NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - While the venue was different this year, unfortunately for the New Providence High girls soccer team, the result remained the same.
The Lady Pioneers, seeded third, saw its 2019 season come to an end as it suffered a 1-0 loss to fourth-seeded Glen Ridge in the championship game of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 tournament on Thursday afternoon in New Providence.
The sectional title is the eighth straight for Glen Ridge, which improved to 16-7. New Providence, which finished with a 12-7-3 mark, had lost to Glen Ridge, 2-0, in the same sectional final last season with the game played in Glen Ridge.
New Providence won its last sectional crown in 2011 when it defeated Glen Ridge, 2-0, to earn its fourth straight championship.
"It was a good battle," said New Providence head coach Scott Murphy. "Its a tough way to end the season for the second straight year but the coaches told the team how proud we were of them in playing with heart and keeping the game 1-0 in the second half."
Glen Ridge, which has now won nine straight games and 15 of its last 16, scored the only goal of the game when Sydney Mansfield connected off a cross from Ania Prussak six minutes into the second half.
"We had a couple of late opportunities, one on a throw-in and one on a corner kick but couldn't convert," said Murphy. "Glen Ridge got off to a slow start this season because of their schedule but has really been fantastic of late."
Olivia Carbonell posted her 11th shutout with a three-save effort. Freshman goalie Carleigh Robertson, who recorded 10 shutouts this fall, made 10 saves for New Providence.
"Carleigh may be a freshman on paper but she plays beyond her years," said Murphy. "Glen Ridge was really pressing us early in the first half and she made a lot of big saves, definitely keeping us in the game."
The Lady Pioneers finished in third place with an 8-5-1 mark in the Mountain Division of the Union County Conference behind only Elizabeth (10-4) and undefeated Gov. Livingston (14-0).
New Providence was led this season by seniors Juliana DeGeorge (five goals, six assists), Maddy Engelbrechtsen (one goal, one assist), Alexa Boyle, Lauren Byrnes, Paola Salazar, Brielle DeBarros, Aisling Kruger and Sophia Mariniello (four, two), juniors Amy Maurer (three goals), Cate Munn (one, six) and Emma Kenneally, sophomores Kyra Trumbull (five, one), Reagan Wawzycki (two goals), Marilyn Keating (one, one), Sofia Karrat and Sam Ward (two, one) and freshmen Scarlett Granger, Grace Kelly (eight goals) and Lily Pergola (one goal).
"I'm very proud of what the seniors on this team brought to it and they're leaving the program in a better place then when they got here," said Murphy. "We started five seniors this season meaning six other starters were underclassmen."
"I think we'll be able to be competitive again next year and hopefully be back playing for a sectional title."