. "I'm really looking forward to seeing them on Aug. 17."
A strong senior class will be returning, led by Olivia Carbonell, Sydney Mansfield, Anna Prussak and Talia Reid. The juniors feature returning players Alison Shea, Kaitlyn Degnan, Elettra Giantomenico, Olivia Hoover, Caroline Weinstein and Lily Kuhn. Ava Kotronis was a standout as a freshman last season.
Viteri has won over 300 games as a head coach on the high school level, including a few seasons at Mount St. Dominic, before coming to Glen Ridge in 2001. He has led the Ridgers to three Group 1 titles.
The coaching staff will have a change as long-time assistant Brian Ianni is now the head boys coach at GR. Lindsey Deptula is back as a volunteer assistant and Phil Funcia has been brought on as a goalkeeper coach.