Olympian and World Cup Winner Tobin Heath Attends Naming of Bernards Twp. Soccer Field in Her Honor

Mayor Carol Bianchi and Tobin Heath, soccer champion and Basking Ridge native, at the township soccer field named in her honor. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Tobin Heath, champion soccer player and Basking Ridge native, addresses a hometown crowd when a local soccer field was named in her honor on Friday. Credits: By Betsy Bacot-Aigner
Girls from different age levels of local soccer teams line up to kick the first goals in the newly renamed Tobin Heath Field. Credits: By Betsy Bacot-Aigner
Soccer star Tobin Heath, with Mayor Carol Bianchi, arrives at a ceremony at Pleasant Valley Park on Friday for a ceremony to name a township field in her honor. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Tom Anderson, Tobin Heath's first coach when she played for a Somerset Hills team, reunites with the Basking Ridge native at Friday's field-naming ceremony. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
The girls who kicked the first soccer balls into the goal at the new Tobin Heath Field are surrounded by many other local girl soccer players on Friday. Credits: By Betsy Bacot-Aigner
Soccer champion Tobin Heath seemed relaxed and all smiles when reunited with coaches, friends and family at Friday's naming of a field in her honor. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Parents and many young soccer players attended Friday's ceremony to name a township field after soccer champion and Basking Ridge native Tobin Heath. Credits: By Betsy Bacot-Aigner

BERNARDS TWP., NJ - It definitely was a day for Girl Power when Tobin Heath, Basking Ridge native and soccer World Cup Champion and Olympian, arrived to cheers from young female soccer players at Friday's dedication of a township soccer field now named after her.

But as soon as Heath walked onto the field at Pleasant Valley Park and reunited with past coaches and many others who knew her since she was a young child said to be obsessived with working her skills with a soccer ball, it was also a reunion. Heath, who started school at Oak Street elementary school and moved through the township school system before graduating from Ridge High School in 2006, had played on many Bernards Township fields.

"My first siting of this talented young lady was when she was eight years old and on the field over the hill," said Tom Anderson, president of Players Development Academy, and Heath's first team coach. 

Sign Up for E-News

Heath was actually too young to join the team at her first tryout, Anderson recalled. But seeing the skills and passion for the game that the skinny little girl already demonstrated, he said, "I told her, 'You are on the team, anyway.'"

Heath willingly shared the spotlight at Friday's with the girls from each age group, starting from elementary school students who play soccer for FC Berna through the Ridge Red Devils girls varsity team, who collectively kicked balls into the goal at one end of the field.

Bernards Township Administrator Bruce McArthur said that the field, previously known as Pleasant Valley Field No. 2, underwent a complete overhaul before it was dedicated to Heath. The field will be used exclusively for soccer, he said.

Part of Friday's ceremony included the unveiling of a "Tobin Heath Field" sign that also listed some of her main soccer accomplishments on local, national and international fields.

"Obviously, this is a huge honor," Heath said during her comments. "I grew up just a kid with a ball and a dream, and that's what I want this field to be - a place for kids to dream."

Heath added, "It's really cool for me to have my family here, and the people that have loved me and supported me, especially my coaches, and some I haven't seen in a while, but obviously played a huge part in why I'm here, and why I'm standing here." 

"This is the place I am from," said the 28-year-old soccer star.

Heath added she feels "incredibly grateful to have grown up in this community," living on Rankin Avenue with her parents, Cindy and Jeff. She expressed the hope that in "giving back," young players who are not as fortunate to have grown up in a place like Basking Ridge will also have an opportunity to play on the field that has named after her.

Heath later said she was able to attend the ceremony because she was in the area; the National Women's Soccer League professional team on which she plays, the Portland Thorns, was playing the N.J. Sky Blue team at Rutgers University on Sunday.

In introducing Heath, Mayor Carol Bianchi expressed the township's pride in Heath, whom she described as a strong "woman of faith" and so much more as well as a champion soccer player.

Other speakers from Ridge High School - including Athletic Director Rich Shello, the current Ridge Red Devils girls soccer coach Katie Donahue and Todd Hebden, Heath's coach while she played for the girls soccer team at the high school - spoke of how she supported other players on the team who weren't as skillful as her.

Donahue said that Heath has been a "great person to be inspired by" and had been quoted on t-shirts worn by players. The player who helped lead Ridge to a state championship when she was on the team also was an inspiration when in 2015 the varsity girls soccer team had an undefeated season that led to a state championship, she said.

"Tobin is one of the best soccer players in the world," Hebden said, adding he had seen her working on some of the skills she has mastered now back when she was a teenager player for the Ridge girls team.

But he said that while Heath is very competitive, but also was one of the most cognizant and caring of people. 

After the ceremony, Heath joined the girls who were chosen to kick the first balls into the goal on the revamped field.

She also spoke to friends and fans after the event had officially ended. 

The field was filled with mostly female soccer players who had come to see Heath. Katherine Odita, a local fourth grader, said she had wanted to try soccer as something new. 

"It was good," township third grader Cara Donnelly said of the ceremony. She said she would practice more after seeing Heath.

Some of Heath's soccer achievements, both professionally and at Ridge, include:

U.S. Youth Soccer Association U-15 National Champion

N.J. High School State Champion

N.J. High School Player of the Year

NCAA Division I champion

NCAA First Team All-American

National Women's Soccer League champion

Olympic champion

World Cup champion

Last public appearance in Basking Ridge

Heath, 28, visited Basking Ridge and greeted hometown fans in July 2015 one week after scoring the final goal in July 5th's World Cup Team USA women's soccer victory over Japan.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


It’s Official: Closings, Cancellations and Postponements and No Call in Warren, Watchung Hills Sending Districts and North Plainfield

February 7, 2018

WARREN, NJ - School is open on Wednesday, Feb. 7. The Watchung Hills girls basketball game scheduled against Phillipsburg on Wednesday has been postponed since Phillipsburg has called a snow day. 

In anticipation of inclement weather, the following senior centers operated by the Somerset County Office on Aging and Disability Services will be closed Wednesday, ...

A Celebration of Black History- Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future in North Plainfield

February 15, 2018

Councilwoman Keiona R. Miller will host the 2nd Annual North Plainfield Community Black History Month Event: ‘A Celebration of Black History.’

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:  The Honorable Ronald L.  Rice, New Jersey State Senator and Chair of the New Jersey State Legislative Black Caucus.


Watchung Student and Team Take Second in State CyberPatriot Competition

NEW JERSEY -- Three students from Scotch Plains-Fanwood -- along with others from Watchung, Edison, and Maplewood -- successfully completed the CyberPatriot (Cyber Defense) competition.

Anushka Kumar, of Watchung, is a sophomore at Watchung Hills Regional High School.

The students were  comprised of two teams: 1) high school students and 2) ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Open House

Tue, March 13, 9:30 AM

Congregation Beth Israel , Scotch Plains

Crisis listening line volunteer listening and ...

Education Giving Back Health & Wellness


Fri, March 16, 7:00 PM

The Grove, Cedar Grove

Susan G. Komen North Jersey

Giving Back Other


South Plainfield – Joanne Gallo, 68, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and Warren, NJ, passed away ...
Read more

Low-Income Families Who Need Safe Cribs Have Nowhere to Go

February 16, 2018

One recent email came from a pastor in East Orange, sharing the struggles of a young couple who have no safe place for their baby to sleep.

Then, there was also a phone call from a Newark hospital, making its fourth request in two years, as well as a frantic text from Puerto Rico, for a family who lost everything in the hurricane.

They all pleaded for the same thing: A safe crib for a ...

WHRHS Girls Basketball: Watchung Hills Tops East Orange, 44-40

February 12, 2018

EAST ORANGE, NJ - Julia Cunningham recorded a double-double for Watchung Hills with 21 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block to lead the Watchung Hills girls basketball team over East Orange on Monday, 44-40. 

Jayden Baltuch finished with seven points, four assists and one rebound. 

Watchung Hills is now 19-1 on the season and next plays at Newark ...

WHRHS Boys Basketball: Watchung Hills Routs Somerville, 82-54

WARREN, NJ -  Six Warriors scored in the double digits to lead the Watchung Hills boys basketball game over Somerville on Saturday, 82-54.

Mike Hopwood led Watchung Hills with 17 points, Dan Pilsbury added 14 points and eight rebounds, Steven Bressler sunk 15 points, Gavin DeFuria added 13 points, Micheal Bressler got 11 points and 10 assists and Chad Martini chipped in 10 points and ...

Somerville Merchants Endorse Plan to Reduce Parking Lot Fees

February 21, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Borough’s controversial parking fees are set to undergo another revision, with hourly parking reduced from 75 to 50 cents in municipal lots 1,2,4 and 6, according to a merchant-driven plan endorsed by Mayor Ellen Brain.

The $1 hourly rate for parking on Main Street will remain the same, according to the mayor.

The hours of enforcement will also be changed to ...

Somerset County Preparing for Construction of Finderne Avenue Bridge, Beginning Feb. 20

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Finderne Avenue bridge, between Union Avenue and Foothill Road, will be under construction from Feb. 20 for about nine months, according to a release from Somerset County.

The bridge will be constructed in three separate stages, with one lane northbound and one lane southbound being maintained, aside from intermittent single-day closures as required. In addition, ...

Bernards Police Locate Body of Missing Township Teen

BERNARDS TWP., NJ -  Bernards Township Police announced late Thursday afternoon that the body of a 19-year-old township resident, Lydia Comtois, had been located in a wooded area of Liberty Corner following a search by personnel and volunteers from numerous public safety organizations. 

A preliminary investigation indicated the young woman's death was not deemed to ...

SCBP Names Somerset County's Outstanding Citizen

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) has selected Alina V. Klein, vice president and senior consultant for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Bedminster as the 68th Somerset County Outstanding Citizen.

The Outstanding Citizen award recognizes a single person for their community and professional activities that have contributed to making Somerset County a special ...

From the New York Toy Fair - Travels Reveals the Toys That Will Make You the Star of Your Child’s Life - the Oscars of the Toy World - the TOTY Awards

February 19, 2018

 As you know, we are here to encourage you to travel.  Unfortunately, the New York Toy Fair is one place virtually none of you can go.  So, unless you have been tirelessly been searching the internet, you are not up to date on what toys your children will be wanting soon.

Fortunately, with Press Correspondent credentials, we were able to go in your place.

Our ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Looking for Something to Do? Weekend Events in Somerset County

Things to do in Somerset County

A weekend celebrating Warmer Days!

1. Winter Market, Duke Farms

2. The Mountaintop, Theatre at RVCC - Friday featuring the Peking Acrobats.

3. State Theatre New Jersey - nothing scheduled this weekend - next show Feb 22 

4. Heritage Trail Association - Five Generals House Bus Tour - ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

February 18, 2018

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Third Annual Long Beach Island Job Fair Set for Saturday, March 31

SURF CITY, NJ - Need a job this summer? Look no further. Shore Fire Grille again has teamed up with local businesses in the area for a special summer 2018 Job Fair event. 

The Third Annual LBI Job Fair will take place Saturday, March 31.  Employers will be looking to hire help for the summer season on busy Long Beach Island.  The event will be held at the Surf City Yacht ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 14, 2018

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...