Six-year-old injured by falling soccer goal; athletes react


A six-year old girl was severely injured by a falling goal. The Glen Rock Athletic Department is taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen on our fields. Freshmen boys’ soccer coach, Mr. Jason Toncic, said, “I think this is scary because the nets are really big, a full sized goal fell on someone that little, that could really hurt them.”

by Kate Casey, Advertising and Business Manager

The school district is taking extra efforts to secure soccer goals when a six-year-old girl was severely injured when one fell on her at Howell Middle School North in Monmouth County on Sept. 14.

She and her friend were climbing on the goal when a gust of wind blew it over, landing on her head.

According to Detective Sgt. Christian Antunez, she was hospitalized at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

Soccer goals should be anchored by a combination of pegs or stakes, hooks, sandbags or weights, or chains, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commision. However, many goals are improperly secured by light or empty sandbags.

Several surrounding schools, including those at Glen Rock, are enforcing goal regulations following this incident.

In an email to high school athletic directors, Bergen County Soccer Officials Association (BCSOA) secretary, Keith Breznovits, said, “We need to be extra safe, especially when an approaching storm suddenly creates higher wind gusts than expected – like some areas experienced last Wednesday. We have also asked our soccer referees to thoroughly check the soccer goals prior to each contest to make sure they are secured and safe.”

Glen Rock Athletic Director, Mr. Frank Violante is asking all soccer coaches to be more careful securing goals going forward.

Mr. Toncic, freshmen boys’ soccer coach and The Glen Echo adviser, said, “Whenever we move nets I’m really cautious because I don’t want them to fall. They are big, heavy pieces of metal.”

The average regulation soccer goal can weigh from 150 to 500 pounds. An inappropriately secured goal can seriously injure players.

“While moving goals we are being careful, slow, communicating. I had a whole team yesterday move one goal,” he said.

This event was a check for many high school athletes.

“It was crazy hearing about this,” sophomore Elizabeth Hoyt said, “I’ll be sure to check the goals before games, I don’t want to see anything like this happening again.”