NORTH ARLINGTON – There’s a sports adage which states that it’s hard to beat a team three times in one season.
As his team faced Wood-Ridge in the NJSIAA North 2, Group I quarterfinals at Rip Collins Field Thursday afternoon, North Arlington girls soccer coach Dan Farinola was aware of the slogan — even if Farinola might not have wanted to realize it, considering his team had defeated Wood-Ridge twice during the regular season.
North Arlington junior midfielder Kelly Lennon wasn’t about to give in to fate.
“We knew we could still do it, if we remained focused,” Lennon said. “It was definitely a little nerve-racking, but I knew we could do it.”
With 10 minutes remaining in regulation, Lennon made a steal just outside the penalty area.
“I was just trying to cross the ball to the middle and hoped that someone would be there to kick it in,” Lennon said.
But Lennon’s kick managed to sail and drift a little.
“It went up a little, dropped and went in,” Lennon said. “I’ll definitely take it.”
Lennon’s goal gave North Arlington the 2-1 victory over stubborn Wood-Ridge, enabling the Vikings (17-3) to advance to the sectional semifinals, where they will face Glen Ridge on Monday afternoon.