Girls Soccer Looks to Build Upon Last Year’s Success

by James Stewart, Sports Editor

Over the past several seasons, the Glen Rock girls varsity soccer team has become a dominant force in the North 1 region of Group 1. Following a 16-4-1 record in the 2021-22 season, the Panthers return all but four players from last year’s roster.

This season, the Panthers return their leading goal scorer in junior Ryan Doyle who netted 13 goals last season. Sophomore Nicole Crane led the Panthers in points last year with 34. This year’s team is captained by three seniors who have played key roles over the past several seasons. Both Stella Traphagen and Fiona Reilly have made varsity all four years of their high school careers, and the team’s third captain Carly Kopelman joined varsity as a sophomore. 

Through the Panthers first 15 games, they have a record of 10-2-2, and were the last team in North Jersey to allow a goal. Freshman goalie Annie Leonard has tallied 55 total saves over 11 combined shutouts.

The Panthers have key victories over Butler, Pompton Lakes, Fair Lawn in the preliminary round of the 2022 Bergen County Tournament,  Rutherford and arch rival Hawthorne. The team’s ties were in their season opener against Lyndhurst, and their second matchup vs. Hawthorne.

The Panthers early season success was on full display in the county tournament. They qualified for the tournament as the 13th best team in the county, and defeated 20th seeded Fair Lawn on September 24th. 

The Panthers controlled the entire game against Fair Lawn much to the help of 11 saves from Leonard in what was her seventh consecutive shutout. The lone goal of the match was scored by Reilly off a free kick late in the first half. 

“We didn’t really get to test their goalie in the first half, so I knew I needed to get the shot on frame, and it went right over her head,” Reilly said. 

Thanks to this win, the team advanced to the first round to play the number four ranked team in the county, Ramsey.

Despite advancing to the first round, the Panthers struggled against Ramsey, and had some costly mistakes that gave the Rams several opportunities. Mistakes continued to build up and Panthers suffered their first loss of the season by a score of 7-0 on October 2nd. Four days later the Panthers dropped a NJIC crossover game vs. Waldwick, 1-0.

Although the Panthers struggled in those two games, they still hold the lead in the NJIC Colonial Division, and are currently the 6th ranked team in the North 1, Group 1 standings which decides seedings for the state playoffs. 

The Panthers will look to continue their success throughout the rest of the regular season, and into the state tournament.

“I have high hopes for the rest of the season considering that we have done our best and have come out stronger each game. We’ve learned from our past mistakes and are taking preventative measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” said Traphagen who is tied for second on the team with eight goals.