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McWhorter Goal Lifts Ridge Into Group 4 Final

Red Devil defense holds off Montclair to reach championship game.

The girls soccer team advanced to the Group 4 championship game with a 1-0 win over Montclair Tuesday night on a goal by Kelly McWhorter in the 67th minute at Watchung Hills.

1st 2nd FINAL Ridge (16-4-3) 0 1 1 Montclair (22-1-1) 0 0 0

IN SHORT

In the 27th minute of the second half, Gigi Cefelli passed to McWhorter who carried the ball past a defender and into the Montclair goal.

"All I saw was the net and the back of it," McWhorter said. "I never felt better."

The first half of play was relatively even with both teams having its opportunities, but neither able to capitalize. Montclair, ranked No. 1 in the state by The Star-Ledger, became frustrated by being unable to score.

The second half of the game, Montclair was relentless in its attack on the Ridge defense and goalkeeper Rachel Axt. Montclair posted 14 shots in the game, six of them on goal and Axt was able to stop them all, including a late game ball that rolled under her legs and nearly went in the goal. Ridge had six shots in the game.

RED DEVIL OF THE GAME

Kelly McWhorter, forward—Sophomore McWhorter scored the lone goal of the game and maintained pressure on the Montclair defense.

KEY PERFORMANCE

Rachel Axt, goalkeeper—Axt was active in the penalty area, facing a relentless onslaught from Montclair in second half and faced 14 shots, six on goal, turning all of them away.

THEY SAID IT

"Anyone who showed up in the second half would have wondered why the scoreboard read 0-0, because Montclair was pressing, pressing, pressing," Ridge coach Katie Donahue said. "Soccer is a cruel sport. They had opportunities and opportunities. And those are the times when you just want to get through that span and get to the next one.  But it seemed like our nightmare didn't end.  But when it happens and you have a team like that, you sometimes just find a way. I think all the opportunities we missed this year, we cashed in all our chips tonight.  We will take them when it counts.  I think they out shot us 10 fold, but we got the one that counted.  I am glad we got it when we did, because I don't know how much more we could have taken.  They are a tremendous team.  I can't say enough about the quality of players on that team. But we won. We got the one that counted."

Up Next—Ridge will face Lenape at The College of New Jersey for the Group 4 championship at 2:30 p.m.

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