NORTH HALEDON, N.J. – Glen Rock has evidently bought into the theory that defense wins championships. The eye-opening performances by goalkeeper Margie Rivara and her teammates thus far are proof.
On Wednesday evening, the Panthers clamped down on another opponent and did just enough to keep their scoreless streak intact, while Kendall Daly provided a first-half goal as Glen Rock blanked Eastern Christian, 3-0, in a live-streamed showdown on MSGVarsity.com.
Coming off a season in which it finished 19-2-1 en route to a trip to the state sectional final, Glen Rock knew it would be in a position to make another playoff push thanks to tons of experience from six seniors and five juniors.
"We have our hopes high for this season," said Sophie Lederer, who netted a goal in the second half. "We want to go far in counties and states."
With such lofty goals propelling the team, it should come as no surprise that its effort on defense has been nothing short of spectacular. The Panthers, who now boast a 6-0 record, have yet to surrender a goal this season and are outscoring the opposition, 31-0.
This output has come one year after posting 18 shutouts and coughing up just 10 goals in 22 games.
"We're real excited," Lederer added. "We're one of the top teams out there, so we have a bull's eye on our backs"
Glen Rock’s offensive unit, however, is just as stellar. In this contest, Daly opened the scoring in the 23rd minute by blasting a shot into the vacant net about 25 yards away to give her squad all the offense it would need.
The defensive grudge match persisted, until Lederer doubled the advantage in the 50th minute in the second half.
"It was a cross by Caroline Taylor and I got there before the goalie," Lederer said of her header. "We were all working hard. We also have so many people helping out. There's so many players who can contribute to our team."
Hannah Petrone sealed the victory by registering her fourth tally of the year 20 minutes later.
Eastern Christian suffered its first loss of the campaign, falling to 4-1-1.
Contact Brian Fitzsimmons at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @FitzWriter