July 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Hunger to Win: SSDS Girls Soccer Enjoys Nearly Undefeated Season

(Courtesy of SSDS Bergen) Schechter’s 2019 girls’ soccer season kick-started with unfinished business. The previous year, the Sharks lost a tough game against the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in the championship game. This year’s goal was for the team to return to the title game, raising a banner and championship trophy.

The Sharks’ leading scorer graduated the previous year, but the current team still had a lot of talent and drive to make a run for a successful season. Despite only carrying nine players, the team came together and played cohesively as one unit.

Their season started began with handily defeating Yeshivat Noam and Manhattan Day School (MDS). The true test, however, came versus Moriah and Kushner, whose teams have emerged as mini rivalries. The Sharks’ focus and determination in these games helped them win back-to-back games, both in overtime.

The overtime victories were just the medicine the Sharks needed to help them heal and put them over the top. At 4-0, confidence was high and the team began dominating other teams. The Sharks gave up the least amount of goals in both the girls’ and boys’ divisions. The defense was a feeding frenzy for the Sharks. Blocking shots, powering through opponents and crashing the net helped the Sharks win games by scores of 4-1, 11-2 and 13-4 against Ben Porat Yosef, Yavneh and MDS.

The Sharks entered the playoffs undefeated and were heavily favored to make the title game. In the first round, the Sharks easily handled Ramaz winning 15-2. The second round they faced a much tougher Moriah, but again the Sharks prevailed and won that game 6-4, sending them to the finals.

In the finals, the Lady Sharks would matchup against a gritty Noam team, which started off the season slowly, but put up impressive victories at the season’s end and in the first two rounds of the playoffs. Noam put up two quick goals in the first, but the Sharks would answer back in the second. At halftime, Noam led 2-1 in a chippy, but exciting game. Both teams played a very similar style of game and the littlest mistake could cost either team the championship.

The Sharks would get the equalizer as well as the lead in the third quarter. The fourth quarter would start with the Sharks up 3-2. Noam would tie it up early in the third, but the Sharks would respond and led 4-3 entering the final minute of play. With 50 seconds remaining, Noam received a free indirect kick. A touch pass into a quick shot found the top shelf and Noam tied the game at 4-4 to send the game into overtime (OT).

With momentum on its side, Noam scored quickly in the first OT period and again in the second OT period to end the undefeated dream season of the Sharks.

Despite a heartbreaking loss in the finals, the Sharks should be proud of their accomplishments. They are not only one of the most talented teams Solomon Schechter has had in years, but the team did everything the right way. They were supportive teammates, worked hard for everything they earned and respected every opponent they faced. They never let the success get to their head. They always remained hungry to get better and better. SSDS are so proud of how they carried themselves on and off the court.

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