BASKING RIDGE, NJ - This season has already been something very special for the Ridge girls soccer team, but an even bigger prize will await the undefeated Red Devils if they can get past a tough Montclair opponent in Tuesday's state Group 4 semifinal matchup.
Ridge (22-0) will meet Montclair (19-2-1) at 5 p.m. at Hopewell Valley High School in Pennington, Mercer County on Tuesday.
Ridge is ranked No. 9 in the nation by USA Today, and what may not be common knowledge statewide is that the No. 1 team in that national ranking, Northern Highlands, actually lost a pre-season scrimmage to the Red Devils. None of that will matter when the teams take the field at dusk on Tuesday, but it is an indication of what Ridge is capable of, even against an opponent as formidable as Montclair figures to be.
"Montclair has a lot of different options for attacking from the side and midfield," Donahue said. "They have a lot of speed and athleticism. But our biggest focus as much as who we are playing is what we are about."
Donahue said one adjustment her team will have to make is to different field dimensions. The pitch at Hopewell Valley is 10 yards wider than Ridge's home field, a difference the coach calls "a game changer."
Montclair is up for the challenge and has done a great job pushing past most of their formidable opponents this season.
The winner will earn a spot in the Group 4 state championship game Saturday at Kean University.