KENILWORTH, NJ -- Senior midfielder Jules DeGeorge scored on a penalty kick early in the second half and the New Providence girls soccer team held its ground the rest of the way for a 1-0 victory over Brearley in the Section 2, Group 1 semifinal Monday afternoon.
The Pioneers (12-6-3) will host the sectional championship game Thursday at 2 p.m. against either Glen Ridge or Delaware Valley.
After a scoreless first half, DeGeorge got her chance to help advance New Providence after a foul.
"Sophia (Mariniello) took it down to the corner, got it to me and I was able to draw the foul," DeGeorge said. "I knew their goalie was pretty good, and if we wanted to win, that could be our only chance."
DeGeorge sent the shot into the bottom left corner to give New Providence a 1-0 lead. She actually came pretty close to extending that lead to 2-0 when her shot from the right side of the box was saved with 12 minutes left.
New Providence and Brearley played to a 1-1 tie when they met in the regular season.
"From the first time we played them, we knew that they liked to attack from the right side through No. 17 (Paige Middleton), and that they are a physical team," New Providence head coach Scott Murphy said. "On this field (which is grass, not turf), we also wanted to get the ball wide and attack them from the outside."
The Pioneers were playing with their back line fully intact after getting past Belvidere in the previous round with two absences from the defensive end--one due to illness, the other due to injury.
Defenders Alexa Boyle, Amy Maurer, Maddy Engelbrechtsen and Paola Salazar helped keep Brearley (14-3-5) off the scoreboard in front of freshman goalkeeper Carleigh Robertson, who posted her 10th shutout of the fall.
"The back line was solid," Murphy said. "And Carleigh has been fantastic all season. She's a freshman, but at this point in the season, she's not playing like a freshman."
New Providence is seeking its first sectional championship since 2011.