BLOOMFIELD, NJ - New Providence's girls soccer team has always had Glen Ridge's number when it came to the state playoffs.
The Lady Pioneers had defeated the Ridgers for four straight years in the postseason including last year's 2-0 victory in the Group 1 North 2 state sectional final.
Loaded with a young team, New Providence was looking to make it five years in a row on Friday at Watsessing Field in Bloomfield.
Despite a thoroughly dominating performance by New Providence especially in the second half, the Lady Pioneers fell 2-1 in overtime as Glen Ridge's Meghan McDonald got a rebound past New Providence sophomore goalie Katie Vigilante.
It ended a four-year run for New Providence (10-12) in winning the state sectional championships, including winning the 2010 and 2011 Group 1 state titles.
"You don't like to lose," said New Providence head coach Scott Murphy. "but I could not be prouder for this team in digging down inside them and coming back."
The Lady Pioneers were battling back pretty much the entire game after Glen Ridge's Claire Malone scored in the first 10 minutes to put New Providence down 1-0.
For New Providence, they came out firing in the second half - - the ball was in the Ridgers field for almost the entire 40 minutes. "That was the best 40 minutes we played all year," said Murphy.
Despite the onslaught on Glen Ridge freshman goalie Ryanne Ege, the Lady Pioneers could not get the ball by her until a couple of minutes left in regulation when New Providence sophomore Lisa Caprara smacked a shot by Ege to grab the equalizer.
Caprara got the goal on a perfect corner kick from junior Anna Crisafi.
The Lady Pioneers could have been the ones moving forward in the state tournament instead of Glen Ridge except for a referee's call that came a few minutes before Caprara's goal.
New Providence appeared to have tied the game at one when junior Casey Trezza kicked a shot at the top of the box to the right of Ege, but the referees ruled it a no goal.
"He (referee) said that one of our players was close enough to the goalie," said Murphy, as the New Providence fans were yelling that the player did not play a role in the score.
But despite the cries of the Pioneers' fans, the referees took the goal off the board.
Instead of wallow in the goal being wiped off the board, New Providence kept pushing and pushing until Caprara got the goal to send it into overtime.
For the Lady Pioneers seniors it ended a very successful career including two state titles. The seniors playing in their last game were Kelly Carroll, Jenna Madden, Jocelyn Andreae and Alex Schlobohm, who was injured for the state playoff game. "What the seniors brought to the program will be talked about for years to come," said Murphy.
Despite the loss of the four seniors, Murphy has a large contingent back for 2013 and the Lady Pioneers are sure to be making another run in the state tournament in 2013. You can bet they will be facing Glen Ridge again with the outcome being a little different.