Ridge entered having gone to overtime in four of its five games thus far, so it’s little wonder why the Red Devils fans feel as if they’ve gotten their money’s worth.
Now, engaging in an extended battle has become quite a trend for the Basking Ridge-based school. Spectators who braved the gusty winds and sporadic rain on Tuesday afternoon once again were treated to some more free soccer -- and a thrilling finish.
Ranked No. 6 in the latest MSG Varsity Top 15 poll, the Red Devils orchestrated yet another outstanding defensive effort and made Alex Weyrauch's overtime goal stand as the winner in a 1-0 victory over No. 9 Watchung Hills.
"We'd like to start getting them in regulation because it's easier on the legs, but it feels good to get the win," Weyrauch said. "We just came off a loss and a draw, so we learned a lot about ourselves. Hopefully this is a step forward for the rest of the season."
Ridge goalkeeper Rachel Axt, who made eight saves in the team’s previous scoreless draw with No. 2 Montgomery late last week, was spectacular. The senior enabled the Red Devils (3-1-2) to escape the Warriors without suffering their second loss of the season.
Last week, Ridge rebounded from a tough 1-0 overtime loss to No. 4 Pingry by proving it belongs on the same stage with the likes of Montgomery and other state powerhouses. Though the defending North 2 Group 4 champions built a reputation as one of the most dangerous squads in the Garden State, goals have been hard to come by.
The Red Devils have been shut out four times, while scoring just five tallies in six games. Still, the one they got in this one proved to be enough.
Lindsey Carroll contributed to the opposition’s offensive woes by turning in an impressive outing in between the pipes for Watchung Hills until the 6:23 mark of the first overtime. Gigi Cifelli unleashed a throw-in and Weyrauch launched a header into the vacant net.
"Gigi is an awesome player and her throw ins are like corner kicks," Weyrauch said. "It felt great to finally capitalize, and it feels great to finish it off for a win."
The Warriors, whose record goes to 2-2-1, failed to notch their second straight shutout after blanking No. 15 Bridgewater-Raritan, 1-0.
Contact Brian Fitzsimmons at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @FitzWriter