EWING – The Glen Rock girls soccer team saved its best for last, finishing one of the greatest seasons in program history with a bang.
And, oh, what a joyous ending it was.
Led by a senior class determined to leave its mark, Glen Rock rolled to its first outright Group 2 title with a resounding 4-0 victory over Bordentown at The College of New Jersey on Sunday afternoon.
It’s the Panthers’ first state championship since 2003, their first outright title since 1999, when they were Group 1, and their 11th overall — third most in state history. It’s also the third straight year a North Jersey team has won the Group 2 title, following Mahwah and Ramsey.
“We all played amazing,” senior captain Sophie Lederer said. “To be able to walk away with this, there’s no way you could top this season.”
Or top this performance.
Glen Rock (23-1) dominated from the onset, controlling possession throughout and using short, quick passes to open up the Scotties’ defense, seemingly at will. The Panthers put 18 shots on goal to only three for the Scotties and didn’t allow any in the second half.
Senior midfielder Grace Taylor scored a goal on each side of the half off corner kicks from senior Hannah Petrone. Lederer scored in between with a 15-yard shot off a free kick from senior Sarah Fiorino, and Fiorino punctuated the win with a looping 30-yard shot to the upper-left corner in the 69th minute, which came just a few minutes after she had a 40-yard free-kick goal disallowed because it was deemed indirect.
“We knew this was going to be a battle and we knew we had to play our game,” said Fiorino, a captain. “Our best games are against our best opponents.”
And this was one of them.
The Panthers not only dominated on offense, they shut down Bordentown’s speedy forward Alexis McTamney — who came into the game with 58 goals — thanks to the efforts of Caitlin Callahan, Maggie Egan and senior sweeper Emily Rogan.
McTamney used some quick footwork to get free in the box and fire a hard shot from 10 yards in the seventh minute. But Glen Rock goalie Sarah Gross stood her ground on the near post and deflected the ball away from danger. After that, McTamney and the rest of the Scotties offense didn’t get a threatening shot on goal.
“No joke, that kid can play,” Glen Rock coach Tracy Trobiano said of McTamney. “I thought we matched her beautifully.”