Marissa Taddeo appears to be just like any other student at Ridge High School. That is until she suits up in her goalie gear and gets in the goal cage. Then it becomes all business for the Ridge junior.
Taddeo is the starting goalie for the Ridge Red Devils field hockey team. By her third year as a goalie, she has amassed some impressive stats and compliments of coaches. Even though Ridge lost its first game of the season 7-0 against the Bridgewater-Raritan Panthers, Taddeo managed to block goal after goal from the opponents.
Starting in eighth grade, Taddeo took her defensive mindset and her time as youth soccer goalie and brought it to middle school school field hockey. "It is just an easy position for me," said Marissa. She also played lacrosse, but, "I broke my thumb playing and it's not for me."
"Since Marissa's freshmen year I knew that she had the determination, drive, and work ethic to be an outstanding goal keeper. She is mentally tough, physically strong, and is respected by her teammates," said her head coach, Kimberly Clark. "She has put in countless hours during the off-season to elevate her level of play, and her dedication to the sport has paid off. She has put together two outstanding games for us, leading our defense and coming up with big plays that help shift our momentum and transition us onto attack. Ridge field hockey is fortunate to have someone who is as passionate and dedicated to the sport of field hockey and the goalkeeper position as Marissa is!" - Ridge field hockey varsity head coach Kimberly Clark
In her opening game against Bridgewater, Marissa faced 24 shots by the potent Panther offense and turned away 17 of them. Her efforts drew the attention of Bridgewater varsity coach Kathie DeBonis, "Their goalie was excellent."
As she begins her junior year, Taddeo is interested in studying architecture and would like to go to school in the tri-state area or Virginia. "I am looking at schools like UVA, maybe Cornell or Syracuse," Taddeo said.
"There is a positive energy on the team this season. I am really happy to be here; it is a nice place to come after school," added Taddeo.