Panther Girls Soccer Wins 5th Consecutive NJISAA Prep B State Championship
Girls Soccer, Boys Soccer and Field Hockey Players Named to All State Teams
Panther Varsity Girls Soccer finished their 14-4-1 season in a blaze of fall glory late yesterday afternoon with a 4-2 title win over a fierce rival.
As of the start of yesterday's Prep B state championship game, Princeton Day School and Montclair Kimberley Academy Varsity Girls Soccer had played each other for the championship in each of the last three years with only a single goal in total, which had sealed the win for PDS in overtime back in 2015.
Although PDS Girls Soccer Coach Pat Trombetta joked before the game about skipping regulation play and going right to penalty kicks, the Panthers were determined to avoid another scoreless tie. They attacked aggressively and didn't let up, even after finally scoring for the first time in three years against their opponent at the 22-minute mark when Jules Romano rocketed a shot that caromed off the crossbar and fell just inside the line. Brooke Smukler scored just before halftime on a great pass from Romano, and added her second goal of the game in short order in the third period on a cross from Ariana Jones. And after 77 minutes of play, Jones headed in a corner kick to complete the scoring onslaught at four goals, a game total MKA had not permitted in more than a decade. The Cougars fought back with two goals but could not bridge the gap.
Amber rays of sun spangled the field through gold-leafed trees as time expired. Cowbells, victory songs and resounding cheers accompanied overjoyed fans, who streamed across the turf to join the team in celebration. Trophies were held aloft, eyes and lips were creased with pure happiness, and many cameras recorded a truly special afternoon in which those present clearly felt the moments shifting into the pantheon of immortal Panther memories. -Melanie Shaw
Enjoy photo highlights of the title game, thanks to some dedicated parent photographers!
Special Shout-outs to Panther Athletes Named to All State Teams
Boys Soccer: NJISAA Prep B All State Team members: Wesley Leggett, Ricardo Martinez, Coby Auslander
Girls Soccer: NJISAA Prep B All State Team members: Ariana Jones, Brooke Smukler, Tulsi Pari, Jules Romano
Field Hockey: NJISAA Prep B All State Team members: Valerie Radvany, Gwen Allen, Sasha Sindhwani