PARK RIDGE — Dave Schneider stood off to the side near the goal line on the turf of Park Ridge, waiting for Mikaela Heyboer and Kelsi Stangl to wrap up their postgame interviews.
“Blah, blah, blah,” the Owls’ girls soccer coach jokingly yelled from a distance to two of his stars. “The ball comes near you, you kick it. That’s it.”
“Coach!” Heyboer fired back, laughing. “It’s not all about just kicking the ball!”
The game might not be that simple, but Park Ridge sure made things look easy Wednesday in a dominant 7-1 win over Midland Park in a key NJIC Patriot Division clash.
Watch an Owls game and it’s clear they know what it takes to win. It’s also clear they’re having fun doing it.
Their unselfish style of play has led to goals. The goals often have led to laughs and good times on the bench.
“That’s really the main ingredient with this group,” Schneider said. “You can have all the talent in the world, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t play together.
“This team is focused on being good friends and being good teammates. They’re together. And they have been since the very beginning.”
It’s that kind of cycle that has Park Ridge, officially, one of just three remaining unbeaten teams in North Jersey along with Northern Highlands and Clifton, rolling. The Owls are 12-0-2, with one of those ties ending in a shootout loss to Paramus Catholic on Sunday in the Bergen County tournament second round after playing to a scoreless draw through regulation and two overtimes.