|VIDEO: Park Ridge grabs sectional title with win over Kinnelon|
All season, the Park Ridge girls' soccer team relied on a mixture of youth and experience as it rolled to an impressive record. In the sectional final against Kinnelon, the Owls again used that combination to capture the North 1, Group I title.
Freshman Hannah Hanson scored both goals, one in each half, as Park Ridge earned a 2-0 victory. Juniors Megan Gasnick and Nicole Thomas had the assists, while senior goalie Kelly McCann made four saves.
It's the first sectional title for Park Ridge since 2007.
The experienced players on the top-seeded Owls remembered the sectional final in 2014, when a lower-seeded Kinnelon team came in and beat Park Ridge 2-1. Those Colts then went on to win a Group I state title, and Kinnelon also captured the sectional title last season.
Park Ridge had the better of play in the first half, and got the all-important first goal about 25 minutes into the game. Hanson controlled a cross from Gasnick and chipped it over the keeper.
Despite the Owls' advantage in shots, the game remained 1-0 until the final minutes, when Thomas sent Hanson on a breakaway to lock up the win.
Kristina Kalafsky made 10 saves for Kinnelon, which was the third seed in this season's sectional tournament. The Colts finish their season at 17-6-1.
Park Ridge, which had some struggles late in the regular season, has looked sharp in the states and is now 19-3. The Owls next meet Glen Ridge, which reached the Group I state semifinals by winning its fifth consecutive sectional title.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey high school state tournament girls' soccer sectional final game, click play in the box at left.