GLEN RIDGE, NJ--It's been a good start for the Glen Ridge High field hockey team.
Led by second-year head coach Christina Fabiano, the Ridgers were 6-3 after nine games. The team was scheduled to play at Cranford, on Sept. 26, and will then take part in the Essex County Tournament, beginning on Oct. 3.
The Ridgers opened the season with a 4-2 win over Millburn, then defeated Columbia, 5-1. After a pair of close losses to Summit and Montclair, the Ridgers won three of the next four, stopping Scotch Plains, Montclair Kimberley, Newark Academy and Westfield.
The team captains are Gretchen Gilmore, Sarah Looney, Olivia Carlucci, Julia Hegarty
"We're doing very well," said Fabiano. "The losses were against great teams, and a few of our bigger wins include Millburn, MKA and Westfield."
In the 4-2 win over Millburn, on Sept. 5, Gilmore scored all four goals for the Ridgers while Anna Landi had 14 saves and Cecile Keavey finished with two saves in goal for the Ridgers.
Gilmore had two goals while Grace O'Keefe, Hegarty and Olivia Carlucci scored once each in a 5-1 win over Columbia. Carlucci and Gilmore scored a goal each in a win over Scotch Plains, 2-1, and Gilmore scored twice and Manzo once, in a 3-2 victory over MKA. Versus Newark Academy, Glen Ridge won, 4-1, as Gilmore scored three more goals and Abby Carlucci had one goal.
The team's most recent win was on Sept. 23, as the Ridgers defeated Westfield, 3-2, with Gilmore scoring twice and Holly Vincent assisting on two goals.
Gilmore is leading the team in scoring, with 15 goals in the first 10 games.
"Anna Landi has been excellent for us in the cage, with game-changing saves," said Fabiano. "We're looking to win our division this year, and upgrade our seeding in the county/state tournament as compared to last year. We're very talented, individually, but when we play as a unit, I think it even shocks them what they're capable of."
The coach also likes what she's seen from the team on defense and overall understanding of the game.
"We've made very strong adjustments from day 1 to now, with how we defend and what our attacking strategy looks like," said Fabiano, who played her high school field hockey at Wayne Hills and later excelled on the collegiate level. "The girls are smart field hockey players, and can work on something opponent-specific in practice and then execute in the game. We're looking to carry this into post-season."