Fall Sports recaps as seasons come to an end

Boys+Football+takes+the+field+on+Senior+night+against+Gov+Livingston

Richard Mariani

Boys Football takes the field on Senior night against Gov Livingston

Lauren Sullivan, Staff Writer

What a great fall season for the Mountaineers, let’s recap. Football won the Mountain Valley bowl trophy, girls and boys soccer both won their division, girls tennis advanced to state finals, boys cross country placed 2nd in sectionals, and girls cross country placed 3rd in sectionals. 

The football team had another successful season with a 8-1 record and winning the division title for a 3rd year in a row. Their one loss was to Hillside, a very close game they lost 35-20 on 9/2. 

Coach Simoneau explains, “I would like to have played Hillside again, we made a few too many mistakes and it cost us an undefeated regular season and home playoff game. Hopefully we have learned from our mistakes and will improve on our playoff run.” They then traveled to Del Val on 9/23 for a big rivalry game. It was a very tight game but they came out on top and won 17-14 and  the Mountain Valley Bowl Trophy. 

Captain Connor Laverty shares, “My favorite part of this season was definitely beating Del Val. Last year was very unsettling as we lost to them as we had 6 turnovers on offense. This year it was a different story as we were able to beat them in bringing home the Mountain Valley bowl trophy. On top of that we were able to enjoy a very exciting bus ride home after the game.” Going into states with 8 wins and only one loss was great. However, they lost 35-21 to a strong Ramsey team in the first round of states on 10/28. All in all, football had a great season tying last year’s wins record, having six shutouts, winning the Mountain Bowl Valley Trophy, and winning the division for a 3rd straight year. 

To begin, girls soccer started off strong with a 5-0 win against Del Val on opening day. They continued to go on a winning streak until they fell to Somerville with a 3-1 loss in their 5th game of the season on 9/17. They then went on a 5 game winning streak until they lost 4-1 to a tough Hillsborough team in the second round of counties. Then played South Hunterdon on 10/13 and won 6-0 to clinch the division title. Captain Jess Hickman shares “My favorite part of this season was winning our division title. I was able to contribute to the team’s win and coming home to our parents’ planned celebration was such an amazing experience.” Coming into states they were 11-3, but despite the 3 losses they continued to perform well, and were playing the best soccer they have played the whole season. The girls made it to the semifinals, but lost 3-0 to a talented Hanover Park team. Coach Boudreau shares, “Honestly I would Iove to have the state semifinal game vs Hanover Park replayed. They are an absolutely incredibly talented and battle tested team, however I know if we took the field with them again we would beat them. We left everything on the field that day and I am so proud of the way every girl played, I just don’t think the ball bounced our way that game. I feel confident we will see them again soon and get the W!” Overall, the girls had a very successful season ending with a 11-3 regular season record.

Another team that had success this season was Boys soccer. Overall, they were 12-2. Their first loss was to Somerville (2-1). They then went on a 11 game win streak including their run in counties where they made it to the quarterfinal. However the boys lost 4-1 to Bridgewater Raritan. Throughout the season, one of their toughest games was against Pingry during their semi-final county game. The Mountaineers came out on top during the PKs. Coach Thurlow shares, “Every season is always filled with great moments. My favorite part of this season was seeing the players improve each day in practice and grow their love for soccer and their teammates.  I documented the season on our Instagram account, so that was fun for me to try to capture these great moments that I hope the kids will remember. Our highest point of the season was beating Pingry in PKs at their field, which is one thing I hadn’t done before as a coach or player. Also, coaching with Coach Laspada and Coach Fernando. I admire how hard they work, and how they are able to motivate the players day in and day out.  I’m lucky I get to coach with such great people who care so much.” The boys then went into states winning 12 games and only losing 2. They advanced to the quarterfinal round but they lost to a hard Voorhees team (3-2). To conclude, the boys are returning many starters and are looking to have another great season next year.  

The Girls Field Hockey team plays in one of the toughest conferences in the state. They started off the season with a 5-0 loss against Chatham and followed by a 6-0 loss against Ridge. Although these were two tough losses, the girls continued playing and in their third game, beat South Hunterdon 7-1. Then the girls got their first win against South Hunterdon and won 7-1. The team then traveled to Mount St Mary and tied 1-1, which was a great outcoming, giving them some confidence going into the county tournament. The girls played Franklin in the first round of counties and won 4-1. In the second round, they played a difficult Hillsborough team in and lost 2-0. Captain Sophia Vascellaro said “Those were the two most difficult games they played during the season.” Going into states they were 6-12. In the first round of states, field hockey played Mountain Lakes, but unfortunately lost 5-1. 

The Girls Tennis team also had a great season. They started off the season with a 5-0 win against Bound Brook on 9/7. They continued to have success until they lost to our rival Ridge (4-1). The Girls team then won 5-0 against both Mount St Mary and Immaculata. On 9/28 Bernards lost 4-1 to a strong Bridgewater team. Going into states, Bernards was on a 3 game winning streak. The girls played Leonia and Gov. Liv and won 3-2. They advanced to the finals but sadly lost 5-0 to West Essex. Coach St. Ours shares “If there was one match that I could do again it would be the state sectional final against West Essex. West Essex was a team primarily made up of seniors who had lost in the finals the previous year. Our team was a young one that was experiencing this for the first time. West Essex was a strong team, but I would like to see how we would fair if we got another opportunity without some of those first time jitters that our girls dealt with. There is a lot to be said for experience and that is something that only time can take care of.” In closure, the Girls team ended with a 12-2 record and won the division title. 

The Girls and Boys Cross Country team had a great season. They improved throughout the season and the boys team had lots of new freshmen. The Boys team ended up placing 3rd in counties, behind Ridge and Montgomery. Coach Szostak shares “We left a little bit on the table but hopefully this motivates the boys for the rest of the season. ” Going into states the boys were strong and prepared. Captain Tyler Stevens shares “Our team has had a lot of success this year. We’ve won a couple invitationals and dual meets, but that’s all just in preparation for our sectional meet this weekend and our group championship next weekend.” The Boys ended up placing 5th in States. On the other hand, the girls team wasn’t as strong as last year but they still performed well even though their best runner graduated last year. Ivey Mistele shares “My favorite part of the season was our Somerville meet. It was pouring rain and we were trekking through mud for a lot of the course, and yet almost the entire girls team PRed.” The Girls team ended up placing third in sectionals and 15th in states. To conclude, the team ended with a great season and will continue to improve next year.