The Montgomery High School girls soccer team went on the attack from the start of the NJSIAA Central Group IV final against Old Bridge on Tuesday.
The result was a 6-0 victory over the Knights and a berth next Tuesday against South Group IV champion Lenape in the state semifinals. Lenape is the only team with a victory over the Cougars (21-1-2) this season.
Colby Ciarrocca recorded a hat trick and two assists in leading Montgomery’s attack, She scored the first of her three first-half goals a little over three minutes into the game off a deflection in front of the net, assisted by Catrina Atanda.
“I just think it’s an awesome team win today,” Ciarrocca said. “In order to win a sectional title, you need every single player to step up and I thought everyone did that perfectly today.”
Ciarrocca scored two goals from headers off set pieces, at 21:50 and 37:09, both assisted by Alison Prosinski.
Atanda scored less than four minutes into the second half, with an assist from Ciarrocca. Jessica Goldman and Sarah Bielawski netted the fifth and sixth goals, with assists by Atanda and Ciarrocca, respectively.
“We’re ecstatic,” said coach Jeremey Beardsley, who has been at the helm for 14 years. “It’s a special group of girls. We had a very good season last year, and to repeat and exceed what we did is so rewarding and special.”
The Cougars recorded 24 shots to Old Bridge’s five. Old Bridge keeper Sam Nelson, who came under constant pressure, had five saves. Rebecca Ravitz stopped seven shots for the Cougars.
Twenty-year veteran Old Bridge coach Rob Lozzi gave his opponents credit.
“Well, I think it’s a great accomplishment for our team that we’re in the state finals,” Lozzi said. “Montgomery is a good team. Our kids have had a great season. I’m very proud of their effort.”
Senior left back Natalie Norcutt echoed the sentiment.
“We left our heart on the field,” Norcutt admitted. “I think we did everything we could, and sometimes, at the end of the day, things just don’t go your way.”