UNION – The greatest season in Freehold Township girls soccer history ended in a Group IV state championship as the Patriots and Ridge High School played 100 minutes of soccer without a goal being scored.
Since there are no penalty kicks in the NJSIAA girls soccer state finals, if two teams are tied after 80 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtimes, both schools are considered co-champions.
“It shows that when you commit yourself to a goal, when you give everything you got to get to that goal, that you can achieve. We were ranked pretty high in the Shore Conference all season but when you look at the rankings that other people put out there for the state, it took us a while to get up to that point,” Freehold Township coach Dave Patterson said. “Ridge has that reputation. They are a great program. They were a great opponent tonight. I’m just so proud of these girls and yes there is a “co” in front of that championship. But we are Group IV state champions.”
That championship is the first in school history as the Patriots won their first NJSIAA Central Group IV title along the way to playing at Kean University’s Alumni Stadium on Saturday night. Patriots’ goalie Kaela Chadziutko (12 saves), who missed last season due to injury, had a phenomenal game keeping Ridge (23-0-1), a team with three 15-goal scorers this season, off the scoreboard completely.
“Talk about the job that Kaela Chadziutko has done in this postseason. She’s been incredible and she’s someone that had not played varsity soccer (until this season) because she missed all of last year. She just got better and better throughout the year,” Patterson said. “Nicole (Whitley) and Jasmine (Colbert) just started to find their way together. The backline was outstanding tonight with (Victoria) Coppa, (Caleigh) Farrell, Megan (Latona) and Jada (Colbert) on the outside. I can’t say enough great things about these girls and what they’ve done.”
What they’ve done is put Freehold Township (20-4-2) at the top of the Group IV girls soccer scene in the school’s first appearance in the NJSIAA Group IV State Final.
As for Ridge, the Red Devils won a state title for the first time since 2003 when the Red Devils were a Group III school.
Sherlon Christie: email@example.com
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