BY BARBIE SHONIA
The girls’ soccer team finished their season with a record of 12-8 and placed 3rd in their division. After dominating Sayreville 10-2 in the first round of the state tournament, the team fell to East Brunswick 2-1 in overtime in the second round.
Many of the girls stated that the highlight of their season was Senior Night, a thrilling 1-0 win against Edison on September 20. “Not only was it a great night celebrating the seniors. But it was an exciting 1-0 win in double overtime,” enthused Jenna Scopellite, who secured the game for Old Bridge with her winning goal on an assist from Cara McCartney. “The underclassmen did an amazing job making the night so special.”
The defense battle had the players, fans, and even coaches on the edge their seats. Coach Kimberly Hopping said, “Not only did we get an opportunity to celebrate our 13 amazing seniors but the game itself was a nail-biter.”
Another highlight this season came in the second match up with Edison, when the girls fell behind 1-0 but came back to force overtime and win the game 2-1. “This proved that the girls were resilient and had the ability to bounce back when faced with adversity,” said Hopping. “They did not duck their heads and continuing working to come out victorious.”
Seniors McCartney and Scopellite scored the two goals that earned the team the win. “These ladies are seniors and played like seniors – setting the standards for underclassmen to follow,” said Hopping
The win over Edison was included in a six-game late season winning streak that led the team into the GMC tournament where they lost to Metuchen 2-1 in the second round. “This tournament is really to show everyone that we deserved to be in 3rd place, and we are one of the top teams in the GMC,” said sophomore Morgan Nelson, who contributed nine goals and seven assists in her second season at the varsity level. “We feel good.”
Other highlights came in regular season match ups against Red Division opponents. “Great moments were when we beat Piscataway 5-1 in the regular season, and when we beat North Brunswick 10-0,” explained Emily Walz, who finished the season tied with sophomore Alyssa Penn for the team lead in goals with ten. “Both teams were challenging opponents in prior years, so it was great to come out with big wins in both of those games.”
The team’s season came to an end in a hard-fought 3-2 loss to East Brunswick in the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA tournament. “[The Knights] showed that they can go up against one of the top teams in the division and proved that we can be a dangerous team or a team to look out for,” added Hopping. “We have a lot of young talent.”
Regardless of the loss, the game against East Brunswick became a very memorable one for the team. “A great highlight was scoring against East Brunswick,” explained Waltz. “We hadn’t scored against East Brunswick since the year 2016, so it was a great moment for us when we scored against them.” Nelson scored the goal on an assist from senior Gianna Turso.
The team finished the season playing some of their best soccer by winning seven of their last ten games. “Our team worked really hard as a team and never gave up!” shared McCartney, a midfielder who collected 17 goals and 11 assists in her three-year varsity career.
While the team will return a strong young core next season, this year’s team featured thirteen seniors who just finished their final season. “It’s a really bittersweet feeling. It’s great being a senior on the field, but it’s sad to think about moving on from high school soccer,” said Scopellite, who led the team with 12 assists. “We’ve grown so close as a team.”
Posted on 11/4/22
Photos by Barbie Shonia