Girls Soccer – Shore Reaches Fifth Straight Group I Final With Win Over Haddon Heights
Rivalries in high school sports are often dictated by proximity, but the Shore Regional and Glen Ridge girls soccer programs have done so through excellence - despite nearly 50 miles between the two high schools.
After Shore won yet another NJSIAA Group I semifinal game Tuesday to advance to a fifth straight Group I final, the two are set to renew what is become a near-annual rivalry on the biggest stage of the soccer season.
Freshman Julia Eichenbaum has never been part of the Shore-Glen Ridge rivalry, but she ensured that the two teams would meet for a Group I title Saturday for the fourth time in five years by scoring two second-half goals Tuesday in the Blue Devils' 3-1 win over Haddon Heights.
While Shore will play in a fifth consecutive Group I final Saturday at Kean University at 5:30 p.m., the Blue Devils have won just one of their previous four championship games. Shore enters Saturday as the defending champion after upending Glen Ridge, 2-1, on a Hannah Birdsall goal in overtime to capture the program's first outright championship.
Glen Ridge beat Shore in the 2012 final and the two teams shared the 2013 championship after playing to a draw, setting up a potential rubber match Saturday. Glen Ridge failed to reach the 2014 title game, in which Shore lost to Kinnelon, 2-0.
Birdsall contributed to Tuesday's win as well by opening the scoring for the Blue Devils off a pass from senior Devon McDonough midway through the first half.
Delaney McGlade scored to pull Haddon Heights even before halftime.
Eichenbaum broke the tie with the 58th minute and capped the scoring less than four minutes later with her second goal of the half. Sophomore Frankie McDonough set up Eichenbaum's first goal.