Best

These are the games you mark on your calendar weeks before the season even starts.

DePaul's Maggie Blum celebrates with her team after scoring the game winning goal with: 51 left in double overtime to win the girls soccer game between No. 10 DePaul and No. 16 Immaculate Heart Academy at DePaul Catholic High School in Wayne, NJ on Saturday, September 18, 2021. © Scott Faytok | For/Scott Faytok | For DePaul's Maggie Blum celebrates with her team after scoring the game winning goal with: 51 left in double overtime to win the girls soccer game between No. 10 DePaul and No. 16 Immaculate Heart Academy at DePaul Catholic High School in Wayne, NJ on Saturday, September 18, 2021.

The ones that players look forward to every year, waiting for a chance to get another shot at earning bragging rights. Some are regular season classics, while others spill over into the postseason and carry major championship implications. They say it’s hard to beat a team twice in a season, but what about those programs who see each three, or even four, times a year?

These are the showdowns that people remember for a long time and over the course of the last seven years, I have seen some incredible girls soccer games across the state of New Jersey. A lot of those instant classics feature rival programs who will do anything to earn a win that day.

Shore's Devon McDonough celebrates the winning goal in overtime as Shore wins on an own goal 2-1. The NJSIAA Group 1 Girls Soccer State Final with Shore Regional vs Glen Ridge. © Aristide Economopoulos/Aristide Economopoulos Shore's Devon McDonough celebrates the winning goal in overtime as Shore wins on an own goal 2-1. The NJSIAA Group 1 Girls Soccer State Final with Shore Regional vs Glen Ridge.

Today, I break down the Top 25 rivalries in the state of New Jersey, highlighting the significance of each one, detailing the matchups the last seven years and picking the best game in the series. For some, we’ll even hear first-hand what it means to be in the middle of it all.

Hunterdon Central's Mackenzie Mullins celebrates their 3-0 victory with teammates. The NJISAA Girls Soccer Public Group 4 soccer finals between Ridge vs. Hunterdon Central held at Kean University. © Aristide Economopoulos/Aristide Economopoulos Hunterdon Central's Mackenzie Mullins celebrates their 3-0 victory with teammates. The NJISAA Girls Soccer Public Group 4 soccer finals between Ridge vs. Hunterdon Central held at Kean University.

If there’s a rivalry you think I missed, email me at [email protected], and tell me all about the rivalry and some of the classic games over the last decade.

1-Scotch Plains-Fanwood vs. Westfield Ocean City celebrates their second goal of the game scored by Summer Reimet during the Cape Atlantic League Tournament girls soccer championship game between Ocean City and Mainland at Ocean City High School in Ocean City, NJ on Monday, October 18, 2021. © Scott Faytok | For/Scott Faytok | For Ocean City celebrates their second goal of the game scored by Summer Reimet during the Cape Atlantic League Tournament girls soccer championship game between Ocean City and Mainland at Ocean City High School in Ocean City, NJ on Monday, October 18, 2021.

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

Bridgewater-Raritan's Danielle Orecchio, Allison Lynch, and keeper Maggie Ousouljoglou celebrate after defeating Watchung Hills 4-2 in penalty kicks to win the NJSIAA North 2, Group 4 girls soccer final between Bridgewater-Raritan and Watchung Hills at Bridgewater-Raritan High School in Bridgewater, NJ on 11-9-18.. © Scott Faytok | For/Scott Faytok | For Bridgewater-Raritan's Danielle Orecchio, Allison Lynch, and keeper Maggie Ousouljoglou celebrate after defeating Watchung Hills 4-2 in penalty kicks to win the NJSIAA North 2, Group 4 girls soccer final between Bridgewater-Raritan and Watchung Hills at Bridgewater-Raritan High School in Bridgewater, NJ on 11-9-18..

•Sept. 30, 2021: Westfield 0, Scotch Plains-Fanwood 0

•Sept. 14, 2021: Westfield 3, Scotch Plains-Fanwood 2 (2OT)

•Oct. 13, 2020: Scotch Plains-Fanwood 1, Westfield 0

•Nov. 4, 2019: Scotch Plains-Fanwood 4, Westfield 0 in N2, G4 semis

Tagliaferri had a hat trick as Colts Neck girls soccer tops Wall 4-3 in overtime Wall High School athletic field complex in Wall Township, NJ 9/ 10/ 15.. © Amanda Marzullo/Amanda Marzullo Tagliaferri had a hat trick as Colts Neck girls soccer tops Wall 4-3 in overtime Wall High School athletic field complex in Wall Township, NJ 9/ 10/ 15..

•Oct. 10, 2019: Westfield 0, Scotch Plains-Fanwood 0

•Sept. 17, 2019: Scotch Plains-Fanwood 3, Westfield 1

•Oct. 6, 2018: Scotch Plains-Fanwood 2, Westfield 0

•Sept. 15, 2018: Scotch Plains-Fanwood 1, Westfield 0

•Nov. 6, 2017: Westfield 3, Scotch Plains-Fanwood 2 in N2, G4 semis

•Oct. 28, 2017: Westfield 1, Scotch Plains-Fanwood 1 in UCT Final

•Oct. 7, 2017: Westfield 1, Scotch Plains-Fanwood 0

•Sept. 9, 2017: Westfield 1, Scotch Plains-Fanwood 0

Ramapo players celebrate following an overtime win against Northern Highlands on Oct. 2, 2018, at Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, New Jersey. © Matt Smith | For/Matt Smith | For Ramapo players celebrate following an overtime win against Northern Highlands on Oct. 2, 2018, at Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, New Jersey.

•Oct. 1, 2016: Westfield 2, Scotch Plains-Fanwood 2

•Sept. 10, 2016: Westfield 0, Scotch Plains-Fanwood 0

•Oct. 31, 2015: Scotch Plains-Fanwood 2, Westfield 1 in UCT Final

•Oct. 15, 2015: Scotch Plains-Fanwood 0, Westfield 0

Montclair's Claire Manning celebrates with the Essex County Tournament trophy after defeating Livingston 2-1 in PKs at Livingston in 2019.. © Tom Horak | For/Tom Horak | For Montclair's Claire Manning celebrates with the Essex County Tournament trophy after defeating Livingston 2-1 in PKs at Livingston in 2019..

•Sept. 19, 2015: Scotch Plains-Fanwood 1, Westfield 0

Ocean City celebrates their second goal of the game scored by Summer Reimet during the Cape Atlantic League Tournament girls soccer championship game between Ocean City and Mainland at Ocean City High School in Ocean City, NJ on Monday, October 18, 2021. © Jeff Granit | For/Jeff Granit | For Ocean City celebrates their second goal of the game scored by Summer Reimet during the Cape Atlantic League Tournament girls soccer championship game between Ocean City and Mainland at Ocean City High School in Ocean City, NJ on Monday, October 18, 2021.

Scotch Plains-Fanwood leads (7-4-6) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: These two teams have played 17 times in the last seven years and that includes a year like 2017 that saw Westfield and Scotch Plains-Fanwood play four times. Playing in the same county is one thing, but when you add the dimension of playing for the same sectional title year after year, this rivalry goes to the next level. When the two Union County powers get together, it’s always a battle and the crowds that come out for this showdown are insane. That has continued this fall, with a pair of classics so far this season. There’s a good chance we see these teams cross paths again in the county tournament and state playoffs.

East Brunswick's Kayla Reed celebrates her game winning 2nd half goal. The GMC girls soccer final between Old Bridge vs. East Brunswick held at Woodbridge High School. © Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Adva/Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Adva East Brunswick's Kayla Reed celebrates her game winning 2nd half goal. The GMC girls soccer final between Old Bridge vs. East Brunswick held at Woodbridge High School.

Best game: There are so many to choose from, but one that will always stick out in my mind is 2016 scoreless tie where both teams battled and battled to make sure the other squad did not find a way to score. Alabama commit Taylor Morgan sensational the midfield that year for Westfield, playing bigger than her size would suggest and delivering some key plays with physicality for a team that also leaned on Georgia commit Liz Brucia in net. Scotch Plains-Fanwood was loaded itself that year with a midfield that featured James Madison commit Sophie Brause and Providence commit Christina Rodgers. Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Westfield were great that year and that battle was an absolute classic.

Demarest player embrace Carly Sherman after Sherman scored her second goal on the night as #5 Old Tappan plays #4 Demarest during the quarter-final round of the Bergen County Girls Soccer Tournament at Indian Hills High School on 10/14/18. © George McNish | For/George McNish | For Demarest player embrace Carly Sherman after Sherman scored her second goal on the night as #5 Old Tappan plays #4 Demarest during the quarter-final round of the Bergen County Girls Soccer Tournament at Indian Hills High School on 10/14/18.

What it means: “Moving to Westfield from out of state I remember everyone talking about Scotch Plains. A rivalry almost as big in comparison to Alabama vs. Auburn (The Iron Bowl) in college. I got thrown into a town with passion, love, and grit. Being a part of the Westfield-Scotch Plains-Fanwood rivalry was unlike any experience I ever thought I would have in high school. I was lucky to say the least.

West Morris celebrates the go-ahead goal with just over twenty five minutes left during the girls soccer game between Mendham and West Morris at West Morris Mendham High School in Mendham, NJ on Tuesday, October 5, 2021. © Scott Faytok | For/Scott Faytok | For West Morris celebrates the go-ahead goal with just over twenty five minutes left during the girls soccer game between Mendham and West Morris at West Morris Mendham High School in Mendham, NJ on Tuesday, October 5, 2021.

During my high school career, I learned what it was like to be a part of something bigger than yourself. It was a game we all looked forward to. A game that showed no matter what was happening within our town, we could all agree on one thing: we had to beat Scotch Plains. It was happiness, it was sadness, it was anger and frustration, but most of all it was euphoric. Every cheer from the crowd, every tackle, every goal, I was just happy to be a part of it. In the end, I wish I knew then what I know now about high school and its experiences, and the rush we put on ourselves to get to college. I wish I could have just taken it in a bit more. It was more than a game to these two towns. It had meaning beyond the field. The bragging rights, the arguments, the feeling of getting to hold a win over the other towns head. There is nothing like it.”

-Taylor Morgan, Westfield Class of 2017

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2-Livingston vs. Montclair

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Oct. 13, 2021: Livingston 1, Montclair 1 (L 2-0 in PKs) in ECT semis

•Sept. 9, 2021: Montclair 3, Livingston 2

Wayne Valley celebrates their second goal of the game scored by Kelsey Ramos during the girls soccer game between Wayne Valley and Wayne Hills at Wayne Valley High School in Wayne, NJ on Saturday, October 17, 2020. © Scott Faytok | For/Scott Faytok | For Wayne Valley celebrates their second goal of the game scored by Kelsey Ramos during the girls soccer game between Wayne Valley and Wayne Hills at Wayne Valley High School in Wayne, NJ on Saturday, October 17, 2020.

•Nov. 22, 2020: Montclair 4, Livingston 1 in North East E final

Haddonfield's Nic Green celebrates with her teammates after scoring on a penalty kick during the South Jersey Group 2 girls soccer final against Cinnaminson, Friday, Nov. 11, 2016. © Lori M. Nichols/Lori M. Nichols Haddonfield's Nic Green celebrates with her teammates after scoring on a penalty kick during the South Jersey Group 2 girls soccer final against Cinnaminson, Friday, Nov. 11, 2016.

•Oct. 21, 2019: Livingston 1, Montclair 1

•Oct. 19, 2019: Montclair 1, Livingston 1 (M 4-2 in PKs) in ECT Final

East Brunswick's Kayla Reed celebrates her game winning 2nd half goal. The GMC girls soccer final between Old Bridge vs. East Brunswick held at Woodbridge High School. © Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Adva/Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Adva East Brunswick's Kayla Reed celebrates her game winning 2nd half goal. The GMC girls soccer final between Old Bridge vs. East Brunswick held at Woodbridge High School.

•Nov. 7, 2018: Livingston 1, Montclair 0 in N1,G4 semis

•Sept. 7, 2018: Montclair 1, Livingston 0

•Oct. 25, 2017: Livingston 2, Montclair 1 in ECT semis

•Sept. 7, 2017: Montclair 3, Livingston 2

•Nov. 11, 2016: Livingston 3, Montclair 2 in N1,G4 Final

•Oct. 30, 2016: Livingston 1, Montclair 0 in ECT Final

•Oct. 8, 2016: Livingston 1, Montclair 0

•Nov. 5, 2015: Montclair 2, Livingston 1 (2OT) in N1,G4 Final

•Oct. 29, 2015: Montclair 4, Livingston 3 (OT) in ECT semis

•Oct. 22, 2015: Montclair 4, Livingston 0

•Oct. 8, 2015: Montclair 1, Livingston 1

Montclair leads (7-5-4) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: When you think of the truly special rivalries in the state, how could you not mention Montclair vs. Livingston? These teams have battled over the course of the last seven years and each game seems to be better than the last. Montclair and Livingston have played 16 times during this stretch and that includes nine tournament games. Both programs are usually loaded with talent and that makes each showdown a game you have to pay attention to.

Best game: In 2015, Montclair and Livingston played four times in a one-month span and that included two overtime thrillers. The second of those nail-biters won Montclair the sectional title, but it was actually the Essex County semifinal just a week earlier that stands out in the recent history of this rivalry. Livingston had tied Montclair earlier in the season, but then lost in a blowout the second time around. That was an outlier that season though, and Livingston proved it as it took Montclair down to the wire the next time out. The Lancers thought they had the game won, but in those days the officials kept the time on the field in the final two minutes of regulation. It seemed like the game would be called at any second and Livingston would take home a 3-2 upset win, but Montclair got one last chance on a corner and scored. The Mounties came through in overtime as Amalya Johnson hit the game-winner for Montclair. A week later, Sophie Foster-Palmer lifted Montclair to a double overtime win in the sectional final.

What it means: “Not only did you have to play them twice in the regular season, you eventually had to play and beat them to win Essex County and sectional Title So much talent and shared club teammates between the two groups that everyone knew about everyone, so it was tough to coach against. Montclair teams wanted to win every game during the season, but Livingston was a must. Loved the excitement of every single game because it was always a championship atmosphere and both teams treated it that way.”

-Rob McOmish, former Montclair coach

3-Northern Highlands vs. Ramapo

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Oct. 14, 2021: Ramapo 4, Northern Highlands 0

•Sept. 14, 2021: Ramapo 6, Northern Highlands 0

•Oct. 1, 2020: Ramapo 3, Northern Highlands 2 (OT)

•Sept. 25, 2019: Northern Highlands 2, Ramapo 1 (2OT)

•Nov. 10, 2018: Northern Highlands 3, Ramapo 0 in N1, G3 Final

•Oct. 2, 2018: Ramapo 3, Northern Highlands 2 (2OT)

•Oct. 26, 2017: Northern Highlands 2, Ramapo 0

•Sept. 23, 2017: Northern Highlands 2, Ramapo 1

•Oct. 23, 2016: Northern Highlands 2, Ramapo 1 in BCT semis (OT)

•Oct. 27, 2016: Ramapo 2, Northern Highlands 1

•Oct. 20, 2016: Northern Highlands 4, Ramapo 0

•Sept. 16, 2016: Northern Highlands 1, Ramapo 0

Northern Highlands (7-5) leads during that stretch.

Why they’re here: There’s nothing better in Bergen County than Ramapo vs. Northern Highlands. For years, we were denied seeing those two programs up against each other in the state playoffs, with Ramapo in Group 2 and Northern Highlands in Group 3. The regular season drama was more than enough though between two of the state’s top programs. The amount of D1 talent that has been featured in this series the last seven years is insane. There have been several coaches on both sides of this rivalry since 2015, but there has been no letdown when it comes to what is at stake when Ramapo and Northern Highlands go head to head.

Best game: Who could forget that 2018 thriller in the rain that probably should have been called before the game-winning goal hit the back of the net? As lightning lit up the night sky, South Carolina commit Emily Chico, a freshman at the time, found Villanova commit MaryClare Langan, who hit the winner and capped off the upset over Northern Highlands. That game came a few years after Tennessee commit Claudia Dipasupil scored in overtime during her freshman year to lift Northern Highlands over Ramapo in the Bergen County semifinals.

4-Eastern vs. Shawnee

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Sept. 30, 2021: Eastern 3, Shawnee 2

•Sept. 9, 2021: Eastern 2, Shawnee 1 (OT)

•Oct. 2, 2020: Eastern 2, Shawnee 0

•Nov 4, 2019: Eastern 2, Shawnee 1 (OT) in S,G4 semis

•Oct. 23, 2019: Eastern 3, Shawnee 1 in SJCA semis

•Oct. 3, 2019: Eastern 3, Shawnee 2

•Sept. 12, 2019: Eastern 4, Shawnee 0

•Nov. 9, 2018: Eastern 2, Shawnee 2 (E 4-3 in PKs) in S,G4 Final

•Oct. 27, 2018: Eastern 2, Shawnee 1 in SJCA Final

•Oct. 4, 2018: Shawnee 2, Eastern 1

•Sept. 13, 2018: Eastern 1, Shawnee 0

•Oct. 16, 2017: Eastern 2, Shawnee 0

•Sept. 25, 2017: Eastern 1, Shawnee 0

•Nov. 8, 2016: Eastern 1, Shawnee 1 (E 4-1 in PKs) in S,G4 semis

•Oct. 17, 2016: Shawnee 2, Eastern 1

•Sept. 23, 2016: Eastern 3, Shawnee 2

•Nov. 12, 2015: Shawnee 2, Eastern 0 in S,G4 Final

•Oct. 31, 2015: Eastern 1, Shawnee 0 in SJCA Final

•Oct. 2, 2015: Eastern 1, Shawnee 0

•Sept. 12, 2015: Eastern 1, Shawnee 1

Eastern leads (14-3-3) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: This rivalry seems a little one-sided when you look at final results, but so many of these games have come down to the very end. Eastern hasn’t lost many games the last seven years and the Vikings have overwhelmed a lot of programs, especially in South Jersey. Shawnee has stood up to Eastern time and time again though with lineups that have been just as loaded with D1 talent. Every time these two teams meet, it’s a battle.

Best game: Eastern’s run to a Group 4 title in 2018 was special, especially since coach Jamie McGroarty watched his daughter, Kelli, hit the game-winner in that championship game. Eastern almost didn’t get out of the sectional final though with Shawnee pushing the Vikings to the edge in a 2-2 tie. Eastern won the South, Group 4 title in penalty kicks. Kelli McGroarty scored the game-tying goal with just three minutes left in regulation in that showdown. McGroarty, a La Salle commit, also had a goal and an assist that year in the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association Tournament title game as Eastern won the championship with a 2-1 victory. Eastern also won the Coaches’ Cup in 2015 when Rutgers commit Amirah Ali hit the game-winner in a 1-0 thriller against Shawnee. Both teams won 20 games that fall.

What it means: “Each game we had to play against Shawnee we knew we’d have to play our best and be locked in. Not only did we know they would always bring their best efforts, but they knew we would too. There was just a feeling between us thats indescribable. We both were fighting to be No. 1″

-Kelli McGroarty, Eastern Class of 2020

5-Colts Neck vs. Wall

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Oct. 5, 2021: Wall 1, Colts Neck 0

•Nov. 12, 2020: Wall 3, Colts Neck 0

•Nov. 10, 2020: Wall 4, Colts Neck 1

•Oct. 3, 2019: Wall 1, Colts Neck 0

•Oct. 4, 2018: Colts Neck 3, Wall 2 (OT)

•Oct. 21, 2017: Wall 6, Colts Neck 2 in SCT quarters

•Oct. 26, 2016: Colts Neck 2, Wall 1 in SCT semis

•Nov. 9, 2015: Colts Neck 2, Wall 1 (2OT) in C,G3 semis

•Oct. 19, 2015: Colts Neck 2, Wall 0 in SCT semis

•Sept. 30, 2015: Colts Neck 1, Wall 0

•Sept. 10, 2015: Colts Neck 4, Wall 3 (OT)

Colts Neck leads (6-5) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: These two teams have played at least once the last seven years, but nothing will beat the showdowns they had back in 2015. Still, there have been some classic games since and those games have featured some of the best players in the state. There are a lot of good rivalries in the Shore Conference, but over the last seven years, this has to be the best.

Best game: Colts Neck and Wall set the tone for the year just a week into the 2015 season. That 4-3 overtime thriller was good, but we were just a couple of months away from the show-stopper. With the season on the line, Colts Neck battled to beat Wall in double overtime in the sectional semifinals. Bucknell commit Ali Russo stepped up and hit the game-winner in the fourth and final showdown that fall between Colts Neck and Wall. Colts Neck finished 24-0-1 that year and upset Northern Highlands, 1-0, in the Group 3 final that year thanks to a penalty kick score by Penn State commit Frankie Tagliaferri.

What it means: “Wall and Colts Neck have always had a good soccer rivalry but 2014-2017 was something special. Both teams were absolutely loaded with talent and wanted to beat the other more than anything. There was always mutual respect as we both knew how good the teams were. I think those years it went beyond the ‘normal scope’ of girls soccer and captivated a large percentage of the communities as parents, students, the press and everyone was all keyed into those massive games. In the end, Colts Neck of 2015 and Wall of 2017 were some of the best teams in the history of the Shore Conference.”

-Doug Phillips, former Colts Neck coach

6-Bridgewater-Raritan vs. Watchung Hills

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Sept. 29, 2021: Watchung Hills 1, Bridgewater-Raritan 0 (2OT)

•Nov. 10, 2020: Watchung Hills 5, Bridgewater-Raritan 0

•Sept. 28, 2019: Watchung Hills 1, Bridgewater-Raritan 0

•Nov. 9, 2018: Bridgewater-Raritan 0, Watchung Hills 0 (B 4-2 in PKs)

•Oct. 28, 2018: Bridgewater-Raritan 1, Watchung Hills 0 in SCT Final

•Oct. 2, 2018: Bridgewater-Raritan 3, Watchung Hills 2

•Oct. 3, 2017: Bridgewater-Raritan 2, Watchung Hills 0

•Oct. 5, 2016: Bridgewater-Raritan 1, Watchung Hills 0 (OT)

•Oct. 13, 2015: Bridgewater-Raritan 2, Watchung Hills 1

Bridgewater-Raritan leads (6-3) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: Most of these games have come down to the very end the last seven years. Bridgewater-Raritan and Watchung Hills are usually some of the top contenders in the same championship races year after year. That was especially the case back in 2018 when those two teams square off three times. Of the last nine matchups, three have gone to overtime.

Best game: This is a hard choice between two insane championship games from 2018. The first ended with a score that Watchung Hills probably still believes shouldn’t have happened. Before Bridgewater-Raritan went down and scored the game-winner in the Somerset County final, it looked like the ball went out of bounds. No whistle was called though and then Morgan Winchock hit a great shot to lift the Panthers. Those two teams met again though over a week later in the North 2, Group 4 final and played to a scoreless tie. That put the fate of the game on penalty kicks. Keeper Maggie Ousouljoglou, a freshman at the time, came up clutch to secure the title for the Panthers. Bridgewater-Raritan made it to the Group 4 final that fall. That final was eerily similar to a 2013 final that saw Casey Murphy make a huge stop in PKs against Watchung Hills and then hit the winning penalty kick just a week before Bridgewater-Raritan finished the job and won the Group 4 championship.

What it means: “Beating a team three times in a year is not easy, but to do it against the quality of Watchung Hills (in 2018) was one of the highlights of my coaching career. The rivalry was always hotly contested during the game, but neither team nor the coaching staff ever held a grudge. We respected each other and once one team was knocked out of a tournament, we would root for the other to carry on.”

-Chris Gerber, former Bridgewater-Raritan coach

7-Ocean City vs. Mainland

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Oct. 18, 2021: Ocean City 2, Mainland 0 in CAL Final

•Oct. 12, 2021: Mainland 1, Ocean City 0 (2OT)

•Sept. 20, 2021: Ocean City 3, Mainland 1

•Nov. 20, 2020: Ocean City 3, Mainland 1 in South East B semis

•Oct. 10, 2020: Ocean City 3, Mainland 2

•Nov. 7, 2019: Ocean City 6, Mainland 0 in S,G3 Final

•Nov. 2, 2019: Ocean City 5, Mainland 0

•Sept. 11, 2019: Ocean City 5, Mainland 0

•Oct. 17, 2018: Mainland 0, Ocean City 0 (M 3-0 in PKs) in CAL Final

•Oct. 1, 2018; Mainland 1, Ocean City 0 (2OT)

•Sept. 12, 2018: Mainland 1, Ocean City 0

•Oct. 14, 2015: Mainland 1, Ocean City 0

•Sept. 18, 2015: Mainland 4, Ocean City 2

Ocean City leads (7-5-1) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: Mainland and Ocean City have one of the most epic rivalries in sports across the board. No matter what it is or when it is, you have to be there when Ocean City and Mainland go head to head. That has especially become the case in girls soccer the last four years in a pretty evenly matched series.

Best game: Ocean City leads the series recently, but the most epic games lately between these two teams have ended in Mainland’s favor. The most sensational game has to be that Cape-Atlantic final in 2018 that Mainland won in penalty kicks. What made it even more interesting was that Lila Schoen was filling in as a keeper that fall, but came through with one of the best defensive efforts in school history. This year’s upset win also has a good case with Mainland ending Ocean City’s 45-game unbeaten streak in double overtime.

8-Hunterdon Central vs. Ridge

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Sept. 11, 2021: Hunterdon Central 2, Ridge 1

•Nov. 20, 2020: Ridge 0, Hunterdon Central 0 (R 4-3 in PKS) in CWC semis

•Nov. 7, 2020: Hunterdon Central 1, Ridge 0

•Sept. 14, 2019: Hunterdon Central 1, Ridge 1

•Sept. 13, 2018: Hunterdon Central 4, Ridge 0

•Sept. 7, 2017: Ridge 2, Hunterdon Central 0

•Nov. 19, 2016: Hunterdon Central 3, Ridge 0 in Group 4 final

•Sept. 8, 2016: Ridge 1, Hunterdon Central 0

•Oct. 27, 2015: Ridge 1, Hunterdon Central 0

•Oct. 1, 2015: Ridge 3, Hunterdon Central 0

Hunterdon Central and Ridge are tied (4-4-2) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: Both of these programs have won state championships in the last seven years and Hunterdon Central had to go through Ridge to get the job done in 2016. Ridge and Hunterdon Central are two of the powerhouse programs in one of the best conferences in the state. The Skyland Conference features some great head to head battles every year and an early-season meeting between these squads is always one to watch because it sets the tone for the kind of year that each team is looking to have that season.

Best game: There have been some close games the last few years, with four being decided by a goal and two ending as draws. Last year’s regional semifinal was one of the craziest games between these two teams though, with Ridge upsetting Hunterdon Central and advancing to the championship game. Neither team scored for 100 minutes and then it all came out to the shootout. Carly Villa came up with 11 saves for Ridge, which got the upperhand just a month after losing to Hunterdon Central in the regular season.

9-Glen Ridge vs. Shore

Head-to-head matchups since 2012:

•Nov. 18, 2017: Shore 5, Glen Ridge 4

•Nov. 19, 2016: Shore 3, Glen Ridge 2

•Nov. 21, 2015: Shore 2, Glen Ridge 1 (2OT)

•Nov. 23, 2013: Glen Ridge 1, Shore 1

•Dec. 2, 2012: Glen Ridge 2, Shore 0

Shore leads (3-1-1) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: There isn’t a state playoff rivalry that is better than Glen Ridge vs. Shore. Both programs have won nine straight sectional titles. Glen Ridge has played in six of the last 10 Group 1 finals and Shore has appeared in seven Group 1 title games. Those two squads have met up five times with the state championship on the line and each game has been epic. These teams don’t see each other every year, but every time they do, it’s on the biggest stage. Shore also has played some classic games against Point Pleasant Beach in the sectional playoffs.

Best game: The last four state finals between Shore and Glen Ridge have been instant classics. The 2015 Group 1 final stands above the others though since it was decided in double overtime. Rookie Hannah Birdsall sent in a corner kick in extra time and watched on as it eventually ended up in the back of the net to give Shore its first outright state championship. Another rookie, Frankie McDonough, also scored in that thriller.

10-DePaul vs. Immaculate Heart

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Oct. 14, 2021: DePaul 2, Immaculate Heart 1

•Sept. 18, 2021: DePaul 3, Immaculate Heart 2 (2OT)

•Oct. 13, 2020: DePaul 2, Immaculate Heart 1

•Oct. 3, 2020: DePaul 3, Immaculate Heart 1

•Nov. 7, 2019: DePaul 2, Immaculate Heart 1 (2OT) in N,NPA Final

•Oct. 8, 2019: Immaculate Heart 3, DePaul 0

•Sept. 7, 2019: DePaul 2, Immaculate Heart 2

•Oct. 10, 2018: Immaculate Heart 4, DePaul 3 (OT)

•Sept. 11, 2018: DePaul 2, Immaculate Heart 1

•Nov. 9, 2017: Immaculate Heart 3, DePaul 1 in N,NPA Final

•Sept. 29, 2017: Immaculate Heart 1, DePaul 0

•Sept. 14, 2017: Immaculate Heart 1, DePaul 0 (2OT)

•Sept. 15, 2016: DePaul 1, Immaculate Heart 0

•Oct. 25, 2016: DePaul 1, Immaculate Heart 1

•Sept. 15, 2015: Immaculate Heart 3, DePaul 0

•Oct. 15, 2015: Immaculate Heart 3, DePaul 0

DePaul leads (8-7-1) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: This series has been awesome the last seven years, with DePaul making up ground lately against Immaculate Heart. Back in 2015, IHA was a powerhouse and came into the year after going undefeated and finishing as the country’s No. 1 team in 2014. Immaculate Heart set the tone in those games that fall. Then, DePaul played IHA to a tie in 2016 and picked up an upset win later that fall. Immaculate Heart took control back in 2017, but it has really been all DePaul after that year. It hasn’t been easy though and every game has been close.

Best game: DePaul proved earlier that it could play with IHA, but the 2019 North, Non-Public A final was where the Spartans proved that they definitely had the upper hand in the series. Bryana Pelayo scored the game-winning goal with just five seconds left in double overtime to lift DePaul to its first-ever sectional title. The Spartans have won five straight in the series, starting with that championship triumph. Four of those five games have been decided by one goal.

What it means: “Scoring two goals against your rival and getting the win, that’s the best feeling you could ask for. Everyone played a part in this win though. It wasn’t just me. Everyone on this field came prepared to play and they stepped up. This just shows that everyone who is coming through DePaul is building something special and we’re not going away any time soon.”

-DePaul junior Maggie Blum after a win over IHA this fall

11-Cinnaminson vs. Haddonfield

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Nov. 7, 2019: Haddonfield 3, Cinnaminson 0 in SJ, G2 final

•Nov. 1, 2018: Cinnaminson 1, Haddonfield 0 in SJ, G2 quarterfinals

•Nov. 9, 2017: Cinnaminson 3, Haddonfield 2 (OT) in SJ, G2 final

•Nov. 11, 2016: Haddonfield 1, Cinnaminson 0 in SJ, G2 final

•Oct. 24, 2016: Haddonfield 1, Cinnaminson 0 in SJCA quarters

Haddonfield leads (3-2) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: These two South Jersey squads had some incredible games in the sectional finals over the course of the last six years. This rivalry actually kicked off in 2016 in the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association Tournament. That game set up what would be four straight one-goal thrillers between the two programs. Haddonfield and Cinnaminson have met in three championship games since 2016, with Haddonfield winning in two of those finals.

Best game: Although Haddonfield leads in this recent series, it was a Cinnaminson win that stole the show back in 2017. In a back and forth game, Temple commit Hailey Gutowski made the difference, hitting the game-winner in overtime for Cinnaminson. That game got the Pirates revenge after losing to Haddonfield in a pair of tournament games in 2016. Seton Hall Prep commit Madison Bee scored the winner the year before in the sectional final for Haddonfield.

12-Wayne Hills vs. Wayne Valley

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Oct. 14, 2021: Wayne Valley 3, Wayne Hills 0

•Sept. 14, 2021: Wayne Hills 3, Wayne Valley 1

•Oct. 17, 2020: Wayne Valley 2, Wayne Hills 0

•Oct. 1, 2020: Wayne Hills 1, Wayne Valley 0

•Sept. 16, 2019: Wayne Valley 4, Wayne Hills 0

•Oct. 20, 2018: Wayne Valley 3, Wayne Hills 0 in PCT semis

•Set. 20, 2018: Wayne Valley 2, Wayne Hills 1

•Oct. 10, 2017: Wayne Valley 0, Wayne Hills 0

•Sept. 14, 2017: Wayne Hills 2, Wayne Valley 1 (2OT)

•Nov. 4, 2016: Wayne Valley 1, Wayne Hills 0 in N1,G3 quarters

•Oct. 28, 2016: Wayne Valley 2, Wayne Hills 1

•Sept. 15, 2016: Wayne Valley 2, Wayne Hills 1 (OT)

•Oct. 27, 2015: Wayne Hills 2, Wayne Valley 1

•Oct. 17, 2015: Wayne Hills 2, Wayne Valley 0 in PCT semis

•Sept. 21, 2015: Wayne Hills 2, Wayne Valley 1

Wayne Valley leads (8-6-1) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: Go ask anyone in Passaic County what the best rivalry around is and you’ll hear a lot about Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley. These two programs produce good teams every year and there is a lot of talent at both schools. That makes every game between Hills and Valley one that you want to pay attention to.

Best game: In 2017, two games between these teams went to double overtime. The second ended as a scoreless tie, but the first came to an end when Wayne Hills hit the game-winning goal. Brooke Alexander scored the initial goal that put Wayne Hills ahead in that game and also delivered in extra time, scoring the winning goal to snap a three-game losing streak to Valley. Eight of the last 15 games in this series have been decided by a single goal.

13-Mendham vs. West Morris

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Oct. 5, 2021: West Morris 2, Mendham 1

•Sept. 11, 2021: West Morris 0, Mendham 0

•Nov. 10, 2020: Mendham 1, West Morris 0

•Oct. 19, 2020: West Morris 1, Mendham 0

•Oct. 5, 2020: Mendham 2, West Morris 1

•Oct. 23, 2019: Mendham 2, West Morris 0

•Sept. 19, 20019: West Morris 2, Mendham 0

•Oct. 22, 2018: Mendham 2, West Morris 1 (OT)

•Sept. 20, 2018: Mendham 1, West Morris 0 (2OT)

•Oct. 15, 2017: Mendham 2, West Morris 0 in MCT semis

•Sept. 20, 2017: West Morris 1, Mendham 0 (OT)

•Oct. 16, 2016: West Morris 1, Mendham 0 in MCT semis

•Sept. 20, 2016: Mendham 1, West Morris 0

•Sept. 21, 2015: West Morris 5, West Morris 0

Mendham leads (7-6-1) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: There are a lot of good close games in Morris County every single fall, but seeing West Morris and Mendham go head to head is just different. These two rivals bring their best against each other and we’ve seen that again this season.

Best game: These teams have played in nine one-goal games the last seven years. One of those included a game that determined who could move on to the Morris County final. Michigan commit Emily Leyson scored that day in the first half and then West Morris held on down the stretch for a 1-0 win. There was also a pretty epic double overtime game to start the 2018 season that stands out. Ella Chomiak scored the game-winner in that one for Mendham.

14-Demarest vs. Old Tappan

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Oct. 14, 2021: Old Tappan 2, Demarest 1

•Oct. 9, 2021: Old Tappan 0, Demarest 0 (OT 3-1 in PKs) in BCT 2nd Round

•Sept. 14, 2021: Old Tappan 1, Demarest 1

•Oct. 17, 2020: Old Tappan 1, Demarest 1

•Oct. 1, 2020: Demarest 3, Old Tappan 1

•Oct. 14, 2018: Demarest 3, Old Tappan 0 in BCT quarters

•Oct. 28, 2017: Demarest 3, Old Tappan 0

•Sept. 16, 2017: Old Tappan 2, Demarest 1

•Oct. 24, 2016: Old Tappan 2, Demarest 0

•Sept. 19, 2016: Demarest 1, Old Tappan 0 (2OT)

•Oct. 27, 2015:Old Tappan 3, Demarest 0

•Sept. 21, 2015: Old Tappan 1, Demarest 0

Old Tappan leads (5-4-3) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: In all spots, Demarest and Old Tappan have a great rivalry. It holds up on the soccer pitch, with some absolutely great games the past seven years. Demarest has been a little more successful recently, but Old Tappn holds the series lead in this timeframe.

Best game: These rivals have played three times already this season and each of those games have come down to the wire. You can’t beat a scoreless tie in the Bergen County Tournament though that led to a penalty-kick shootout. Old Tappan pulled off the upset there and advanced with a 3-1 advantage in kicks. The next week, Old Tappan beat Demarest, 2-1, outright in a regular season game. Mackenzie Ward made 16 combined saves in those two games. The junior also made 11 saves in a 1-1 draw with Demarest earlier in the fall.

15-East Brunswick vs. Old Bridge

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Oct. 12, 2021: East Brunswick 2, Old Bridge 0

•Sept. 24, 2021: East Brunswick 3, Old Bridge 0

•Oct. 27, 2020: East Brunswick 0, Old Bridge 0

•Oct. 1, 2020: East Brunswick 1, Old Bridge 0

•Oct. 31, 2019: Old Bridge 0, East Brunswick 0 (OB 7-6 in PKs) in C,G4 quarters

•Oct. 23, 2019: East Brunswick 1, Old Bridge 0 in GMCT Final

•Oct. 10, 2019: East Brunswick 1, Old Bridge 0

•Sept. 24, 2019: East Brunswick 1, Old Bridge 0

•Oct. 4, 2018: Old Bridge 2, East Brunswick 0

•Sept. 17, 2018: East Brunswick 2, Old Bridge 0

•Oct. 28, 2017: East Brunswick 1, Old Bridge 1 in GMCT Final

•Sept. 28, 2017: East Brunswick 2, Old Bridge 1

•Sept. 12, 2017: Old Bridge 3, East Brunswick 1

•Sept. 29, 2016: East Brunswick 3, Old Bridge 0

•Sept. 13, 2016: East Brunswick 2, Old Bridge 1

•Oct. 8, 2015: East Brunswick 2, Old Bridge 0

•Sept. 17, 2015: East Brunswick 4, Old Bridge 0

East Brunswick leads (12-2-3) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: East Brunswick has dominated Middlesex County for a long time, but Old Bridge has never made it easy on the Bears. These two teams have played in some tough games over the years and every time they meet up, you know it’s going to be a long, physical day no matter what the score is. That includes a few championship games.

Best game: Just a week after East Brunswick won the county championship with a 1-0 victory, Old Bridge came back and got revenge by knocking its rival out of the state playoffs. The two teams played to a scoreless draw in that one. Then, Old Bridge came out on top in a wild penalty kick shootout that finished with the Knights having a 7-6 edge. Old Bridge keeper Chelsea Lee-Sam stepped up in that game to send it to penalty kicks.

16-Middletown North vs. Middletown South

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Sept. 21, 2021: Middletown South 1, Middletown North 0

•Oct. 22, 2020: Middletown North 4, Middletown South 0

•Oct. 20, 2020: Middletown South 5, Middletown North 1

•Oct. 23, 2019: Middletown South 3, Middletown North 1

•Nov. 2, 2018: Middletown North 2, Middletown South 0 in N2,G3 quarters

•Sept. 24, 2018: Middletown North 3, Middletown South 1

•Oct. 12, 2017: Middletown North 1, Middletown South 0

•Sept. 23, 2017: Middletown South 3, Middletown North 1

•Oct. 13, 2016: Middletown North 1, Middletown South 0

•Sept. 23, 2016: Middletown South 2, Middletown North 1

•Oct. 12, 2015: Middletown South 2, Middletown North 1 (2OT)

•Sept. 28, 2015: Middletown South 2, Middletown North 1

Middletown South leads (7-5) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: Both of these programs have won sectional titles in the last seven years and they have traded wins back and forth during that timespan. North vs. South is a tale as old as time and in Middletown, there’s nothing better than the Lions vs. the Eagles. The Shore Conference features some great rivalries and this is one of the best.

Best game: Middletown North took over this series for a three game stretch that started in 2017 with a 1-0 upset win over South. Darien Rinn only had six goals that fall, but she came up with a big one, scoring the only goal in that rivalry showdown. Rinn would go on to break out the next fall and scored 34 goals in her final two high school seasons.There have been six one-goal games in this series since 2015, and a 2-1 thriller in 2015 also comes to mind as one of the best in this back-and-forth rivalry. Lucianna Powell and Haley Dalonzo each scored for Middletown South in that double overtime game.

17-Allentown vs. Hopewell Valley

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Sept. 8, 2021: Hopewell Valley 5, Allentown 2

•Oct. 24, 2020: Hopewell Valley 2, Allentown 1 (OT)

•Nov. 7, 2019: Hopewell Valley 4, Allentown 2 in C,G3 final

•Sept. 11, 2019: Hopewell Valley 2, Allentown 1

•Oct. 23, 2018: Hopewell Valley 3, Allentown 0 in MCT semis

•Sept. 12, 2018: Hopewell Valley 1, Allentown 0

•Oct. 24, 2017: Allentown 2, Hopewell Valley 0 in MCT semis

•Sept. 11, 2017: Allentown 1, Hopewell Valley 0

•Sept. 15, 2016: Hopewell Valley 2, Allentown 1

•Oct. 26, 2015: Allentown 1, Hopewell Valley 0 in MCT semis

•Oct. 6, 2015: Hopewell Valley 3, Allentown 0

Hopewell Valley leads (8-3) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: These are two of the best teams in the Colonial Valley Conference and they have seen each other a lot in the last seven seven years. That stretch includes three meet-ups in the Mercer County semifinals. There was also a showdown in the sectional final back in 2019 in another one of the classic games in this series recently.

Best game: The Central, Group 3 final was the biggest game that these two teams met in during this timespan, but last season’s overtime game was an incredible regular season showdown. Allentown scored in the second half to push that game into overtime, but it was Hopewell Valley who walked away with the win. Nicola Mosionek was the team’s best offensive player last fall and she came through the game-winner in overtime for the Bulldogs.

18-Montclair Kimberley vs. Newark Academy

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Sept. 18, 2021: Newark Academy 2, Montclair Kimberley 1

•Nov. 14, 2019: Montclair Kimberley 1, Newark Academy 0 (2OT) in N.NPB semis

•Sept. 19, 2019: Newark Academy 4, Montclair Kimberley 2

•Oct. 22, 2018: Montclair Kimberley 1, Newark Academy 0 in Prep B semis

•Oct. 16, 2018: Montclair Kimberley 3, Newark Academy 2 in ECT 1st Round

•Oct. 11, 2018: Montclair Kimberley 1, Newark Academy 0

•Nov. 3, 2017: Montclair Kimberley 3, Newark Academy 2 in N.NPB 2nd Round

•Oct. 19, 2017: Montclair Kimberley 2, Newark Academy 1 in ECT 1st Round

•Sept. 22, 2017: Montclair Kimberley 3, Newark Academy 1

•Sept. 21, 2016: Newark Academy 1, Montclair Kimberley 0

•Oct. 3, 2015: Montclair Kimberley 3, Newark Academy 1

•Sept. 16, 2015: Montclair Kimberley 4, Newark Academy 0

Montclair Kimberley (9-3) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: Montclair Kimberley has been in control of this series, but the games have not been easy. Every time these two teams meet lately, it seems to come down to the wire. Add in the fact that these teams have seen each other in three separate tournaments over the last seven years and there’s an added element to the rivalry.

Best game: There were three unreal games in 2018 between these two teams in the span of 11 days. After meeting in the regular season, Montclair Kimberley and Newark Academy also saw each other in the county tournament and Prep B playoffs. Newark Academy did all it could with a spot in the Prep B final on the line, but Abby Clothier hit a shot and Montclair Kimberley advanced to the championship game. That was the last of three one-goal games that year between the Essex County non-public schools. Each one was better than the last.

19-Toms River East vs. Toms River South

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Sept. 28, 2021: Toms River East 3, Toms River South 0

•Nov. 22, 2020: Toms River South 1, Toms River East 0 in CEC Final

•Oct. 31, 2020: Toms River East 2, Toms River South 1 (OT)

•Oct. 27, 2020: Toms River South 2, Toms River East 2

•Oct. 31, 2019: Toms River South 0, Toms River East 0 (S 5-3 in PKs) in S,G3 quarters

•Sept. 12, 2019: Toms River East 3, Toms River South 2

•Sept. 13, 2018: Toms River South 2, Toms River East 1

•Oct. 3, 2017: Toms River East 4, Toms River South 1

•Sept. 13, 2017: Toms River East 4, Toms River South 1

•Nov. 1, 2016: Toms River South 3, Toms River East 2 in S,G3 1st Round

•Oct. 4, 2016: Toms River East 2, Toms River South 1 (2OT)

•Sept. 14, 2016: Toms River South 3, Toms River East 0

•Oct. 13, 2015: Toms River East 2, Toms River South 1

•Sept. 24, 2015: Toms River East 3, Toms River South 1

Toms River East leads (8-5-1) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: Any time any team from Toms River plays a crosstown rival, it’s a game you’ll want to see. There is so much talent in that town and with playmakers spread out across the three schools, these games are always close. Toms River East and Toms River South has been especially interesting to watch with the teams also meeting up in the state tournament. There have been years where East and South have seen each other three times, with the games going back and forth all year. That was especially the case last fall.

Best game: Last year’s regional final was one heck of a sendoff for Toms River South head coach John Crowley. South lost to East in double overtime and also tied its rival during the regular season. With one final game left for their veteran coach, South came to play though and scored the game-winner in the 65th minute as Rylee Spakowski gave her team all the juice it needed to win, 1-0, and clinched the championship for Crowley in his final game.

20-Holmdel vs. Rumson-Fair Haven

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Sept. 14, 2021: Holmdel 2, Rumson-Fair Haven 1

•Nov. 7, 2020: Holmdel 2, Rumson-Fair Haven 1

•Sept. 19, 2019: Rumson-Fair Haven 4, Holmdel 2

•Sept. 20, 2018: Rumson-Fair Haven 5, Holmdel 0

•Oct. 30, 2017: Rumson-Fair Haven 1, Holmdel 0 in C,G2 1st Round

•Oct. 10, 2017: Rumson-Fair Haven 5, Holmdel 0

•Sept. 20, 2017: Rumson-Fair Haven 5, Holmdel 0

•Nov. 8, 2016: Rumson-Fair Haven 3, Holmdel 0 in C,G2 semis

•Oct. 11, 2016: Rumson-Fair Haven 3, Holmdel 0

•Sept. 21, 2016: Rumson-Fair Haven 3, Holmdel 0

•Nov. 12, 2015: Holmdel 2, Rumson-Fair Haven 2 (H 4-3 in PKs) in CJ,G2 Final

•Nov. 8, 2015: Rumson-Fair Haven 3, Holmdel 0

•Sept. 18, 2015: Rumson-Fair Haven 5, Holmdel 4 (2OT)

Rumson-Fair Haven leads (10-2-1) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: This rivalry had a lull for four years, but these two teams have had some classic battle overall since 2015. That fall seven years ago featured two amazing games between the Shore Conference squads, including an intense sectional final game that went to PKs. Holmdel and Rumson-Fair Haven have played a lot the last few years and if these two programs keep up this level of play, the future of the rivalry is bright. We might even see these two teams play again in the state playoffs later on this fall.

Best game: It’s really hard to argue against that sectional final that went to penalty kicks and there’s a case to be made for the unbelievable double overtime game earlier that fall. We were denied a rematch last fall when Holmdel had to pull out of the state tournament, but the regular season matchup between these two programs was an all-timer. Penn State commit Sofia Mancino won possession of the ball in that game with time running short and her incredible individual effort paid off with a goal in the final seconds of a 2-1 win. It was one of the most unforgettable individual plays that I have seen in the last seven years.

21-Jackson Memorial vs. Toms River North

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Oct. 19, 2021: Toms River North 2, Jackson Memorial 1

•Sept. 14, 2021: Toms River North 3, Jackson Memorial 0

•Oct. 8, 2020: Toms River North 1, Jackson Memorial 1

•Oct. 6, 2020: Toms River North 3, Jackson Memorial 1

•Oct. 8, 2019: Toms River North 1, Jackson Memorial 1

•Oct. 9, 2018: Toms River North 2, Jackson Memorial 1

•Nov. 2, 2017: Toms River North 2, Jackson Memorial 1 in S,G4 quarters

•Oct. 5, 2017: Toms River North 1, Jackson Memorial 0

•Sept. 15: 2017: Jackson Memorial 2, Toms River North 1

•Nov. 8, 2016: Toms River North 2, Jackson Memorial 0 in S,G4 semis

•Oct. 6, 2016: Toms River North 1, Jackson Memorial 0

•Sept. 16, 2016: Toms River North 2, Jackson Memorial 0

•Nov. 23, 2015: Jackson Memorial 0, Toms River North 0 (J 4-3 in PKs) in SCT 1st Round

•Oct. 9, 2015: Toms River North 2, Jackson Memorial 0

•Sept. 21, 2015: Toms River North 2, Jackson Memorial 0

Toms River North leads (11-1-3) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: Toms River North has good rivalries with both Toms River East and Toms River South, but there have also been some awesome games with Jackson Memorial the last seven years. What takes this to the next level in recent years is that these teams have met on the biggest stage and played classic state playoff or Shore Conference Tournament games.

Best game: It’s hard to argue against the most recent matchup between these teams. Toms River North is looking to win another Shore Conference title, but that run almost ended before it began. Jackson Memorial has been playing so much better the last few weeks and isn’t your typical No. 15 seed. The Jaguars took the initial lead and then Toms River North tied it up. Toms River North needed a score with just a minute left in order to escape with a win there.

22-Moorestown vs. Rancocas Valley

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Oct. 6, 2021: Rancocas Valley 2, Moorestown 0

•Sept. 22, 2021: Rancocas Valley 3, Moorestown 1

•Oct. 5, 2020: Rancocas Valley 1, Moorestown 0

•Nov. 12, 2020: Rancocas Valley 3, Moorestown 0

•Oct. 3, 2019: Rancocas Valley 1, Moorestown 0

•Sept. 9, 2019: Rancocas Valley 3, Moorestown 2

•Oct. 25, 2018: Rancocas Valley 4, Moorestown 1

•Oct. 13, 2018: Moorestown 1, Rancocas Valley 0

•Oct. 25, 2017: Moorestown 2, Rancocas Valley 0

•Sept. 27, 2017: Rancocas Valley 2, Moorestown 1 (OT)

•Oct. 17, 2016: Rancocas Valley 2, Moorestown 1

•Sept. 27, 2016: Moorestown 1, Rancocas Valley 0

•Oct. 20, 2015: Rancocas Valley 4, Moorestown 2

•Sept. 24, 2015: Moorestown 2, Rancocas Valley 1

Rancocas Valley leads (10-4) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: These two teams are led by legendary coaches and when Rancocas Valley’s Jay Flannagan and Moorestown’s Bill Mulvihill meet up, there’s 50 years of coaching experience between the two of them. Their teams are always well-coached and that’s why a lot of the games in this series have been close over the last seven years.

Best game: In the last seven years, there has only been one game in this series that has gone to extra time. Breacain McClenahan came through with both goals in that showdown and lifted the Red Devils to the thrilling win. Moorestown did get revenge later that year with a 2-0 win though. Eight of the last 14 games between these two teams have been decided by a goal.

What it means: “There is no team my players respect more than Moorestown. They know of my affection and respect for Coach Mulvihill and how we always have the hardest time scoring against them. They also love that we always get to play them at night.”

-Rancocas Valley coach Jay Flannagan

23-Oak Knoll vs. Summit

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Oct. 5, 2021: Oak Knoll 3, Summit 1

•Sept. 17, 2021: Summit 3, Oak Knoll 2

•Oct. 28, 2020: Oak Knoll 2, Summit 1

•Oct. 13, 2020: Summit 2, Oak Knoll 1

•Oct. 21, 2019: Summit 2, Oak Knoll 1

•Sept. 19, 2019: Oak Knoll 2, Summit 0

•Oct. 16, 2018: Summit 1, Oak Knoll 0

•Oct. 1, 2018: Oak Knoll 3, Summit 2 (OT)

•Oct. 17, 2017: Oak Knoll 2, Summit 1

•Sept. 16, 2017: Oak Knoll 2, Summit 1 (OT)

•Oct. 18, 2016: Summit 1, Oak Knoll 0

•Sept. 17, 2016: Oak Knoll 3, Summit 0

•Oct. 1, 2015: Summit 1, Oak Knoll 0 (OT)

•Sept. 15, 2015: Oak Knoll 3, Summit 0

Oak Knolls leads (8-6) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: This is the Battle for the Hill. These two teams have not met in any tournament games, but every time they see each other in the regular season, there is a lot on the line. These teams have been pretty good at defending their home turf the last seven years, with only a few road wins between the two teams. Ten of the 14 games during that span have been one goal games and three have gone to overtime. A lot of these kids live in Summit and the public vs. non-public element just adds to the rivalry between these Union County schools.

Best game: These games are typically low-scoring affairs, but the first meeting in 2018 was insane with the amount of offensive production. Oak Knoll walked away with a 3-2 win in overtime in that showdown. Meagan O’Callahan picked up the pace in that thriller and scored twice to give Oak Knoll the upper hand. In typical fashion, Summit won the rematch, 1-0.

24-Cherry Hill East vs. Cherry Hill West

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Sept. 25, 2021: Cherry Hill East 1, Cherry Hill West 1

•Nov. 5, 2020: Cherry Hill West 2, Cherry Hill East 0

•Sept. 28, 2019: Cherry Hill West 1, Cherry Hill East 0

•Sept. 28, 2018: Cherry Hill West 2, Cherry Hill East 0

•Oct. 25, 2017: Cherry Hill East 0, Cherry Hill West 0

•Oct. 24, 2016: Cherry Hill East 0, Cherry Hill West 0

•Oct. 15, 2015: Cherry Hill East 2, Cherry Hill West 1

•Sept. 11, 2015: Cherry Hill East 4, Cherry Hill West 1

Cherry Hill West leads (3-2-2) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: These two teams bring out some of the biggest crowds when they go head to head each fall. Cherry Hill West has been the better team the last few years, but it is never easy when it goes up against Cherry Hill East. Over the course of the last seven years though, this is about as close as it gets between two teams splitting a rivalry.

Best game: For two straight years and 200 minutes of action, neither of these two programs could find a way to score on each other. Those are two of three ties in the last seven years between these teams. In 2016, Cherry Hill East’s Sam Bourne and Cherry Hill West’s Natalie Eberhardt each made seven saves late in October to make sure their team wasn’t going home with a loss. Pride is on the line every time these teams play and it shows.

25-Kingsway vs. Williamstown

Head-to-head matchups since 2015:

•Sept. 30, 2021: Kingsway 0, Williamstown 0

•Sept. 8, 2021: Williamstown 1, Kingsway 0

•Oct. 21, 2020: Kingsway 2, Williamstown 0

•Oct. 1, 2020: Kingsway 2, Williamstown 1

•Oct. 24, 2019: Kingsway 2, Williamstown 0

•Sept. 17, 2019: Williamstown 2, Kingsway 0

•Oct. 15, 2018: Kingsway 4, Williamstown 3 (OT)

•Sept. 19, 2018: Williamstown 3, Kingsway 0

•Nov. 2, 2017: Kingsway 4, Williamstown 1 in S.G4 2nd Round

•Oct. 19, 2017: Williamstown 2, Kingsway 1

•Sept. 21, 2017: Kingsway 1, Williamstown 1

•Oct. 21, 2016: Kingsway 3, Williamstown 2 (OT)

•Sept. 26, 2016: Williamstown 1, Kingsway 0

•Oct. 21, 2015: Williamstown 2, Kingsway 0

•Sept. 25, Williamstown 2, Kingsway 0

Williamstown leads (7-6-2) during that stretch.

Why they’re here: These are two of the best teams in the Tri-County Conference and they have been evenly matched throughout the years. Kingsway and Williamstown see each other at least twice a year and sometimes there is a third game sprinkled in when they go deeper in the state playoffs.

Best game: This rivalry featured an absolutely insane game back in 2018. Kingsway jumped ahead 3-0 in the first half of that game, but Williamstown stormed back a three-goal rally of its own in the second half to send the game to an extra period. Kingsway was able to regain its composure and came out and found a way to win in overtime, capping off a wild 4-3 win. That thriller is one of six one-game games between these teams the last seven years. There have also been two ties in the series since then.

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Brandon Gould can be reached at [email protected] . Follow him on Twitter @BrandonGouldHS .

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/grudge-matches-the-25-best-rivalries-in-nj-girls-soccer/ar-AAPPXCz

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