The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

Field hockey team ended season with loss in state tournament

Team jelled under new head coach

For the fourth time in 2023, the Ridge High School and Bridgewater-Raritan High School field hockey teams squared off against each other Wednesday, November 1,at Lee Field in Basking Ridge.

Coming into their highest-of-stakes matchup in the NJSIAA North Jersey, Group 4
Tournament quarterfinals, fifth-seeded Ridge (15-6) jumped out to a three-goal lead in the first 17:30 and never looked back in a 5-1 victory over 13th-seeded  Bridgewater-Raritan (4-14-1).

On September 21, Ridge rolled to a 5-0 victory before edging the Panthers in two close games—one by one goal in overtime in Bridgewater on October 4, and another by one goal in the Somerset County Tournament semifinals in Basking Ridge on October 14.

However, round four decisively went to the Red Devils, who outshot Bridgewater-Raritan by a margin of 26-3.

The duo of senior Sana Halthore (two goals, one assist) and junior Jenna Narleski (two goals,
one assist) connected on one goal and one assist each in the tail end of the opening quarter to
propel Ridge to a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period. Narleski then fired in a long-range goal
on a dish from classmate Catalina Pravda (two assists) with 12:30 remaining in the second
quarter to extend the Red Devils’ lead to 3-0.

Bridgewater-Raritan senior Cailin Filep, who finished with 15 saves in defeat after stopping a
whopping 29 shots in her team’s  shootout victory at fourth- seeded Montclair High School, then
thwarted an untimed penalty corner to end the first half with the score still 3-0.

Halthore then extended Ridge’s lead to 4-0 on her second goal with 8:04 left in the third quarter,
but after the Red Devils took this lead into the fourth quarter, Bridgewater-Raritan senior
Cadance Flakker scored with 4:10 remaining to cut Ridge’s lead to three goals.

However, Ridge answered not even a minute later on a goal by junior Katie McCaffrey to
round out the game’s scoring.

Ridge will meet top-seeded East Brunswick High School (17-2) in the state sectional semifinals by Saturday, November 4. The winner meets the survivor of third-seeded Phillipsburg High School (15-5-1) at No. 2 Princeton High School (16-2).

Bridgewater-Raritan concluded its 2023 season under first-year head coach Sami Strathern with
a deceiving 4-14-1 record, which particularly factored in many close defeats within its stacked division and Skyland Conference.

However, the battle-tested Panthers ended up being tied with two other teams across all of New Jersey as the lowest-seeded teams in their corresponding sectional playoff brackets (No. 13 out of 16 teams) to win at least one state tournament contest
(Pequannock Township High School, West Morris Central High School) in 2023.

Furthermore, not factoring in an impressive two Skyland Conference Delaware Division sectional quarterfinals rematches: the Panthers and Red Devils, and No. 3 Phillipsburg taking down No. 11 Hillsborough High School (9-12) by a score of 5-3 Wednesday
evening, all of Bridgewater-Raritan’s remaining division rivals advanced to the sectional semifinals (Warren Hills Regional High School, North Hunterdon Regional High School).

Set to graduate in June for Bridgewater-Raritan High School are the following 12 Class of 2024

Camryn Allen, Samantha Biondi, Ashley Bonastia, Cailin Filep, Cadence Flakker, Resse Minich, Jane Muti, Riya Patel, Katie Rissmeyer, Ava Sabella, Pragathi Samuel, and Sofia Squicciarini.

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